MARK DION: Art and Science Jessica DeMoura and Ferdinand Morton Biography American artist born in 1961 in New Bedford, MA Received BFA in 1986 and honorary doctorate in 2003 from University of Hartford, School of Art, Conn. Exhibited at Miami Art Museum, MoMA, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and the Tate Gallery Permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum Currently lives and works in Pennsylvania Relation to Art Integration Merges art with science, pop culture, history Alludes to the way humans think Mimics research practices, organizing principles, and object displaying Questions the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences Mark Dion at Work Selected Artworks Mark Dion (2004) Rescue Archaeology - A Project for the Museum of Modern Art. Cut and pasted printed paper with colored pencil and pencil on cardstock, 11x14” “'Scala Naturae (1994), was a straight faced subversion of Aristotle's attempt to classify life according to a hierarchical system. . . . The receding steps begin with man's creationism, climbing past fungi, fruits and vegetables, corals, butterflies, and a stuffed cat and duck and concluding with a bust of the classical scholar.” -Mark Dion Mark Dion (1994) Scala Naturae. "The category of nature is not something that the field of science has a monopoly on. It is something that everyone has a say in what gets to be nature at a particular time for a particular group of people. And I think that in order to motivate people to care about the natural world around us, one of our chief tools is going to be an aesthetic sensibility." - Mark Dion Mark Dion (2001) Providence Cabinet. Hand built cabinets with mahogany finish, filled with finds from a dig in Providence, RI 100”x74”19” "I’m constantly going to flea markets, yard sales, and junk stores and buying things specifically for projects, but also for myself and my friends…I have very eccentric collectionsoil cans, wooden mallets, stuffed birds, cabinet cards, photographs of boats and animals in zoos, and just dozens and dozens of things. It’s a way to continually be engaged with my work. Some artists paint, some sculpt, some take photographs, and I shop. That’s what I do." - Mark Dion Mark Dion (2005) The Curiosity Shop. Mixed media, 12.5x28x12 feet Mark Dion (1999) Alexander Wilson-Studio, detail. Wooden structure with taxidermic specimens, sketches, and miscellaneous objects from the Carnegie Museum Collection, dimensions variable. Questions Do you find Mark Dion’s way of creating art too scientific? Does it really show a connection between all disciplines? Stafford states that these cabinets collections were “physical manifestations of the collaging processes of the mind; they revealed how the mind juxtaposes phenomena and creates narratives and concepts through relationships” (Marshall, 2005) Do you feel that arts integration and artwork like Mark Dion’s actually reflect the way our brains work?