Encountering the Unseen: Puppet-actualized Lectures on Contemporary Topics in Microbiology
Organized and Produced by Isla Hansen and Tucker Marder, Encountering the Unseen (Volume 1) was an evening of short lectures activated and visualized by artists under the broad topic of Microbiology in the historic Botany lecture Hall at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA.
Six speakers or teams of speakers -- professors, doctors, and students from the Pittsburgh area and beyond -- spoke at this colloquium on a specific topic in the field of microbiology. Each lecturer was paired with an artist or group of artists to provide visual accompaniment, real time physical manifestations of the ideas and natural phenomena being discussed, to replace the standard projected powerpoint presentation. Visual performances and effects were created by Isla Hansen, Tucker Marder, Nick Fusaro, Britt Moseley, Jonathan Armistead, Zhiwan Cheung, and Dan Allende. Live theater and kinetic sculpture activated by artists and puppeteers brought microorganisms to life on a much larger scale.
Speakers included Sherie Edenborn, Ph.D. Professor of Microbiology, Chatham University; Regis Kowalski, MS, M(ASCP), Research Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh and Executive Director of the Charles T. Campbell Ophthalmic Microbiology Lab; Ambrose Cheung, M.D., Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Dartmouth Medical School; the Carnegie Mellon iGem Team (Alexandra Celentano, Domonique Maccalla, Nicole Matamala, Danielle Peters, Courtney Pozzi, Niteesh Sundaram, and Lena Wang); Evan Starr, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley; and Connor Walsh, graduate student in the School of Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.