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.

Forthcoming Publications

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 
in Dorothy Santos's essay From Materiality to Machines

Forthcoming 2016, Routledge

Available from Routledge


Published Writing

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..."


Published Interviews

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..."

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..."


Publications

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


Editions & Exhibition Catalogs

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