STEMarts Curriculum Tool

Cristopher Cichocki

Cichocki’s audiovisual project Circular Dimensions is a constantly evolving performance that embraces art and science within a multi-sensory installation and audiovisual performanceCircular Dimensions features a live laboratory of “microscopic video paintings” performed with digital microscopes. Colliding elements both natural and synthetic become magnified into live, large-scale video projections. LED and UV lighting optics illuminate Circular Dimensions into a 4D experience as spectators engage within the immersive environment with light reactive eyewear. Cichocki’s audiovisual alchemy generates a meditative synergy of sight and sound that explores shifting dimensions of perception.


About the artist

Cristopher Cichocki is an American artist who lives and works in the desert of Southern California. He focuses on the symbiotic relationship between humankind, nature and industry and the cycle of decay and renewal. He has immersed himself in the desert landscape, creating interconnected works of sculpture, painting, photography, video, performance, installation, sound, and architectural intervention. Cichocki is the founder and curator of Epicenter Projects, a site-specific, time-based artist residency established in 2014 alongside the San Andreas Fault Line.

  • Art Bound Documentary: New Earth Art 
    Building Beyond Together: Root Cycle
    PBS: Seeing Beyond the Human Eye
    At The Surface
    Circular Dimensions - A Ship In The Woods
  • The Case for Land Art
    Circulation Museum of Photographic Arts
    First Person: Cristopher Cichocki's New Earth Art
    Circular Dimensions - Live Laboratory
    Circular Dimensions

skills applied

  • Video Art
  • Videomicrography
  • Sound Art


Immersed in the desert of Southern California I’m confronted by a landscape that was submerged within oceanic depths millions of years ago. As I stand on this my desert “seabed” I view these indigenous desert plants as “surviving seeds” from an ancient ocean that has evolved through adaptation and extreme resilience. I’m constantly examining the symbiotic relationship between water and life in a desert climate that demands sustainability. Using microscopes in my work is yet another level of my fascination between the interconnected worlds of art and science. In this regard there is always something to see underneath the surface of human perception, and this process of discovery is rather thrilling. Explore the STEAM Wikis below for some hands-on activities like hacking webcams to make your microscope and creating Japanese fish rubbings with Gyotakyu printing.

STEMarts Design Tool

The Stemarts Design Tool provides a step-by-step tool to show you how to engage with the Pollinator Concentrator, a site specific interspecies installation at the Rio Fernando Park created by BioSTEAM Lab artist, Ana MacArthur. Explore the artist page to learn about the installation, to understand its purpose and how it works. Research the science and technology behind the art. Experiment with the hands-on STEAM activities to understand the artist process before coming to visit the installation at Rio Fernando Park. Take a field trip to experience the Pollinator Concentrator in person! And finally, when you go back to your classroom, create art inspired by the artist's installation and contribute to the related citizen science projects to be a part of Taos Land Trust's ongoing efforts to restore the watershed and pollinator communities at Rio Fernando Park. This tool will take you through each stage of the process. Just click on Explore to get started!

Explore interspecies site specific installations.

Andy Wagener creates innovative installations that raise awareness to social and environmental challenges. He does this through the use of unique materials and technologies, but also because he chooses topics that he connects with personally. For this activity you will design an installation concept to explore an environmental issue that you are passionate about. For ideas you can visit the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Discuss the issues with your team until you find an environmental challenge that you all agree on.

Research the science and technology behind the work.

Once you have identified the environmental challenge, it is time to research the facts about your topic. Check out the STEAM wiki below to get you started. Explore pros and cons, investigate any controversies, and have discussions with experts in the field until you have a strong grasp of the topic. It is also important to start researching materials and tools that can be used to communicate your ideas. Review the artist’s work on this page to learn about how he created the CLOUDNET installation to raise awareness about the dangers of ghost fishing. What can you learn from his process? The research will continue as you progress with the design but you should have enough information to start exploring how to communicate these ideas through art.

Experiment to see what’s possible.

Now that you have done the research on your topic and tools you can start brainstorming on ideas for an art installation and testing out some materials and techniques. Even if you are not going to build the installation in this phase you still need to play around with materials to see what is possible. Explore all the STEAM wikis below which include some fun technology tools that the artist used. Start sketching out concepts and jotting down notes with ideas for an installation. Don’t try to edit at this point. Start a sketchbook just for this project and write or draw anything that comes to mind. This is where you let your imagination run wild!

Visit the Rio Fernando Park.

The next step is to do a final drawing that communicates your design concept for an installation. This could be done by hand or on a computer. The design should show what it will look like and the materials you would use. It would consider possible sites and how people would interact with it. It can include diagrams, text, photos or anything you like. Most importantly it would show how the installation serves to raise awareness to the environmental issue that you chose. Since an installation is multidimensional you will have to find a unique and creative way to communicate your installation concept.

STEAM wiki

The STEAM-Wiki is a place to get started with your artist research. You will find links to articles, images, video, and tutorials that relate to Cristopher Cichocki's work.

You can search by clicking on the links below or you can click on the topic words in the word cloud for specific areas of interest. For example, DIY MICROSCOPE for making your own microscopes or 3D glasses to learn about creating 3D art for viewing through glasses. If you are looking for STEM + Art activities type in STEAM Activities.  To view all options, use the keyword ALL.

Remember, the resource is an open forum sharing links and ideas that others have found – always check your sources and give credit where credit is due. The open source movement generously shares its knowledge and relies on user feedback – so if there’s something really good or doesn’t work let others know.


Next Generation Science Standards

Core Idea ESS3: Earth and Human Activity

ESS3.A: Natural Resources
ESS3.B: Natural Hazards
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
ESS3.D: Global Climate Change

Other Artists

Espacio La Nube
Projecting Particles Collective
Victoria Vesna
Cory Metcalf
Reilly Donovan
Parker Jennings
Cristopher Cichocki
Taos Youth Ballet