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The Glass Veil: Seven Adventures in Wonderland


Suzanne Anker and Sabine Flach

In this collaborative work between artist and theorist Suzanne Anker and art historian Sabine Flach, the study of image production unveils the reality of pictures beyond their function as mere representations of the world. The visuals range from firsthand accounts of specimen collections in historical medical museums, to scientific research laboratories, to studies of plant propagation, among other themes concerning life forms and Bio Art. Focusing on systems of artistic knowledge, the authors demonstrate how context, scale and framing devices alter meaning in pictorial systems. Somatic responses, classification networks and image banks are explored as they relate to intersections in visual art and the biological sciences.
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Epilogue: Suzanne Anker & Sabine Flach


Figure 93. Suzanne Anker, While Darkness Sleeps, (detail) 2013. Archival inkjet print on paper, 44 x 58 in (111.76 x 147.32 cm). Microscopic image of Botryllus, a marine invertebrate termed a colonial tunicate, sporting a star-shaped structure. ← 186 | 187 → ← 187 | 188 → ← 188 | 189 →


Sabine Flach: SVA’s Bio Art Laboratory in your Fine Arts Department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City is quite unique. What was the impetus behind the decision to incorporate a Bio Art Laboratory into your program? There are very few, if any, Bio Art labs in the world that reside in art schools. Obviously, you are at the forefront of this directive. Where would you position your Bio Lab in regard to visual art?

Suzanne Anker: Art has always been connected to nature. From the Paleolithic cave paintings and Venus statuettes, through Romanticism and the biomorphic forties, the natural world has always functioned as a source of inspiration for artists. Genres such as the still life, portrait, and landscape also find their sources in nature. More recently, earth works, video and performance art as well as eco art can be cited. SVA’s Bio Art Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory where students are introduced to the tools of science as additional ways to produce art. Employing microscopic images in photography (fig. 93), painting with fluorescent bacteria and algae, tissue culturing of plants and deciphering DNA are some of the...

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