Dreamwaves, A Tale of Two MAO Genes

Kathy has excelled not only as a brilliant painter and visual artist from Australia, but also as a dedicated chair of USC’s John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts (familiarly known as the DADA program). In recognition of her extraordinary dedication to her students, she received the 2013 USC Mellon Mentoring Award. As one of her faculty colleagues within the USC School of Cinematic Arts, I know how deserving she was of this award. She has always been amazingly supportive of The Labyrinth Project, not only granting us physical workspace within her program but also fostering productive collaborations with her students. For example, she greatly enriched our Dreamwaves website by leading her animation students in creating an interior mental space—a cultural dreampool— where they could upload their own work based on dreams. And sharing Labyrinth’s research interest in the productive interplay between art and science and their respective modes of representation, she recommended two of her gifted students, Debra Isaac and Aaron Biscombe, to work on our interactive science project, A Tale of Two MAO Genes: Exploring the Biology and Culture of Aggression and Anxiety, a collaboration with molecular biologist Jean Chen Shih. Combining a rigorous accuracy with sheer beauty, their animations proved absolutely essential to the project.