ART±BIO Collaborative is an artist and scientist-led nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, MA that fosters the integration of Science, Nature, and Art and is focused on broadening participation and accessibility in the Arts and Sciences through novel collaborations, public engagement, education, and research. Stephanie Dowdy-Nava, M.A., artist, arts administrator, and art educator and Saúl S. Nava, Ph.D., biologist, artist, and Professor of Biology at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, are the Founders. The ART±BIO Collaborative values diversity, equity, and inclusion and strives to create and develop accessible and collaborative opportunities for historically underrepresented and marginalized communities and populations; their work utilizes the intersection of the Arts, Biology, and Natural History as a catalyst for social dialogue and creative exchange of ideas with artists, scientists, and the public. As DiNaCon Node Leaders, Stephanie and Saúl will bring an international, core group of ART±BIO Collaborative artists and scientists participating in the ISLAND LIFE: Tropical Field Studies of Art+Nature in Puerto Rico program (IslandLifePR.org) to DiNaCon to utilize the natural habitats of Panama as a STUDIO+LAB. The Field Studies group will lead an open, Art±Bio public engagement and community outreach event in Gamboa that will creatively highlight the local ecology, herpetology, animal behavior, and natural history of Panama through artmaking, and take DiNaCon participants out of the conference and into the community. Website: ArtBioCollaborative.org
I have a bit of a unique background before becoming a field biologist. I spent the first seven years after high school working as a diesel mechanic and a metal fabricator giving me an alternative perspective to applied hands on research activities. After getting my bachelor’s degree I worked as a software engineer developing cloud based microservice web applications. Currently I am working on a PhD in ecology and I develop embedded systems that enhance our understanding of ecological patterns beyond what is humanly possible to address fundamental questions in ecological theory.
Robert Faludi is an advisor and consultant for connected device companies. He is currently head of product for Perceptive Things, a startup in the Smart Buildings space. For six years, he was the Chief Innovator at Digi International, working to forge strong connections with the maker community, uncover new innovation methodologies, support outstanding new work and create prototypes that spur new product development. Faludi has also been a professor in the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and in the Interactive Telecommunications graduate program at NYU. He specializes in behavioral interactions through physical computing and networked objects. Rob is the author of Building Wireless Sensor Networks, with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino and Processing published by O’Reilly Media, 2011. He frequently consults on interactive projects including recent work in entertainment, architecture and toys. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Good Morning America, BBC World, the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry and MoMA among others. He is a co-creator of LilyPad XBee wearable radios, and Botanicalls, a system that allows thirsty plants to place phone calls for human help.
Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist and researcher. He founded and co-founded several still active arts organizations in the 90’s such as Projekt Atol and one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe LJUDMILA. From 1994 on he worked on Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art/science/engineering; the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation, International Polar Year project 417 and the Arctic Perspective Initiative, with Matthew Biederman. He serves as professor and director of the MAT Systemics Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Chair of the Media Arts and Technology program at UCSB, the coordinator of international cooperation of the SPACE-SI Slovenian Centre for Space Sciences & Technologies and editor at large of the music label rx:tx. In the radio spectrum he is known as S54MX. In 2007 Marko co-founded the unmanned systems engineering company C-ASTRAL, where he serves on the board and at DINACON he will be fielding a long distance flying unmanned system capturing multispectral data for the creation of rapid, daily cartographic and GIS products for the use by the DINACON research community
Leah Buechley is a designer, engineer, and educator. Her work explores integrations of electronics, computing, art, craft, and design. Her inventions include the LilyPad Arduino, a construction kit for sew-able electronics. She currently runs a design firm, Rural / Digital, that explores playful integrations of technology and design. Previously, she was an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directed the High-Low Tech group. Her work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Exploratorium, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Ars Electronica and has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Wired. Her research was the recipient of the 2017 Edith Ackerman award for Interaction Design and Children. Leah received a PhD in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in physics from Skidmore College. At both institutions she also studied dance, theater, fine art, and design.
At dinacon Leah will give a talk about her most recent projects.