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eling, dioramas. It is common in SciArt shows for a short description to accompany a work, enhancing the aesthetic and conceptual experience of the piece by grounding it in its scientific context. Depending on your background, learning might just be a prerequisite to understanding the complexities of the artwork, in the same way that in order to truly appreciate a difficult book, you’ll probably have to look up a few words while reading. some medical art that might not be embraced by the mainstream art world, Moise commented: “I think a lot of galleries today are going for conceptual art.” Do those galleries even realize that much SciArt is conceptual art? In Shanken’s view, it’s less that the mainstream art world rejects SciArt; it’s that they are ignorant of it and fail to see how it overlaps with what they are doing and talking about. Shanken mentioned a controversial article, “The Digital Divide,” in ArtIn the SciArt world, didactic potential is valued and sometimes even required, as is the case forum September 2012 in which Claire Bishop, at the MSB Gallery, located within in New York a professor in the art history department at CUNY, asked “Whatever happened to digital University’s Langone Medical Center, where work at the intersection of art and human biol- art?,” with the caveat that she wasn’t talking ogy is shown. In their 2013-2014 call for exhibi- about New Media art. Shanken and others took tion proposals, the gallery stipulates that the art offense because, “by failing to acknowledge that should “use medicine and science as the subject new media art is contemporary art, she recapitand language to create aesthetic works that are ulated the “Digital Divide” she ostensibly was trying to bridge.” provocative and educational.” As gallery director Jodi Moise said, “There’s a real emphasis to Cynthia Pannucci, who founded Art Science educate.” Moise invites doctors at the medical Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI) in 1988, echoed this center to attend openings of exhibits that reidea that the mainstream art world was ignorant late to their work or the subject of their work; and therefore afraid of SciArt. “These gallersometimes the doctors even “make a few remarks,” Moise said. To Moise, art’s potential to ists,” Pannucci said, recalling the time of ASCI’s founding, “they felt intimidated by the work educate viewers about science and medicine is because they couldn’t talk about it. And when an asset. you’re making a living selling art, you have to There's also the question of what SciArt edu- be able to talk about it with potential buyers, cates people about, ie., content. Responding to get people excited about it, and even though they may have been excited by what they were the question of how the gallery is received by seeing, they were intimidated by not knowing the mainstream art world, Moise commented, about the technologies involved .... Even art “When we’re doing something that’s very sciwriters won’t write about that which they canentific, a general mainstream gallery may not not appear to be intelligent about.” feel that it’s appropriate.” She later clarified that appropriate was not the right word but Art made of living, or formerly living, materithat some themes might not be “embraced by a als also raises ethical concerns, Anker pointed general audience.” She referred to the gallery’s out. What are the rules for displaying live works previous show, by Lisa Feldman, on ostomies, of art in galleries? What about works of art holes connecting internal organs, such as the involving the human body? As for displaying colon or small intestine, to the exterior of the live art in galleries, Anker said, the question body and usually requiring bodily waste to be shunted into a waste disposal bag. “That’s not a is: What happens if it dies? Or what happens if you have to kill it, a question that Museum subject that everybody embraces, for the most of Modern Art curator Paula Antonelli faced part. However, the artist did it in a very very tasteful, artistic fashion.” Anker noted that one when she needed to cut off the nutrients to a miniature coat made of living mouse tissue, as reason people may not embrace SciArt is that Carolina A. Miranda reported for ARTnews. it reminds us of our mortality. “The public is afraid of anything that is medical or scientific in Victimless Leather, by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, nature because it brings out the unconscious re- was a living work of art. “‘Life’ is often at stake sponse that they may have to their own mortal- in the proper execution of the display and presity.” When asked if it was the graphic nature of ervation of SciArt,” Splan commented, on this 8 SciArt in America December 2013