Sound, Symbiosis, & Active Art

 

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This month our topics go from down in the dirt (plant and fungi symbiosis!) to long-distance sounds to local examples of art in action. What our three featured nerds have in common, however, is that they each have a passion for their topic and want you to understand it too! So, whether you consider yourself an art aficionado, a sound geek, a plant-lover or beyond, we’ve got plenty of new stuff for you to pick up while you’re tipping back a beer. Grab a drink, grab a friend, and we’ll see you at LIVE on September 17th!

When: September 17, 2015, doors at 6:30 pm, talks at 7 pm!

Where: LIVE, 102 S. First St. in Ann Arbor

$$$: No cover! Big thanks to the Ann Arbor District Library!


 

 

Brian Worthmann — The Sound Heard ‘Round the World’

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In our daily lives, we’re used to sound traveling as short as a fraction of an inch (like music from headphones) to as far as several hundred yards (like a football game heard several blocks away). But, over even larger distances, like tens, hundreds, or even thousands of miles, sound can do some very weird and unexpected things. We’ll talk about what sound does, why it does it, and how those surprising behaviors may have influenced the course of history.
About Brian:  Worthmann is a PhD student at U of M in Applied Physics studying underwater acoustics and signal processing and was a participant in the RELATE 2015 workshop. When not doing underwater acoustics research, he can be found learning, teaching, or binge-watching Netflix.



Alex Taylor — Underground Alliances

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Nearly all plants form intimate symbiotic partnerships with fungi called Mychorrhizae. These fungi grow in elaborate webs through the soil, and then into the plan roots, growing even inside the plant cells, where the plant and fungus have struck a fabulously successful deal. The terms of this deal are straightforward: a trade of sugar for mineral nutrients that plays to the strengths and weaknesses of each partner. Mycorrhizae helped early plants get a toehold on land, and to this day, the vast majority of plants across the globe thrive thanks to their fungal partners. The world would be a barren place without this ancient and strange symbiosis.

About Alex: Alex is a Ph.D student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, studying how plants evolved the ability to recognize and partner with bacteria and fungi in the soil. Most days, this involves sitting at a computer and running algorithms on the genome sequences of different plants. He also loves talking and writing about the spine-tingling majesty of science, and co-founded the blog “Thought and Awe” to do just that. In his spare time, Alex is into camping, gardening, and talking about the big stuff over a beer. Find him on Twitter at @ATayters.

 


Brenda Oelbaum – Stitch and Bitch: Hopefully a Comedy
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Oelbaum, current President of the National Women’s Caucus for Art, will share some of the ins and outs of her work in organizing a national arts non-profit and what that has to do with embroidering little black velveteen bags with gold numbers while she juggles those challenges and troubles. She invites members of the audience to fill the bags she provides with a problem to add to the mound of problems in her upcoming social practice performance and installation at POP-X Ann Arbor.
Pens and paper will be provided for attendees to write down their most troubling problem to contribute to her already heavy load. Contributors can then come by the installation running October 15-25, read some problems of others, and decide if they want to take their own bag back, or buy someone else’s problem as a souvenir.

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