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Two for the New Year! A discussion group rises in 2018, organized by Hammam Aldouri to delve into issues of contemporary society, and Diedra Krieger working art + science on all burners, curating; postering; and getting a grant for the Science Fair

Hello Artblog readers, Happy 2018 to you, and may it be filled with democracy and Democrats and women elected to office! Onward. Here are two useful news tidbits from two good friends of Artblog, Hammam Aldouri and Diedra Krieger. Enjoy!



page from the first draft of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx (1847). Society for Contemporary Studies, organized by Hammam Aldouri
A Page from the first draft of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx (1847).

Join the new discussion group, led by Hammam Aldouri, delving into issues in contemporary society!

From Hammam Aldouri, Artblog contributor and roving educator and discussion leader…

I have recently consolidated my reading and discussion groups in Philadelphia into a kind of alternative scholarly group called the “Studies in Contemporary Society” (SCS).

The SCS is a platform in which people can gather and discuss issues about contemporary politics, economics, art other social phenomena. Our first sessions, starting very soon, will focus on the category of the contemporary in relation to art and politics.

Yes, there is a Facebook page for SCS:

The Studies in Contemporary Society (SCS) is a Philadelphia-based discussion and reading group that explores politics, economics, art and social life under the conditions of the contemporary form of capitalism. Meeting regularly at different locations throughout the city, the SCS offers an alternative scholarly and educational platform.

Discussions will be facilitated by Hammam Aldouri. Hammam holds a PhD in philosophy from the CRMEP, Kingston University London and a Helena Rubinstein Fellowship in Critical Studies from the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. He is currently adjunct assistant professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University and Moore College of Art and Design. More about the readings for the first meeting at the group’s Facebook page.

New gallery at the Science Center, Gallery 3711, features otherworldly paintings in two-person show curated by Diedra Krieger.

Artblog favorite, Diedra Krieger, featured in an Artblog Radio podcast in 2010, writes about her life as an artist committed to science and scientific investigation in the realm of public art. She’s received a grant, just presented a poster at a science conference and has curated a show!

“Planetary Psalms: New Paintings by Dana Wigdor and Jasmine Ruulze” which is currently on view at Gallery 3711 (new gallery in the UC Science Center started by Angela McQuillan) The artist reception is Thursday, January 25th, Thursday, January 25 at 6 PM – 8 PM. More at the Facebook page.

Tomorrow (!) I leave for San Francisco to present a poster, “Using the art practice of play to communicate legged robotics research concepts” at SICB (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology).

And finally, Gaby Alfaro and I were awarded a micogrant from the Philadelphia Science Festival for our proposal to create an art and science project, “Nomadic Monument for Women in Robotics”. The Monument will be a 13 foot geodesic dome made of colorful acrylic panels, 10 featuring information and pictures of current women pioneers in robotics. At night, the outside of the dome will be transformed to project a film about women’s history in engineering, “Top Secret Rosies.” Joey Hartmann-Dow and the GRASP Lab (also a sponsor) will be part of the collaboration. We aim to educate and inspire young girls about women in robotics through a temporary, nomadic monument dedicated to the invisible women who are integral to the future of technology.

of earthly delights and extraterrestrial musings – an exhibition of new paintings by Jasmine Ruulze and Dana Wigdor, curated by Diedra Krieger.

Ruulze’s paintings explore the interrelationships of the circle of life and creatures of the “wild” while Wigdor’s paintings take us on an interplanetary journey where an unseen “creature”, or presence ushers the viewer through the darkness and color of deep space. They are doing imaginative work, both invoking lyrical images; Ruulze’s of the natural world’s intersection with itself, and Wigdor’s of an encounter with an unseen presence that radiates as bursts of light. …

Wigdor’s painting, “More Than You Know”, starts her series with a lift-off from a cobalt and violet light drenched glacial landscape – the starting place of this emotional, intergalactic journey. Each painting depicts either a solitary planet, or galaxy-like cluster which hovers and connects the viewer to the familiar cosmos of our place in the solar system. Like a solar wind, the sequential paintings are a journey through planes of color and paint spatterings of celestial matter. …

More about Diedra…
Diedra Krieger is an intermedia artist and curator working at the intersection of art and engineering. Her ongoing project Plastic Fantastic, a geodesic dome built from 6000 water bottles, is an immersive environment for play. Diedra has an MFA from VCFA and an MA from Monash University in developmental studies, and coordinates projects and outreach for Kod*lab, a legged robotics lab and subsidiary of GRASP Lab, Penn Engineering.