Spring School – March 12-16th 2018

Spring School not open for public enrolment, activity exclusively dedicated for students of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Campus.

ARTS.2230 Contemporary Art and Life Sciences Workshop in São Luís Portugal


Course Description

This is an interdisciplinary course that combines art and science.

The intersection of Art, Biology and the Environment offer unique opportunities to visual artists. This innovative summer course, which is already on its fourth edition, will allow non-specialists to acquire theoretical and practical skills in biological and environmental sciences in connection to the visual arts.

The Summer School explores the interdisciplinary relationship between art, life and environmental sciences through hands-on exercises, combining theory and practice in an informal environment, e.g.: seminars, debates, visits, and the creation of artworks with biological media. The activities will address issues such as the cultural representations of technology and science, ethical concerns and the evolution of bioart as a cultural phenomenon. This is a one week program.

The practical component will focus on hands-on exercises in the laboratory, workshop, and within the natural environment. The possibility of transforming abstract concepts into art objects, the collection and selection of organisms for artistic purposes will be highlighted, and, finally, visits to different parts of the natural park, will take place. The course leaves plenty of room for informal activities, and a cultural and social program.

This seminar will involve exploring how we can introduce concepts, processes, and knowledge from the sciences and apply them to the creation of art; and how we can introduce concepts, processes and knowledge from the arts and apply them to scientific research. The studio-lab portion of the course will focus on the development of works that combine elements of both art and science by teams of students. Teams of art and science students will be expected to complete 3 projects for the course. In developing and completing these projects, students will be asked to present their ideas/work and take part in formal critiques. The course will culminate in a public exhibition of the works at Cultivamos Cultura. Finally, as part of the course, students will be asked to document their work/methodology/process by keeping journals of processes, outcomes, and explorations.

Dates: March 12-16th, 2018

Destination: São Luís and Lisbon, Portugal

Cost Estimate $3600. Price includes housing, plane ticket, 3 credits UML CE tuition, and in country transit. Two person per room lodging at Cultivamos Cultural in São Luís for 7 nights (check it out on FB), and 2 nights and activities in Lisbon. Instruction is in English. Online Black- board component before trip.

ARTS.2230 Fulfills Breadth of Knowledge requirement for Arts and Humanitites and Essential Learning Outcomes for Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Final pricing depends partly on the fluctuation of the Euro.


Luis Graca, MD, PhD, is Head of Cellular Immunology Unit and Professor at the University of Lisbon Medical School. https://imm.medicina.ulisboa.pt/en/investigacao/labs/graca-lab/

Marta de Menezes is an Artist, Curator, Art Director of Ectopia, Member of the Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa. http://martademenezes.com

Dalila Honorato, Ph.D, is a facilitator of safe spaces for hosting the interaction of ideas around liminal issues in the frame of Art&Sci. Her research focus is on embodiment, monstrosity, the uncanny and the acrobatic balance between phobia and paraphilia. She is Assistant Professor in Media Aesthetics and Semiotics at the Ionian University, Greece, guest faculty at Alma Mater Europaea, Slovenia, collaborator at the Center of Philosophy of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal and member of the Steering Committee of the conference “Taboo-Transgression-Transcendence in Art & Science”. http://ionio.academia.edu/DalilaHonorato


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