downloadDownload: Intimate Science, poster

aPhotos on Flickr

docWorks exhibited: Intimate Science

docInterview with Phil Ross: "The Future is Fungal," by Andrea Grover, Glasstire, Sept. 2012

Press Resources

Media Contact: Margaret Cox,

docPress release Jan. 9, 2012: “Intimate Science” Exhibition Opens at
Carnegie Mellon’s Miller Gallery, Jan. 20 - March 4

docDec. 2012 eNews: Holiday Hours + Sale, Penn. + Conn.

docJan. 2012 eNews: Opening Friday, Jan. 20 >Intimate Science exhibit + New Art/Science Affinities book launch

docFeb. 2012 eNews: Last Week for Intimate Science in PGH / San Francisco / Winter Sale

docMay 2012 eNews: Terms&Conditions: CMU Senior Art +San Francisco: Intimate Science on view

docJune 2012 eNews: Last week in San Francisco + Save the Date: Sept. 14 + June Store

docNov. 2012 eNews: IS tour to CA, NA/SA, IH

Short Link:

Related Projects

docBlog: A/S/T Book Sprint


docFellowship: Warhol Fellow 2010


Scientific American blog: "The SciArt Buzz: ScienceArt on Exhibit,"
- Kalliopi Monoyios, Aug. 29, 2013

Dotted Line Blog: “Form follows fungus at the Williamson Gallery’s Intimate Science exhibit," - Stephen Nowlin, Dotted Line, Art Center of Design Blog, July. 2013

CMU Homepage Stories: "Carnegie Mellon University has expanded beyond the entertainment industry in its Los Angeles presence with the opening of "Intimate Science," a traveling exhibition by the award-winning Pittsburgh-based Miller Gallery...Guest-curated by Andrea Grover, the exhibition features international artists working at the intersection of art, science and technology — one of the hallmarks of the university," CMU Homepage Stories, June 2013

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University explored the brave new intersections of art, science and technology in 'Intimate Science,'" - Mary Thomas, "2012 offered diversified palette of artistic achievement locally," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Jan. 2013

Hartford Courant: “'Intimate Science', 'Diagram' At Real Art Ways," - Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, Nov. 2012

Art Practical: "Intimate Science tries to have it both ways, dipping its toe in the utopian stream of Internet theory and positing, first, that the free exchange of research, tools, and information constitutes a viable oppositional strategy to mechanisms of power and, second, that the resulting products can form a new, hybrid, information-based art that repositions our ineffable relationship to the natural world," - Renny Pritikin, "Intimate Science,", May 2012

National Endowment for the Arts blog: “New Art/Science Affinities," National Endowment for the Arts blog, May 2012

SF Weekly Blog: “Artists Put Their Creative Skills to Technological Use in Exhibit 'Intimate Science'," - Heidi De Vries, SF Weekly Blog, April 2012

Hyperallergic Art Blog: "Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery has made a significant contribution to the relationship between art, science and technology with the exhibition Intimate Science and the related book New Art/Science Affinities." Leila Nadir, "Art and Science Get Intimate," Hyperallergic, April 16, 2012

“Intimate Science” Exhibition Features Mycotecture," - Cecily Franklin, Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club Newsletter Vol. 12, Issue 1, March/April 2012

Sage Magazine: "None of the artist-researchers in Grover’s exhibit have advanced degrees in science, yet they have cultivated expertise in peculiar niches, in some cases inventing their own biotechnologies. ...'Scientists are very interested in what they’re doing, and they have become valuable contributors' to their chosen fields of inquiry," - Jonathan Minard, "That was Then. This is Now," Sage Magazine of Yale's School of Forestry, March 2012

Pittsburgh City Paper: "[The exhibition] examines how the 21st century's rampant autodidacts question, and shift, decades-old dichotomies between research and culture, fact and myth... Such a chasm is anathema to the artists in Intimate Science, artists whose work approaches scientific research with a sense of respectful playfulness. With open-source biology and genetics for the whole family, Intimate Science approaches the possibilities of combining artistic creativity with scientific disciplines, and questions technocracy without questioning the facts of science itself." - J. Hopper, "A new exhibition highlights the crossroads of contemporary art and science: Intimate Science," City Paper, Feb. 2012

