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Printing the record: Broad’s artist-in-residence on turning scientific data into artist books

A virtual conversation with Ben Denzer on the intersection of art, science, and the book.

Presented by the Broad Institute's Artist-in-Residence Program

Ben Denzer, Broad’s artist-in-residence, has spent the past year exploring the Institute, speaking with scientists, and making large spiral bound artist books. Join Ben as he introduces the term “artist book,” shares the context around his body of work, and presents the titles he has been publishing while in residence at the Broad. 

These books include 60,000 IMMORTAL INDIVIDUALS (a catalog of public information on individuals whose cells are “immortalized” in cell lines used for scientific research) and 12,000 SKIN CELLS (a set of three books each containing images of fibroblast cells from people with and without bipolar disorder and schizophrenia). Ben will also share images from ongoing projects, including a photographic catalog of every named machine at the Broad Institute.

About the artist: Ben Denzer is an artist, designer, and publisher interested in how information is cataloged and preserved. Ben designs and publishes Catalog Press (a small edition artist press), runs the Instagram @ice_cream_books (praised by Bella Hadid as “the most important Instagram out there today”), and teaches design and artist book courses at SVA, Parsons, and The Center for Book Arts. His work has been collected by The Met, The Guggenheim, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the University of Oxford among other institutions.

Art and Science Connection at Broad
Art and science are ways that we try to explain our place in the world and tackle unanswered questions. Whether through paint brushes or petri dishes, the creativity, conceptualization, and discovery inherent to both art and science place them surprisingly close on the continuum of efforts to make sense of our world. Broad's artist-in-residence program allows leading scientists and forward-thinking artists to work, communicate, and learn together to benefit both science and art, spurring the creative thinking that drives innovation.