UNM Biology 402/502 // UNM Art Studio 389/429/529 // UHON 402
Joseph Cook // Szu-Han Ho

Space for posting thoughts, ideas, references, resources, and works. The theme of our seminar and workshop series is "Morphology and Geographic Variation." With the natural history collection as our starting point, we'll hear from scientists, artists, designers, programmers, musicians, and more on place-based study. Part of AIM-UP, an NSF Research Coordination Network.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Excerpted student responses to Brandon Ballengée's lecture + workshop:

...I think Brandon's combination of elementally local events held on a global scale, like the love motels for insects and taking people out into their own lakes and ponds, is very well done and I can hardly imagine a better way to negotiate the two scales.  It would make a great model for transnational social projects as well.  Someone on the workshop mentioned that people don’t tend to know what is in their ponds and streams or under the bushes of their own home and it really struck a chord with me. I happen to be focused on anthropocentric environmental projects, but it is interesting to talk about how little awareness people typically have of the ecology of their immediate environments as well...  
–JA (UNM Honors)

...Brandon is able to include the community is through his volunteer research expeditions.  In this way, members of the community or interested artists are able to receive a firsthand look at the work behind scientific research and scientific papers.  While scientific papers tend to be dense and difficult to comprehend, this allows a behind-the-scenes look at the research and perhaps offers a more understandable viewpoint...  
–LD (UNM Honors)

...One can see how the photographs of the limbless, and extra-limbed frogs first intrigued him. Those images alone give way to wild thoughts and theories, and just sheer curious terror. Working with him in the field and the lab really gave expression to how much he knows his subject; not just his primary focus but of the many other environmental factors that effect his subject. The fact that his knowledge is first hand makes a huge difference... 
 –AM (UNM Art)

...As he flipped through the slides and showed both his excursions with locals to ponds and rivers, and his night gatherings around glowing works it became obvious that the distribution of both science and art to the public in an accessible way was his primary accomplishment. These expeditions and events are reminiscent of a science class that never was, a form of experiential learning the breaks the text book model and creates engagement in the learning process. The teachings of these events go beyond the sciences and arts and explore social concerns by reflecting the results of development in the area through its effects on the wildlife... 
–RR (UNM Art, MFA student)

...I was most inspired by the level of inquiry generated through research-oriented endeavors.  This is something I think art tends to loose focus on.  The initial impetus of inquiry that inspires a project can fade.  Ballengée’s lecture and workshop proved to me the invaluable action of continually asking questions.
Museum collections, which can be massive in size and breadth, are under-utilized unless for very particular, specialized purposes.  The accessibility to museum collections is naturally limited, however, Ballengée demonstrated the potential use of collections, especially in conjunction with field-based inquiry.  The connection between collection and database information and field-based research is integral to learning. . . I have an enlightened understanding of the importance and relevance of looking and observing morphology and geographic variation.  In my misunderstanding, science seemed to exist as confirmed knowledge from the past.  I neglected the value of present research and inquiry... 
–ME (UNM Art, MFA student)

No comments:

Post a Comment