Support the Voice of Scientists Through Photography

One way to help the sciences to give scientists a voice. In this series I give an inside look into the lives and laboratories of neuroscientists at MIT. 

Please click this link to vote for this series to exhibit in NYC and support the stories of science! 

Caitlin Vander Weele comes from a small German tourist town, Frankenmuth, Michigan where it is Christmas year around. Vander Weele is currently a PhD candidate and interested in what projection-defined circuits in the prefrontal cortex encode information about positive and negative events. Her research has led to finding brain regions that play a crucial role in generating feelings of isolation. Vander Weele recently launched a magazine that blends both science and art called Inerstellate.

Caitlin Vander Weele comes from a small German tourist town, Frankenmuth, Michigan where it is Christmas year around. Vander Weele is currently a PhD candidate and interested in what projection-defined circuits in the prefrontal cortex encode information about positive and negative events. Her research has led to finding brain regions that play a crucial role in generating feelings of isolation. Vander Weele recently launched a magazine that blends both science and art called Inerstellate.

There is a burgeoning interest in neuroscience in popular culture. Researchers play an integral part in culture but the public knows very little about how science is done, who actually does it or exactly why it’s important. One consequence of opaque scientific work is the inability to see which individuals are conducting their research, their personal stories, and their motivations to help reveal the complexity of the nature we are imbued by. 

These images were captured with a compact large format camera using experimental New55 PN instant film. The opaqueness of the positive (left) represents the raw data collected by scientists on their quest to understand nature. The inverted negative (right) represents how scientists reveal nature through filtering data, beautifying imagery, and at times removing unwanted, but captured information. 

All scientists and equipment are part of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Council for the Arts at MIT Grant - A Progress Report

I will be using the large format New55 PN black and white instant film along with the new Travelwide 4×5 camera

I will be using the large format New55 PN black and white instant film along with the new Travelwide 4×5 camera

Last May I applied to the Council for the Arts Grant at MIT and was awarded for my project called Representation of Hidden Communication. Infinite thanks to the CAMIT awarding committee! Here's my introduction paragraph to the grant project:

Trillions of neurons must connect in just the right way for the brain to properly function. At its fundamental level, the brain has evolved to communicate. Humans have created sophisticated tools that enhance information sharing, such as through music, visual imagery, and social media. Although there are numerous ways to communicate information, and a burgeoning interest in neuroscience in popular culture, mass media distills the scientific process to the end result (for example, findings from a publication in a scientific journal). Little to no attention is given to neuroscience researchers, who could bring life to the scientific process and merit cultural representation.

With the above in mind I've created a photography project that aims to teach the general public about neuroscience research, the lives/motivations of researchers, and the tools used to conduct research. I have been documenting my process and will soon start sharing said progress on Instagram and my Facebook Group Page. I hope you'll follow along with me where I'll show you my process, pitfalls, successes, and eventually an entire series of images!

This blog post is part of my Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) Grant, which I was awarded in May of 2016. As part of this project I am documenting my documentation of neuroscience research, the people that conduct said research, and the spaces where research takes place using New55 PN large format instant film. 

 

Sixteen Mile Arts Exhibition - Decisive: New Currents in Street Photography

On Friday Aug. 19th from 7:00-9:00pm the Sixteen Mile Arts Gallery held an opening for their new exhibition, Decisive: New Currents in Street Photography. Photography on view is for sale! Images on display by Sheldon Serkin Cara Gallardo Weil Lee Atwell Joshua Sarinana Michal Koralewski photography Graeme Roy Brendan Ó Sé Dixon Hamby Douwe Dijkstra Eric Mueller & many more. My image Between Stations will be on exhibit!

 

 

Better Photography Feature - August 2016 Issue

Click on each image to read my feature in the August issues of Better Photography. Many thanks to Sakshi Parikh for interviewing me!