Curated

Looking at a Flower is art inspired by science, engineering and medicine

the Intersection of ARTS and MEDICINE


By Britni R. McAshan | February 5, 2018

To better understand his surroundings and the human condition, Houston-based artist Joseph Cohen has spent several years embedded in top research labs with scientists, immersing himself in their work.

“I am working with labs in different research institutions and trying to distill the information in a way that will allow me to expand on the capability of science through the lens of art,” Cohen said.

Cohen’s latest exhibit, Looking at a flower, is on display at the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) at Rice University, in conjunction with Rice Public Art.

Because of the exhibit’s name, one might expect to find paintings of peonies or fields of lavender. Instead, Cohen dives deep into the microscopic intricacies of science, engineering and medicine. The three-piece exhibit in the lobby of the BRC uses molecules as a spring- board for mixed-media works. Each piece has two parts that complement one another while remaining distinct.

To create the first set in the exhibit, entitled Where do I stand?, Cohen worked with the Tour Group at Rice University using lasers, computer imaging and other raw materials. These works incorporate graphene, a form of carbon consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, like a honeycomb.

“I worked with laser-induced graphene,” Cohen said. “In a sense, it’s kind of burning it, but not quite because it is doing it in such a way that it’s not just making carbon, it is making a very particular structure of carbon.”

The second set in the show, If he/she could see my love, is a result of time spent in the labs of R. Bruce Weisman, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University, and Daniel Heller, Ph.D., head of the Daniel Heller Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Heller’s team is harnessing the luminescent properties of carbon nanoparticles to help detect cancer at earlier stages and target treatment therapies for metastatic cancer tumors. Cohen’s work with carbon nanotubes—forms of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure—follows a similar search and find mission. Under light, carbon nanotubes are naturally fluorescent; the colors they release depend upon the structure of the tubes themselves. Cohen uses them to expose light that would otherwise not be visible to the human eye.

“The material allows me to create artwork that directly addresses the near-infrared spectrum,” Cohen said.

A song for my father is the final piece in the exhibit. To develop the vocal painting on canvas, Cohen worked with Ennio Tasciotti, Ph.D., director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Regeneration at Houston Methodist, to analyze the molecular structure of various pigment samples and create “color chords.” Cohen used these color chords as the basis for a musical composition and then produced a painting based on the song, in essence allowing viewers to hear how a painting sounds and see how a song looks. Visitors to the exhibition who have headphones can listen to the song on an iPad mini.

Looking at a flower will be on display through April 8 and is located in the lobby of the BioScience Research Collaborative at Rice University, 6500 S. Main St., on the corner of University Blvd. Information: brc.rice.edu.




Social Posts

profile_image

UTMB Health

@utmbhealth

It’s a full house at UTMB’s annual Employee Service Day! Congratulations to all of our employees celebrating today and thank you for your outstanding service! https://t.co/NG8TqNmAnm

47 mins ago
profile_image

Harris Health System

@harrishealth

May is International Mediterranean Diet Month. Get in the spirit with this Mediterranean Diced Salad made with flavorful, nutritious chickpeas. https://t.co/iDHXhsttod https://t.co/5qGP5hgIfo

48 mins ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

The nation’s top medical experts, hospital executives, pediatricians and community health leaders recently convened at @TexasChildrens for @usnews “Combatting Childhood Obesity” summit, addressing one of the nation’s most critical health issues: https://t.co/ZfeU7kEOwB

51 mins ago
profile_image

TAMU Health Sciences

@TAMHSC

@NurseKnut @TAMU Thank you for your selfless service, life savers!👍

53 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCM_CancerEd: Summer is almost here, do you have the right sun protection products? The @SkinCancerOrg and @AADskin give recommendation…

1 hour ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

#Mealplanning tips to help you make healthier food choices, while saving time and money, from our dietitian Lindsey Wohlford: https://t.co/FSjXRUl8UK @FocusedonHealth #endcancer https://t.co/UWAGalotCh

1 hour ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

3-D printing technology brings innovation to @SanAntonioVAMC https://t.co/fGVG1p4ki7 via #VAntagePoint

1 hour ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCMHouston_News: A new study shows practicing dawn to sunset fasting for 30 days may potentially help treat #obesity-related conditions…

2 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

@JRUG_17 Just chillin' https://t.co/nahz4T5ZSr

2 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

A bloody nose whether it comes from an injury or just out of the blue can be alarming. Dr. Eddie Liou shares some tips on how to manage the bleed. https://t.co/eQcSzNCtvw #nosebleeds

2 hours ago
profile_image

Memorial Hermann

@memorialhermann

Try this delicious and fizzy—but also healthy—drink at your next get-together: https://t.co/GdY9NEq0Ir. https://t.co/vyj5TUj3IC

2 hours ago
profile_image

Rice University

@RiceUniversity

RT @MoodyArts: We're excited to share that the Moody Center for the Arts, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, is a recipient of the T…

2 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

“There was no question I’d go to MD Anderson for my #tonsilcancer treatment,” says survivor Jeff Deatsman: https://t.co/60zRSzp7vA @mekupferman @CD_fuller #HPV #hncsm #endcancer

2 hours ago
profile_image

Rice University

@RiceUniversity

RT @RiceUNews: Houston’s new poet laureate is not only a @RiceUniversity employee, she's also a @ricealumni: "Rice absolutely helped me get…

2 hours ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

@Rob_Zelinka Rob, we apologize for the frustrating experience. Please contact our Family Advocacy department at 832-824-1919 to share any additional details about your visit. Thank you for reaching out to us.

3 hours ago