QBI - Event

Node Mulch: Walkthrough and Discussion with the Artist

Experience Node Mulch as the artist John Walter leads you on a tour of the exhibit and through his vision. Node Mulch is a free, public exhibition of new work from London-based artist John Walter created during his tenure as inaugural QBI artist-in-residence. For this work, Walter partnered with QBI scientist Antoine Forget, and the exhibition is curated by Glen Helfand, critic and chair of Graduate Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts. Node Mulch will be open from July 26-30 at the SOMArts Cultural Center. The Walkthrough and Discussion with the Artist will be held on July 26 5-6:30PM. The exhibition consists of multiple events, so make sure to check out the full agenda on Eventbrite and register for the times/dates you want to attend.

Walter, whose previous work has addressed HIV in sexual health and bioscience, eschews existing notions of “Sci-Art”, weaving scientific narratives, imagery and ideas together within a broader cultural milieu. Starting in the fall of 2022, he worked alongside scientists at UCSF undertaking research into viruses, cancers and the interactions between small molecules. This is an exciting new initiative that brings together the Bay Area’s scientific and art communities. The gallery presentation, at SOMArts Cultural Center, showcases the vast and vibrant range of his playfully incisive work. His new body of work comprises painting, drawing, artist’s books, sculpture, costume, and video. 

The title Node Mulch refers on one hand to the nodes in network diagrams created by QBI scientists, and on another hand to Walter’s analogy that art-making is analogous to farming, involving the breeding and decomposition of images (mulching). Walter’s art mulches a diversity of artistic references from Hieronymus Bosch to Keith Haring. The work created during the residency draws inspiration from alchemical emblems - allegorical images that illustrate early science.

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