Publications

Laura Splan's work interrogates the material manifestations of our cultural ambivalence towards the human body. Her conceptually based projects employ a range of traditional and digital techniques. She often uses found objects and appropriated sources to explore socially constructed perceptions of order and disorder. Much of her work is inspired by experimentation with materials and processes including blood, cosmetic facial peel and digital fabrication.

Recent Publications

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Bioart Residency Project—Catalog

DOWNLOAD (PDF, 16mb)
Catalog for the inaugural year of the BioArt Residency at the University City Science Center, in partnership with Integral Molecular & Esther Klein Gallery.
Essays: Ben Doranz, Angela McQuillan, Cindy Stockton-Moore, Tom Charpentier; Design: Angela McQuillan; Artists: Laura Splan, Heather-Dewey Hagborg, Orkan Telhan, Deirdre Murphy

“Splan’s project builds on her experience with weaving and fiber arts. Her uniquely multidimensional art practice highlights connections between old and new technologies, where the binary system of warp and weft parallels the circuitry commands of computational devices. For the scientists at Integral Molecular, the artist is also presenting a new tactile understanding of the materials that they use on a daily basis. This shift in perspective is indicative of the benefits of inviting artists into the lab - where breakthroughs are often predicated by the introduction of outside elements. Splan’s project also reconnects the animal to its cells, forcing us to consider the physicality of the interspecies research. The conceptual framework allows for more nuanced discussions about genetically engineered antibodies, and their connection to recombinant DNA technology.”—Cindy Stockton-Moore

Needle in a Haystack

Artist book by Laura Splan
Photography/Text

Created for the 2018 BioArt Residency
The University City Science Center, Philadelphia, PA
Supported by Integral Molecular, Esther Klein Gallery and The Knight Foundation

Laura Splan: Embodied Objects

Catalog for 2018 Solo Exhibition
Occurrence Gallery, Montréal, QC

38 pages, full color, softcover, 8” x 10”


Published Writing & Interviews

ANTENNAE: INTERFACE

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture
”Interface” Issue #48
Embodied Objects, text and images by Laura Splan
2019

“Laura Splan’s Embodied Objects series uses biosensors to produce data-driven forms and patterns for objects and images. The project examines the potential for objects to embody human experience and to materialize the intangible.”

#FiftyQuestions with Laura Splan

Interview Questions by Quintan Ana Wikswo
2017

"Some Serious Business presents #FiftyQuestions to highlight wonderful folks that are creating, presenting, questioning and critiquing."

Raw Material: In Conversation with Curator Angela McQuillan with Artists Laura Splan and Gail Wight

Speak Speak, Grizzly Grizzly Gallery Blog, Published September 2016
In conjunction with the exhibition, Raw Material, at Grizzly Grizzly (Philadelphia, PA) in May 2016

"...data is mutable. In the Manifest series, I was interested to see what possibilities might emerge by capturing that data. Recording the changing levels of electricity in muscles while smiling or squinting repeatedly resulted in a different set of EMG readings each time. No two smiles are alike! Another “crap shoot” scenario. And to Gail’s point, I thought of this process more in terms of translation than as reduction. The facial movement was an expression of an emotion, the numerical data was a translation of the facial expression, and the sculptures were a way of visualizing the data in a new form. And if thinking about data as “material”, my process was one of rematerializing these facial expressions and emotions associated with them within a context that is outside of the technoscientific representation of the corporeal..."

Art Practical

"Manifest: The Role of Science in the Studio"
Essay by Laura Splan
Issue 7.2—Art, Science, & Wonder, Oct 29, 2015

"...I more often think my studio practice drives my research than vice versa. That is, my curiosity and investigation are often steered by the fabrication of an object or the construction of an image that is already somewhat formed in my mind. My research into the science and technology behind the work serves to ground my studio production in a set of rules, principles, and even aesthetics. And science often emerges as a protagonist in the narrative implications of the work..."

In Conversation: Liss LaFleur & Laura Splan

Digital Fabrication Residency Blog, July 2015
A discussion of digital fabrication in the studio.

"...Interdisciplinary art can illuminate concepts, ideas, and experiences that conventional modes within other disciplines cannot. Data visualization, for example, can reveal meaning and produce knowledge from data collected within the social sciences that was not readily apparent in the data alone. Florence Nightingale’s polar area diagram visualizing sources of patient mortality in a military field hospital is a great example of her pioneering work in this area. And objects and images can evoke experiences and generate understanding of ideas within disciplines traditionally separate from the Arts. As artists and educators, that is our charge–to draw upon what is familiar, what we think we already know, and to dissect and dismantle the machinations of the status quo and illuminate the cracks..."

Straight Talk: Laura Splan

SciArt in America, Feb 2014
Interview with Julia Buntaine

"...I have always been fascinated by the mutable perceptions we have regarding the human body–how our reactions to biological form and function can fluctuate so dramatically… I am also interested in how our perceptions of the body can be mediated by the design of instruments and devices–how the form and function of an object designed to relate to the body can alter our understanding of the body itself. There can be significant epistemological shifts that happen via the introduction of a single new invention, instrument or device. Yet, at the same time objects can also reveal an already established cultural paradigm through their form and function..."