The Duquesne Duke: "Art under a microscope: CMU's Intimate Science brings new approach," - Katherine Mansfield, The Duquesne Duke, Jan. 2012

The Tartan: "Latest Miller Gallery exhibition adds scientific twist to art," - Daniel Tkacik, The Tartan, Jan. 2012

POP City Media: ""Intimate Science" makes Pittsburgh debut before traveling on," Pop City Media, Jan. 2012

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Artists digging into science: Exhibit highlights the crossovers between disciplines," - Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan. 2012





Touring Exhibition

dwnld Pure Culture: Ganoderma lucidum fungus, Philip Ross, 2000
dwnld Installation view of Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnld Installation view of Philip Ross section in Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnld Installation view of Intimate Science exhibition at Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA
dwnld Common Flowers, at Kunstverein Dortmund, BCL, 2010
dwnldInstallation view of BCL section in Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnldFrom the collection of the Smithsonian: Mus musculus domesticus, photo by Center for PostNatural History, 2011
dwnldInstallation view of Center for PostNatural History section in Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnld Solar Sinter, Markus Kayser, 2011
dwnldInstallation view of Markus Kayser section in Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnld Installation view of Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnld Capacity for (urban eden, human error), Allison Kudla, photo by M. Fras, 2011
dwnldInstallation view of Allison Kudla section in Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnld Installation view of Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
dwnld Mind Reading for the Left and Right Brain workshop, Machine Project at Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA
dwnld Mind Reading for the Left and Right Brain workshop, Machine Project
dwnld Installation view of Machine Project section in Intimate Science exhibition at Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University





Jan. 21 – March 4, 2012. Tour Dates
Guest curated by Andrea Grover
Organized by Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University

ArtistsBCL, Center for PostNatural History, Markus Kayser,
Allison Kudla, Machine Project, Philip Ross


The most recent manifestation of artists working at the intersection of art, science and technology demonstrates a distinctly autodidactic, heuristic approach to understanding the physical and natural world. Intimate Science features artists who are engaged in non-disciplinary inquiry; they aren’t allied to the customs of any single field, and therefore have license to reach beyond conventions. This kind of practice hinges on up-close observation, experiential learning, and inventing new ways for the public to participate in the process. And through their engagement with “intimate science,” a more knowledgeable public might well be able to influence what research is supported and adopted by the larger culture, and the walls of science can become more transparent.

For four months in the fall of 2010, I worked at a cozy desk in the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon as a research fellow hosted jointly by the Miller Gallery and the STUDIO. On a daily basis, students, faculty and visiting artists would stop by my front row seat at this frenetic concourse of technoscience dispatches.

While my initial line of inquiry was artists embedded in scientific or industrial environments in the 1960s, I began to uncover a new narrative — a tactile shift in discourse and practice between that moment and this one. While artists two generations ago were dependent on access to technicians, labs, computer time or manufacturers to realize works of scientific or technological complexity, those I was presently meeting had far greater agency to conduct this kind of work themselves. Even ambitious endeavors such as independent biological experiments, materials research and micromanufacturing can be conducted by today’s working artist — and not at a naive or removed distance.

Roger Malina, physicist, astronomer and executive editor of Leonardo, a leading journal for readers interested in the application of contemporary science and technology to the arts, describes this direction as “intimate science.” He writes:

“In an interesting new development in the art world, a generation of artists [is] now collecting data about their world using technological instruments but for cultural purposes. Shared tool-using leads to overlapping epistemologies and ontologies. These artists both make powerful art and help make science intimate, sensual, intuitive.[1]”

And unlike the rare “Leonardo” polymath of the Renaissance, contemporary artists who operate across disciplines employ the expertise of the network: the network, not the individual, is encyclopedic. The Internet has provided unprecedented access to shared knowledge assets, materials, fabrication processes, microfunding, and audiences. This exhibit examines how networked communication and open source culture have contributed to this shift from artists aiding science to doing science, and the impact this imparts on the way scientific knowledge is acquired, utilized and disseminated.

BCL (Tokyo)
In Common Flowers/Flower Commons (2009), BCL (Georg Tremmel + Shiho Fukuhara) bio-hacks Suntory’s genetically-modified “Moondust™” cut flowers — carnations bio-engineered to have a blueish purple petal color — back into living plants with the intention of creating an “open source” population of these flowers.

