more than art and science

The rapid advancement in scientific technologies and innovations could easily seem like fiction to the casual observer. It seems that each day gives us new examples in which a future could be imagined where we have the capabilities to radically transform human life in a laboratory.

Embodying these concepts, and pushing the boundaries of science are central themes present in a recently growing field of art called Bio- or Sci-art, art works created using scientific processes. In contrast, a new type of medicine is being embraced by the medical field, which uses music, dance, and painting in the rehab and care of patients.

Despite these successful examples of art and science merging together, the relationship between biomedical research and art hasn’t been quite as successful. Biomedical-art relationships tend to ask dynamic and existential questions, such as ‘what constitutes life’, ‘what is a human being’ and ‘who are we.’ While interesting, these science-based art projects do not often include research for the sake of science. In addition to using bio-art as a means to communicate with the public, it is our aim to use art to advance our science.

Using art allows us to think outside of the box and to create hypothesis-based questions or to find answers to questions in bio-medical research that have been otherwise unsolvable using traditional scientific processes.

artist residency: introducing Kathy High

As part of Vivo Art, world-renowned bio-artist Kathy High will be doing a recurring artist residency in DePaolo Lab.  Kathy is an artist, but also a person who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Her passion for trying to understand this complex disease is part of her art.  Kathy has been commissioned to do an art exhibition in the fall of 2017 with a focus on IBD and the microbiome.

Kathy has shown her work across the US, as well as Australia, Germany, Poland, Spain, Ireland and the UK, and is a Guggenheim fellowship recipient.  


Current project: Family_Bio_Crest_

Do you and your family members have similar (or dissimilar) gut microbes?  Kathy is looking for volunteers in the Seattle area. More information here.


Kathy was recently featured in SciArt Magazine, a digital publication that explores how science influence art. Read the full article about Kathy and her fascinating work here.

For more information about Kathy, visit her website