Phil Ross

Further information

Country of origin

San Francisco, USA


Philip Ross has worked on a number of research-based artwork projects that placed natural systems within a frame of social and historic contexts.


For the past fifteen years Phil Ross has been making research based artworks that place natural systems within a frame of social and historic contexts. While this often takes form as sculptural installations his recent work has included a trilogy of videos about microorganisms, founding and directing CRITTER- a salon for the natural sciences in San Francisco, and developing some LEED Transplutonic building materials. These diverse projects stem from Ross' fascination with the interrelationships between human beings, technology and the greater living environment. Ross's work about the organic world is born from his lifetime interest in biology. Ross explains from his website: "While I was terrible in high-school science and math my education emerged through a more direct engagement with materials and practices; as a chef I began to understand biochemistry and laboratory methods, as a hospice caregiver I worked with life support technologies and environmental controls, and through my interest in wild mushrooms I learned about taxonomies, forest ecologies and husbandry. Engaging with the sciences through an everyday practice is a route that is aesthetically, intellectually and symbolically rich. In my various projects I show what I find interesting about the natural world, and use the lens of human artifice to achieve a specific focus of that view."



Research project


While in residency at SymbioticA, Philip Ross worked on a video that focused literally and metaphorically on Physarum polycephalum, a multi cellular slime mold that displays interesting behaviors.

The images of strangely conglomerate bodies depicted in Leviathans were accompanied by a narrated argument between the seventeenth-century natural philosophers Thomas Hobbes and Robert Boyle.


This was a self-funded two-month residency.

Period of research