Center for PostNatural History (Pittsburgh) is a project spearheaded in 2008 by Rich Pell with the objective to advance “knowledge relating to the complex interplay between culture, nature, and biotechnology.” It is a singular natural history museum that is concerned with “PostNatural” varieties of life normally excluded from scientific taxonomy, i.e., transgenic organisms that have been altered by humankind via selective breeding, genetic engineering, or other methods of biological tampering.

Markus Kayser (London) takes notions of sustainable micromanufacturing to the extreme through projects like his Solar Sinter (2011), which combines a custom-made 3D printer with solar power to transform sand, on site in the Sahara, into glass forms, and Sun Cutter (2010), a low tech ‘laser cutter’ that makes objects by focusing sunlight into a beam powerful enough to cut through plywood.

Allison Kudla (Seattle) combines computer fabrication technologies and plant tissue culturing to make living installations. In Capacity for (urban eden, human error) (2009) she uses a custom-built computer controlled four-axis positioning table to “print” seeds and algae into a delicate architectural pattern, which she describes as biological material in collaboration with an engineering mechanism.

Machine Project (Los Angeles) is a “not-for-profit arts organization and community event space dedicated to making specialized knowledge and technology accessible to artists and the general public.” Machine describes its terrain as encompassing “art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food,” and more. Machine’s style of presenting promotes hands-on engagement and engineers atypical collisions between different branches of knowledge.

Philip Ross (San Francisco) works in the realm of “biotechniques.” He makes sculptural and architectural works from plants and fungi, and videos about micro-organisms. His “mycotecture” series is an experiment using reishi mushrooms as a sustainable construction material. He is also the facilitator of DIY biology events via CRITTER — a salon he founded for the natural sciences.

Andrea Grover was the 2010 Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon’s Miller Gallery and STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.

A densely illustrated publication, New Art/Science Affinities (2011), accompanies the exhibition. Co-authored by Grover, Régine Debatty, Claire Evans and Pablo Garcia, and designed by Thumb, the book features more than 60 international artists and collaboratives.

1 R. Malina, “Intimate Science and Hard Humanities,” Leonardo Vol. 42, No. 3, page 184, 2009.

Public Events 2012

Capacity for (urban eden, human error) by Allison Kudla prints.
@Miller Gallery, 3rd floor, CMU.

Jan. 20, Fri. 
Lectures by A. Kudla + P. Ross. Lunch provided, including vegan options. 
@ Margaret Morrison Hall #203, 2nd floor, CMU, at Margaret Morrison St. and Tech St.
Co-presented by the CMU Schools of Art + Architecture, with support from the University Lecture Series.

5pm: Exhibition Tour with Curator + Artists. Meet on 1st floor. Sponsored by the CMU Human-Computer Interaction Institute.
6-8pm: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral Reception with refreshments. Sponsored by Wild Purveyors and Full Pint Brewing, with support from the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club.  
New Art/Science Affinities Book Launch with Authors + Artists. Co-presented by the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.

Jan. 21, Sat. 
 Mind Reading for the Left and Right Brain Workshop with Machine Project.
Cost: $25, includes galvanic skin response kit participant keeps.
Register by emailing Spaces limited.
@ Miller Gallery, 2nd floor.
Learn to read minds (kind of) in this three part workshop. First, Mark
Allen of Machine Project will lead participants in a hands on
electronics workshop where you will built a primitive lie detector in
the form of galvanic skin response meter. Then artist/inituitive duo
Krystal Krunch (Asher Hartman and Haruko Tanaka) will lead
participants in developing their psychic abilities. Finally, join
artist and inventor Sara Roberts for sound-based group participatory
activities using looping devices called Earbees.

March 2, Fri. 
Grand Opening of the Center for PostNatural History
@ 4913 Penn Ave., Garfield, near Millvale Ave.

Exhibition and events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. When provided, refreshments always include vegetarian and vegan options.


Jan. 21 - March 4, 2012
Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh , PA

April 20 – June 2, 2012
Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

Nov. 3, 2012 – March 21, 2013
Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

May 31 – August 18, 2013
Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

Sept. 14, 2013- Dec. 7, 2013
Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum
University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA

Feb. 6 - April 15, 2014
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC)
Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY