MARU GARCIA

  • “Ground dwellers” is a group of bio-art in Petri dishes that incorporates a collection of microorganisms present in the soil where corn is cultivated. Corn is Mexico’s staple and single, most important nutrition source. The conservation of these micro-ecosystems assures future corn production, innovation in fertilizer creation and biological pest control.
  • This project resulted from research into an environmental and social crisis specific to South East LA, where thousands of families are facing a severe case of lead contamination in land affected by a company recycling car batteries. As part of the research, soil samples were collected and encapsulated in oval shape ceramic pieces. This artwork responded to the bioremediating action that some plants perform in their vacuoles, where they absorb the lead and encapsulate it in these cellular organelles. The work is presented as an interactive installation, and the “vacuoles” represent the 29 most contaminated parks, schools or childcare centers in South East LA.
  • Playground is a multimedia installation that looks in a critical point of view the situation of South East Los Angeles, where massive contamination of lead occurred due to irresponsible practices of a car battery recycling facility.
  • Transforming the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery into an active laboratory, ‘membrane tensions’ features a constellation of new, site-specific works composed of cellulose that allude to the beginning of life where the delineation between internal and external was essential for life forms to first emerge.
  • Pb (Prospering backyards) is a project that uses the power of art, science, and community to address the severe case of lead contamination in the soil caused by Exide Technologies in areas of East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Vernon, Commerce, Maywood, Huntington Park, and Bell.

Maru García is a Mexican transdisciplinary artist and researcher working across art + science + environment. Her methodology combines laboratory and fieldwork tools from her background in plant chemistry and the chemical industry. Her use of media includes research, installations, performance, sculpture, and video, usually with the presence of some kind of organic matter to help understand the biological processes occurring in complex systems. Her areas of interest are explorations on biosystems, interspecies relationships, and the capacity of living organisms (including humans) to act as remediators in contaminated sites. Her work highlights the importance of eco-aesthetics, where relationships and community are proposed as a way of building cultures of regeneration. At the same time, she questions the ways science and technology have influenced the relationship between humans within the natural world.

She has participated in conferences, solo and group exhibitions in North America, Europe, and Asia. She was an artist in residence in the National Center of Genetic Resources in Mexico and received awards from the California Arts Council, Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative, Clifton Webb Scholarship for the Arts, and Fundación Jumex.  She collaborated with the Art-Sci Center and Counterforce Lab at UCLA and was a 2020- 2021 Sci-Art Ambassador for Supercollider.  She worked at the Getty Research Institute in the 2019-2020 Scholar program titled “Art and Ecology”. Maru is a Getty Foundation grant recipient for the exhibition “Sink: places we call home” Self Help Graphics & Art, to be presented in the Pacific Standard Time Art x Science x LA in 2024.  She is a 2021-2022 artist in residence at 18th Street Arts Center.

Maru holds an MFA in Design & Media Arts from UCLA as well as an M.S. in Biotechnology and a B.S. in Chemistry both from Tecnológico de Monterrey, México. Currently, she is based in LA.

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  • Artist Info

    • Los Angeles, CA
      US - Pacific

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