Microbial Mind: Angela Dieffenbach
Angela Dieffenbach: Microbial Mind
March 21 — May 2, 2022
Artist talk video posted on April 4
Inspired by transgenic and microbial organisms, the hygiene hypothesis, and medical innovations, my work explores biology with an emphasis on medicine. Complex and compelling social issues have emerged from medical practices and scientific research pushing boundaries between human and animal identity, e.g., animal derived drugs, transplants and altered genomes. The increase of post-natural beings-- organisms that are artificially constructed-- and the merging of otherwise divergent genetic domains is often obscured and ignored. Crops like corn and soybeans are well known examples of organisms that have altered genomes and are readily and widely consumed. Additionally, referencing plants and animals associated with the rural Midwest connects my practice with my background and family history.
Angela Dieffenbach’s research-based sculptures focus on the intersection of science and art with particular interest in strange and peculiar experiments and medical treatments. Her personal navigation of the health care system and rural upbringing influences her work. She exhibits widely and has been awarded a number of grants and artist residencies. These include those from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Luminarts Cultural Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, Red Lodge Clay Center, Ox-Bow, and the Vermont Studio Center. Angela earned a MA and MFA from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. She earned her undergraduate degrees from Bradley University in Peoria, IL receiving a BFA in studio art and a BS in K-12 art education. Dieffenbach is the Ceramics Department Head at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, IL.