Building as Body
University of Southern Maine
Photo documentation in Law Building, USM Portland Campus
Deborah Aschheim (2007)
Building as Body is an installation at several sites within the University of Southern Maine, the product of my Visiting Artist-in-Residence (VAIR) workshop/project in Spring 2007. The mission of the workshop was to create a link between the Portland and Gorham campuses of USM, and between the art and science research that takes place at each site. For 7 weeks, an ongoing collaboration between art and science transpired: Doug Currie and his students invited my class to their lab and generously shared their research with us, and the VAIR class made drawings, sculptures, videos that we shared with the scientists.
I built two sculptures: one activates the lobby area of the bioscience building in Portland, and the other piece colonizes the hallway outside the elevator that links the studios and classrooms of the Art Department on the Gorham campus. The sculptures were inspired by images of nerve cells created in the Currie lab. Monitors in the "nucleus" of each sculpture play time-lapse videos created by students in the VAIR workshop, as well as time-lapse movies of neuron development from the Currie lab.
This project also lives in cyberspace: you are invited to access the project archive at http://www.usm.maine.edu/buildingasbody. The website contains the individual student projects, information about my work and the Currie lab research, directions to both physical installations, and our grateful thanks to all the people who helped make this project possible.