BAASICS is a San Francisco based nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring contemporary topics through the juxtaposition of art and science. With the aim of making fine art and science personally meaningful to a general audience, we produce entertaining and informative live programs, exhibitions, and digital media. Additionally, we aim to foment interdisciplinary exchange and a new genre of experimentation that will move beyond what one of these disciplines can achieve on its own.
BAASICS envisions a culture in which the fine arts and sciences are complementary parts of our popular discourse, together able to provide an exceptional understanding of our world and of what it means to be human.
BAASICS was conceived and is produced by Selene Foster & Christopher Reiger, with support from Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program. BAASICS is proud to have presented its first four events in conjunction with ODC Theater and Root Division, and its fifth program in continued partnership with ODC Theater.
Sample videos of BAASICS presentation and performance programs (more can be found here):
BAASICS 1: A Live Animal
Presented by Root Division in collaboration with ODC Theater. Curated by Selene Foster & Christopher Reiger.
On psychic and cellular levels, what exactly occurs when a human interacts with another species? Despite our growing knowledge of biology and natural history, the answer remains something of a mystery. The artists and scientists participating in this evening invite us to consider other species through a variety of lenses - mystical, scientific, and philosophical - and to formulate our own approaches to the animal "other." In so doing, they challenge us to grapple with the existential question, 'How should we conceive of and conduct our relationships with other species, and also with one another?'
This video includes clips from presentations and performances by:
Chris Black: "Extinction Burst (last dance, last chance): A reanimation of lost movement"
Karl Cronin: "Kinetic Empathy"
Jeremiah Jenkins: "The Hunt"
Brian Null, Ph.D., "Examination of Animals, Examination of Self"
Christopher Reiger: "Introducing the Endangered Spcies Print Project"
Jon Sack, Ph.D.: "Bioelectric Venom"
Others participating were:
Georgeann O'Brien, Ph.D.: "Direct observation of sensory neuron regeneration in live zebrafish"
Philip Ross: "Eating Bugs for Fun and For Profit"
bay area art & science interdisciplinary collaborative sessions
BAASICS 2: The Future
June 18, 2012 @ ODC Theater, SF
What comes to mind when you ponder "the future"? Do you imagine a day when flying cars will be commonplace, androids will perform household chores, and humanity will populate other planets? Or do you fret over imminent environmental catastrophe, the rise of a totalitarian mega-state, and the end of our species?
Shown in this video:
Leila Madrone: Robots From Water, Music From Light
Watch "BAASICS 2: Future" full program here.
BAASICS 3: The Deep End
May 6, 2013 @ ODC Theater, SF
Psychiatric and neurologic conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, and dementia have been associated with genius or prophetic insight since antiquity. In the fourth century B.C.E., Aristotle claimed "that all men who have attained excellence in philosophy, in poetry, in art and politics [...] had a melancholic habitus; indeed some suffered even from melancholic disease." Plato wrote of a species of "madness which is a divine gift, and the source of the chiefest blessings granted to men." 2,400 years later, the correlation persists. Is it a misguided romantic notion or does new research suggest it is true? And how does our increasing awareness of biological and psychological diversity complicate assumptions about innate gifts and afflictions?
"BAASICS.3: The Deep End" brings together a diverse group of artists and scientists to consider these questions and others. Wade into the deep end with BAASICS co-founders and producers Selene Foster and Christopher Reiger for a provocative, moving, and entertaining evening.
Shown in this video:
Katherine Sherwood: How a Cerebral Hemorrhage Altered My Art
Watch "BASSICS 3: The Deep End" full program here.
BAASICS 4: Watershed
January 18, 2014 @ ODC Theater, SF
The Bay Area is home to stately mountains and forests, major metropolitan centers, sprawling suburbs, and an impressive nexus of roads, rail lines, bridges, and tunnels, but our region is named for the estuary that provides its contours. As Will Travis, former Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, puts it, "The bay is our Eiffel Tower, our El Capitan, our Big Ben. It is a visual icon which gives our region its identity as a place different from everywhere else." Over 7 million of us live near the bays, rivers, and creeks that comprise the San Francisco Bay watershed, but relatively few of us interact with it on a daily basis or know much about its history or ecology.
"BAASICS.4: Watershed" brings together a diverse group of artists and scientists to reflect on the San Francisco Bay Area watershed.
Shown in this video:
Karl Cronin & The Americana Orchestra:
"We were once, you and I, the same water"
Watch "BAASICS 4: Watershed" full program here.
BAASICS 5: Monsters
July 14, 2014 @ ODC Theater, SF
Monsters are everywhere. They lurk in the shadows and stalk our imagination. They terrorize and fascinate us. But what, exactly, are they? Scholars differ on whether the word is derived from the Latin verb monstrare, “to show,” or from monere, “to warn.” Either way, as horror theorist John Halberstam writes, monsters are “meaning machines.” They embody our preoccupations and anxieties, and they reflect our morals. This is as true of the “real world” humans and creatures we label monstrous — sharks, serial killers, and “freaks” — as it is of the classic monsters that reside in our fictions, the vampires, zombies, and bogeymen.
"BAASICS.5: Monsters" brings together a diverse group of artists, scientists, and performers to consider all manner of monsters.
Shown in this video:
Lion Dance ME: The Drunken Lion Dance
Watch "BAASICS 5: Monsters" full program here.