Come to DataCraft 2016


Artists and scientists have a lot in common. They create, communicate, explore, persevere, and notice problems around them that many do not see. They make connections between unrelated things, and put them together in a way that works. It’s surprising, then, that these fields often exist completely independent of each other, when their devotees use a lot of the same parts of their brains while doing work. The biggest differences are technical, but many processes are shared between the two.


Not convinced? Then I invite you to see the interplay of art and science at Small Hall Makerspace’s upcoming event: DataCraft 2016. It’s an art show that features pieces created in the process of answering a scientific question. Come to see these pieces, chat with the artists, and contribute to a collaborative community art installment that will be permanently on display at the Makerspace. As a sneak preview, peruse the titles, and descriptions of the pieces by the artists themselves:

Melissa Guidry and Wade Hodson: WaveBoard

“This was built to visualize solutions to the 2D wave equation. Essentially, you click buttons to produce wave sources at different points on the board, controlling the wave amplitude and frequency. The waves may then interfere or reflect off the walls.”

 Danielle Horrige and Danny Rosenberg: The Emojis of Our Lives

“Emojis, the faces and smileys found on our phones and computers, have become a cultural phenomena affecting not only the way we communicate, but how we express our emotions. These icons have become widely used by celebrities, politicians, and major brands across the internet; Oxford dictionaries named (“Face with Tears of Joy”) their Word of the Year for 2015. We chose to recreate some of our favorite emojis using six different bacterial species: Serratia marcescens, Chromobacterium violaceum, Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus, Micrococcus roseus, and Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Microbiology has similarly seen a significant resurgence in the public eye. From the human microbiome to antibiotic resistance to rapid developments in biotechnology, it is important to remember that bacteria that we can’t necessarily see impact the way we interact with the world in every way.”

Lindsay Garcia: The Cockroach Disco

“Feminist Pest Control is actively pro-pest. That’s not to say that all humans should be forced to live with unwanted animals, but instead, that human supremacy with regards to animal hierarchies needs to be examined, subverted, and defamiliarized. The Cockroach Disco endeavors to consider the standpoints of cockroaches and create a joyful experience for them based on their morphology, instead of feeding them with poisons or squashing them with a book. This device also facilitates the improvement of human-pest relationships by providing a platform for which walls separate the bug from the human, creating a “safe” environment for both species to get to know each other better and to develop positive affects and reactions between the two species.”

Kurt Williamson: Electron Microscopy (A series of  5 images)

“‘Phage infecting color’ is a colorized electron micrograph obtained from a Lake Matoaka water sample.  The lollipop-like structures are bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria.  This image has caught one in the act of infecting an unfortunate bacterial cell.  The phage heads are about 60 nanometers in diameter; the bacterial cells are about 2 micrometers in length.

‘TEM Snapchat Ghost’ is an electron micrograph obtained from a Lake Matoaka water sample.  The actual material depicted in this image is not known, but may be part of a diatom frustule.  The object looks a little like the ghost mascot for the smartphone app “Snapchat” or perhaps like Darth Vader’s helmet.

‘Phages’ is an electron micrograph obtained from a Lake Matoaka water sample.  This image is a stroke of luck, as most of the common bacteriophage morphologies can be seen in a single image.  Since this image comes from a natural water sample, there is no way we could have staged this “group photo” – we just got lucky.  Morphologies include spheres, tailed structures (lollipops), and filaments.

‘Diatom’ is a colorized electron micrograph obtained from a Lake Matoaka water sample.  The exact species is unknown, but the object appears to be a frustule, the hard, glass-like casing that protects most diatoms.

‘Ball 22’ is an electron micrograph obtained from Lake Matoaka water sample.  We actually have no idea what the object is!  It is approximately 5 micrometers in diameter and has a very eye-catching hexagonal pattern.  The world looks very different at this scale.”

Rico Xi: Milky Way

“This is shot at the bank of Namtso River, Tibet, showcasing the magnificence of the milky way and the insignificance of earthly objects.”

Leanna Rinehart: Time flies: the developing fly testis

“It’s a fluorescence microscopy image of adult Drosophila testis (2 long, coiled structures). Different cell types and testis structures stained using different antibodies. Image captured in the process of examining changes in the development of the testis.”

Eric Carstens: L’Ubiquitine

“This Biofilm explores the process of ubiquitination by using a film noir style murder mystery as a metaphor for the clever, specific action of the proteasome for protein degradation.”

Jenna Milstein: Crim Dell Bridge

“… a fun exercise we did in my microbiology class last year, where we “drew” with different strains of bacteria. Thought it was appropriately William and Mary-themed…”

Jenna Milstein Anatomical Illustration

“These illustrations were drawn directly from a cadaver last summer during my Monroe medical illustration cadaver project.”

Chenjie Shao: Map

“This piece represents data of the activities of and interactions between the Canadian Geese and people, in different time scale, around a section of Charles River, Cambridge, MA. It aims to discover the permeable and impermeable boundary of the site.”

Hong Anh Tran: Dilutions

“This photo shows fluorescent protein and dye in decreasing dilutions.”

Sonya Vidal: Explorations of Neutrino Flux from the NuMI Beam at Different Positions From the Beam Axis

Kaitlyn Dorst: Electrophysiology


Hailey Ramsey: Muscle Fibers

“I worked in Professor Deschenes’ lab this summer staining myofibers. Here is an overlay of stained Type I, Type IIA, Type IIB, and Type IIX muscles fiber types.”

Gina Sawaya: Cell Paintings

“These paintings show how information enters and exits the cell. I used diagrams we learned in class to make illustrations that show scientific ideas. I used contrasting colors for visual appeal and to fight the notion that everything in the body is red. Hope you enjoy!”


Again, come see the corresponding pieces on Thursday Sept. 15th at 7pm in the Small Hall Makerspace in room 143!


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