If Art and Science Had Babies (Short blog)

If art and science had babies, they would be Maru Garcia and Dr. Pinar Yoldas. Maru Garcia informed us that East Los Angeles was home to a Flint, Michigan level lead contamination crisis; actively polluting until 2015, whose thick, heavy presence persists there today. I found her attention to detail so refreshing, every element of her MFA piece was perfectly connected and woven together. One of my favorite details was the circular wall projections, depicting footage, such as: soil with a beating heart and an empty East LA playground sitting directly beside a factory. What I loved so much about them was the fact that they were circular, to imitate the experience of a microscope; practically urging the audience to investigate the ghastly situation for themselves.

 

(Maru Garcia’s MFA show, photo by Meryl Slay)

 

(Maru Garcia’s MFA show, photo by Meryl Slay)

 

Dr. Pinar Yoldas is brilliant and one of the best speakers I’ve heard in a long time. Dr. Yoldas briefly introduced the anthropocene and then began to explore a topic that we hear sometimes in conservation called umwelt, in the semiotic theories of Jakob von Uexkull. I’ve never heard it described this way, (because it may not be accurate,) but to me, umwelt sounds like empathy because it requires us to view the world through the eyes of another organism… Something I wish we would all do more of. Umwelt means that the signals that a human uses to interpret the world are different than a Laysan albatross or a ringed seal. I love the fact that Dr. Yoldas uses it as a basis for her work because she chose many of the most iconic, pervasive environmental problems and turned them into experiences through art. I have such deep respect for her passion and innovation and am grateful to have had the opportunity to hear her speak.