Video Profile

Artist Laura Splan at Capsule Gallery

By Brenda Cruz-Wolf
2017
In conjunction with solo exhibition at Capsule Gallery, Houston, TX

WATCH VIDEO


Publications

Dynamic Patterns: Visualizing Landscapes in a Digital Age   By Karen M'Closkey, Keith VanDerSys 2017, Routledge

Dynamic Patterns: Visualizing Landscapes in a Digital Age
By Karen M'Closkey, Keith VanDerSys
2017, Routledge

The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty   By Elizabeth Silver Laura Splan spoke with Elizabeth Silver about blood as material & metaphor for "The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty". 2017, Penguin Press

The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty
By Elizabeth Silver
Laura Splan spoke with Elizabeth Silver about blood as material & metaphor for "The Tincture of Time: A Memoir of (Medical) Uncertainty".
2017, Penguin Press

The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art & Architecture   Edited by Charissa N. Terranova and Meredith Tromble; Featured in Part 4: Biologies and Art Theories and Practices "From Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings" by Dorothy Santos 2016, Routledge

The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art & Architecture
Edited by Charissa N. Terranova and Meredith Tromble; Featured in Part 4: Biologies and Art Theories and Practices "From Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings" by Dorothy Santos
2016, Routledge

The Art of Tinkering: Makers Working at the Intersection of Art, Science & Technology    Exploratorium  By Karen Wilkinson & Mike Petrich 2014

The Art of Tinkering: Makers Working at the Intersection of Art, Science & Technology
Exploratorium
By Karen Wilkinson & Mike Petrich
2014

Handarbeit: Material und Symbolik    Museum Kunst der Westküste  Essays by Thorsten Sadowsky, Martina Nommsen, Lea Heim, In German & English 2013

Handarbeit: Material und Symbolik
Museum Kunst der Westküste
Essays by Thorsten Sadowsky, Martina Nommsen, Lea Heim, In German & English
2013

WSQ: Viral  The Feminist Press, CUNY  Edited by Patricia Clough & Jasbir Puar Spring/Summer 2012

WSQ: Viral
The Feminist Press, CUNY

Edited by Patricia Clough & Jasbir Puar
Spring/Summer 2012

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society    University of Chicago Press  Edited by Andrew Mazzaschi, Emily Anne McDonald Winter 2011: Gender & Medical Tourism

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society
University of Chicago Press
Edited by Andrew Mazzaschi, Emily Anne McDonald
Winter 2011: Gender & Medical Tourism

Dissolving Views    Cheongju International Craft Biennale  2009

Dissolving Views
Cheongju International Craft Biennale
2009

Manufractured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects    Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR  By Steven Skov Holt & Mara Holt Skov 2008

Manufractured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects
Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR
By Steven Skov Holt & Mara Holt Skov
2008

Specimen: Representing the Natural World    Rutgers University, Paul Robeson Galleries  By Anonda Bell, Eugene Kaplan, Peter Singer 2008

Specimen: Representing the Natural World
Rutgers University, Paul Robeson Galleries
By Anonda Bell, Eugene Kaplan, Peter Singer
2008

Pricked: Extreme Embroidery    Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY  Essay by David McFadden 2007

Pricked: Extreme Embroidery
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
Essay by David McFadden
2007

Evocative Objects: Things We Think With  The MIT Press  Edited by Sherry Turkle 2007

Evocative Objects: Things We Think With
The MIT Press

Edited by Sherry Turkle
2007


Editions & Exhibition Catalogs

Possible Bodies

Exhibition Catalog

Stadtgalerie Lehen, Salzburg, Austria

2018

Objects of Wonder

with curators introductions by David Familian & Madeline Schwartzman

Beall Center for Art+Technology, Irvine, CA

2016

Artists: Antony Hall, James Auger & Jimmy Loizeau, Eric Dyer, Glenn Kaino, Jeff Weiss, Kathryn Fleming, Laura Splan, Pascual Sisto, Rafael Araujo, Suzanne Anker, Tania Blanco, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy and Felicia Rice, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Felicia Rice, Jennifer González, Gustavo Vazquez & Zachary Watkins

OVERVIEW  Land and Sea Editions Limited Edition Print Set Curated By Chris Duncan 2014

OVERVIEW
Land and Sea Editions
Limited Edition Print Set
Curated By Chris Duncan
2014

Gone Viral  Marion Art Gallery, Essay by Leesa Rittelmann 2013

Gone Viral
Marion Art Gallery, Essay by Leesa Rittelmann
2013

Past is Present  Columbus Museum 2012

Past is Present
Columbus Museum
2012

Watching Hands  David J. Sencer CDC Museum & CDC Foundation 2011

Watching Hands
David J. Sencer CDC Museum & CDC Foundation
2011

Biological Imperative  Gallery Aferro 2008

Biological Imperative
Gallery Aferro
2008

SubAnatomy  Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Rosa, CA 2005

SubAnatomy
Museum of Contemporary Art
Santa Rosa, CA
2005