Bio-Art Mixer 6

Bio-Art Mixer #6
November 21, Thursday, 2019
6.30-10 pm
The Canary Lab
Smith Hall, 2nd floor, Syracuse University

6.30-8.30 pm by Kathy High (Rensselaer, Arts)
Alison Patteson (Syracuse University, Physics)

Talks will be followed by discussion moderated by Ed Morris and then informal conversations +refreshments: 8.30-10 pm

Kathy High (Rensselaer, Arts)

“You Are My Future”

In her research into the animal world in projects like “Embracing Animal” and “Rat Laughter,” High has continuously investigated animal consciousness, emotion, and empathy. The recent project “Gut Love: You Are My Future” offers a glimpse into the complex interrelation between the gut microbiota and its host, and the culture of fecal microbial implantation. The cycle of life, genetics, and therapeutic practices all coalesce in the lab as an artist studio.

Alison Patteson (Syracuse University, Physics)
“Life in suspense: Collective motion of swimming bacteria”

Collective motion is ubiquitous as seen in flocks of birds and schools of fish to swarms of bacteria. These systems have sizes that range from a few meters to microns, spanning length scales over which microscopic forces, such as thermal noise, are important. Recently, there has been much interest in dense suspensions of microscopic bacteria, which exhibit anomalous turbulent-like flow patterns and enhanced fluid mixing in the absence of inertia. To understand the motion of these dynamic swarms, we have used small inert particles to trace their chaotic flow behavior. Our results uncover new avenues of transport which can be used to control the spread of bacteria or the dispersion of particles in microbial environments.


Kathy High is an internationally renowned interdisciplinary artist working in the areas of technology, science, speculative fiction, and art. She produces videos and installations posing queer and feminist inquiries into areas of medicine/bio-science, and animal/interspecies collaborations that have been exhibited across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. High is Professor of Video and New Media in the Department of Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. She is a supporter of community DIY science and ecological art practices. Among many honors, she is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Alison Patteson received her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics in 2011 from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2016 from University of Pennsylvania, where she was advised by Professor Paulo Arratia. Her thesis work involved experimental investigations of complex flows generated by swimming bacteria. Support for her Ph.D. was provided by a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship. Alison was a postdoctoral researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, working with Professor Paul Janmey to study the biomechanics of vimentin intermediate filaments at the cellular level. Alison joined the Department of Physics at Syracuse University as an Assistant Professor in 2010. Her current research interests include problems in cell motility and active living matter.

The Bio-Art Mixer is an initiative of Heidi Hehnly, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at Syracuse University, Biology Department, and Boryana Rossa Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Transmedia Department at Syracuse University in collaboration with the Canary Lab.Supported by CUSE’ sponsored seminar award, Transmedia Department and Canary Lab.