Node Mulch Exhibition

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 12:00 pm to Sunday, July 30, 2023 - 5:00 pm
students, staff, faculty, alumni, local science community
SOMArts Cultural Center

934 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Node Mulch is a free, public exhibition of new work from London-based artist John Walter created during his tenure as inaugural QBI artist-in-residence. For this work, Walter partnered with QBI scientist Antoine Forget, and the exhibition is curated by Glen Helfand, critic and chair of Graduate Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts. Node Mulch will be open from July 26-30 at the SOMArts Cultural Center. The exhibition consists of multiple events, so make sure to check out the full agenda on Eventbrite and register for the times/events you want to attend.

Walter, whose previous work has addressed HIV in sexual health and bioscience, eschews existing notions of “Sci-Art,” weaving scientific narratives, imagery and ideas together within a broader cultural milieu. Starting in the fall of 2022, he worked alongside scientists at UCSF undertaking research into viruses, cancers and the interactions between small molecules. This is an exciting new initiative that brings together the Bay Area’s scientific and art communities. The gallery presentation, at SOMArts Cultural Center, showcases the vast and vibrant range of his playfully incisive work. His new body of work comprises painting, drawing, artist’s books, sculpture, costume, and video. 

The title Node Mulch refers on one hand to the nodes in network diagrams created by QBI scientists, and on another hand to Walter’s analogy that art-making is analogous to farming, involving the breeding and decomposition of images (mulching). Walter’s art mulches a diversity of artistic references from Hieronymus Bosch to Keith Haring. The work created during the residency draws inspiration from alchemical emblems - allegorical images that illustrate early science.

Special events

Use the registration link below for tickets to these events.

Date and time Special event

Wed July 26, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Walkthrough and Discussion with the Artist

Experience Node Mulch as the artist John Walter leads you on a tour of the exhibit and through his vision.

Thu July 27, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Public Reception

Join us for a reception and learn more about the inspiration behind Node Mulch.

General exhibition

Use the registration link below for tickets to these events.

Date Hours
Wed July 26 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Thu July 27 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fri July 28 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Sat July 29 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Sun July 30 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.