The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art & Architecture

Edited by Charissa N. Terranova and Meredith Tromble
The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art & Architecture


...Laura Splan's "Blood Scarf"...was the first artwork that made me realize the ways medical devices could be used as a medium to speak to our complex relationship with care of self, others, and make tangible our fears and anxieties around our biological make up and behaviors...

...Her work suggests how we can start to explore and discuss artworks that experiment with the natural sciences in a way where the tools, technologies, and methodologies become the way art is made. Even with clinical studies that have examined human emotion, Splan’s "Manifest" takes information down to electro-magnetic pulses and uses this information to create sculptures that Darwin may have marveled at since they are a form of sculptural data visualization and done with data that cannot be replicated...

...There is a specific narrative at work that demands our attention be held by something deeper and physical, tangible...the works transport us into a perspective of how artistic practices can actually expand and perhaps grow out and move past older traditions and concepts such as beauty...

...Splan’s work "X-Ray Visions and Morphine Dreams"...speaks to the nature of what is felt but not seen in the body or organic forms, giving them a type of eerie visual life that forces us to conceive of an alternate reality where something visually impossible can exist. Splan reminds us of the history of our attempts to know the body from the inside out and the way a machine has become, over time, a way in which organisms are pathologized and diagnosed.

From Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings

Essay by Dorothy Santos
For Part 4: Biologies and Art Theories and Practices

The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture collects thirty essays from a transdisciplinary array of experts on biology in art and architecture. The book presents a diversity of hybrid art-and-science thinking, revealing how science and culture are interwoven. The book situates bioart and bioarchitecture within an expanded field of biology in art, architecture, and design. It proposes an emergent field of biocreativity and outlines its historical and theoretical foundations from the perspective of artists, architects, designers, scientists, historians, and theoreticians. Includes over 150 black and white images.


Charissa N. Terranova is Associate Professor of Aesthetic Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, Texas, USA.

Meredith Tromble is an artist and Associate Professor of Art & Technology and Liberal Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute in California, USA.