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Undergraduate Research Program

SIAH Teaching Team

Rebecca Cummins

Professor, Photomedia, School of Art
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Rebecca Cummins explores the sculptural, experiential and sometimes humorous possibilities of light and natural phenomena, often referencing the history of optics. Installations have also included a variety of sculptural and photographic approaches to marking time. Recent investigations explore concepts and instrumentation in contemporary life sciences. Rebecca has exhibited in the U.S., China, Australia, and Europe; exhibitions include The 2006 Shanghai Biennial, The 2008 Biennial of Seville, Spain and in Wireless Experience, Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA in Helsinki, Finland, 2004, Public commissions for the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Seattle Public Library; The Exploratorium: Museum of Science, Art and Perception, a Washington State Arts Commission (with the University of Western Washington) and The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and Seattle Public Utilities. She was recently an Artist-in-Residence at SymbioticA, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia, Perth and is working on a commission for the Lewis Integrative Science Building, University of Oregon with the Oregon State Arts Commission.

Tyler Fox

Studio Director and Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell
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Tyler Fox is an artist and theorist whose research and interactive art projects encompass bioart and physical computing. In his work he seeks to enact new threshold experiences between humans and living nonhuman organisms by leveraging novel technical systems to reveal hidden processes and operations in nature. Digital technology, environmental concerns, systems thinking and art-science relations figure broadly into his work. Fox earned his PhD from the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University. He received his MFA from the University of Auckland and BA degrees from the University of Washington. He has exhibited videos, live performances, and installations internationally. Fox is currently the Interactive Media Design Studio Director, in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington | Bothell.

Phillip Thurtle

Associate Professor, Comparative History of Ideas
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Phillip Thurtle is an associate professor in CHID and History. He received his PhD in history and the philosophy of science from Stanford University. He is the author of The Emergence of Genetic Rationality: Space, Time, and Information in American Biology 1870-1920 (University of Washington Press, 2008), the co-author with Robert Mitchell (English, Duke University) and Helen Burgess (English, University of Maryland) of the interactive DVD-ROM BioFutures: Owning Information and Body Parts (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), and the co-editor with Robert Mitchell of the volumes Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (Routledge, 2003) and Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body (University of Washington Press, 2002). His research focuses on the material culture of information processing, the affective-phenomenological domains of media, the role of information processing technologies in biomedical research, and theories of novelty in the life sciences. His most recent work is on the cellular spaces of transformation in evolutionary and developmental biology research and the cultural spaces of transformation in superhero comics.

Joel Ong

PhD Student, Digital Arts & Experimental Media
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Joel Ong is a media artist. He make works that typically involves the creation of digital systems that are interactive, immersive and sometimes invisible. He relies on quotidian, pedestrian processes and on the observation of sound to reflect on the composite biological, digital and social environments we live in. Joel is currently a PhD student at DXARTS at the University of Washington. His most recent works seek to explore the roles of data science and social media in redefining concepts of locality, distance and belonging. At the nexus of art and science, he continues to forge collaborations and design experiments in microFluidics, synthetic biology and neuroscience. An alumni of SymbioticA, the Center of Excellence in Biological Arts at the University of Western Australia, his dual collaboration with the Curtin Nanochemistry Lab and the Australian Ear Science Institute resulted in the project Nanovibrancy(2011) where he grew an “htmk” (human tympanic membrane keratinocyte) eardrum in the laboratory and recorded its nano-vibrations in a real time performance installation. Joel is also a visiting artist at the UCLA ArtSci center, where he is part of the ArtSci Collective headed by Victoria Vesna, and is currently working with the Taylor Lab in Evolutionary Biology in UCLA on a long term project listening to and understanding birdsongs. Joel’s works have been shown at galleries and conferences around the world.