Artist Christina La Sala looking through a compound microscope

Ayatana resident drawing with a camera Lucida microscope attachment

Artist Micky Dickson magnifies bacteia with a colony counter

Soldier fly eye through Scanning Electron Microscope

Microbial evolution at the Krassen lab, Ottawa U

Basalt through a petrographic microscope

Squid eggs through a dissecting scope










Microscopy for artists

November 2020

Macro, micro, nano, quantum.

Infinitesimal is a research residency that aims to expand our scope of vision by helping artists explore biology and geology under the microscope. It will take place over a week in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada in the fall of 2020. The residency will involve daily excursions into natural habitats for collection of materials and into laboratories to get first hand experience with a wide range of microscopes and microscopy techniques. Expeditions into research labs will be enriched by many scientists.

Ayatana residencies are designed to enrich the practice of visual and conceptual artists. Writers, poets, musicians and dancers could also benefit from the Infinitesimal program. This residency will host only five or six selected international artists. This action packed research residency leaves little time free for making art, so Ayatana residents are not expected to produce work during the program. We are looking for adventurous artists interested in learning who have a willingness to participate in spontaneous development of early stage ideas with a small group.

At least half of all Ayatana field trips are spent outdoors and some involve gentle hiking.

All activities are subject to change depending on ecological conditions, expert availability and other uncontrollable variables. Outings will go ahead rain or shine.

Artist talk: We invite you to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Photograph samples through dissecting microscopes at Carelton University.

Demonstration on molecular physics at Ottawa University.

Learn about microplastics and diatoms at the Water and Ice Laboritory.

View sand and minerals through binocular and petrographic microscopes.

Image insects and learn about their anatomy with the Ottawa Field Naturalist Club.

Photograph samples with a Scanning Electron Microscope at the Nano Imaging Facility.

Learn about DNA sequencing and genetics.

See how flourescent microscopy is used in mycology.

Work with a camera lucida microscope attachment at the Museum of Nature Archives Herbarium.

Hike and forage with a mushroom expert in the Gatineau forest with a pocket microscope and macro lens.

DIY sterile tech workshop to talk about microbes and grow glow in the dark mushrooms.

Slide preparation workshop with the Pelling Laboritory of Augmented Biology.

Visit the Canadian National Collection of Insects to learn about nematodes.

Talk about quantum physics with astrophysisists from the Royal Astronomical Society at a private star party.

Talks on microbiology in contemporary art and artist resources and opportunities related to the topic.


Residents will be picked up in Ottawa, Canada and driven to the Ayatana Residency House, near the small town of Chelsea, Quebec. This culturally vibrant town, surrounded by mountains and nestled between Gatineau National Park and the Gatineau River, is home to many scientists and artists.

$1300 USD
Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invites will be given to accepted applicants.

What is included:
A bed in the Ayatana residency house.
All activities.
Transportation to all activities.
Supplies, equipment and technical gear.
Most meals will be provided, cooked by our resident chef.
*Residents will be responsible for paying for their own meals from restaurants 2 or 3 times during the week.

How to apply 
Send the following material to ArtLovesScience@gmail.com
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of your work

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.

Friend us on face book for future calls for applications and posts about art and science fb

Look at images of previous Infinitesimal residencies:

Infinitesimal 2019 (2020)

Infinitesimal 2018

Infinitesimal 2017