PlanktonTech is a research entity focused on new approaches into bionics and evolution research.
The work with bionic lightweight architecture such as Cocoon_FS by Pohl Architects is based on their research of the structure of diatoms.
PlanktonTech is a research entity focused on new approaches into bionics and evolution research.
The work with bionic lightweight architecture such as Cocoon_FS by Pohl Architects is based on their research of the structure of diatoms.
from SFMOMA's Sensate: Bodies and Design exhibited 08/07/09 - 11/08/09
Adrew Kudless discusses P_Wall, a 45-foot-long wall installation composed of undulating, bulbous forms. Kudless demonstrates the techniques used to create the work at his design studio, Matsys, and describes the ways its form mirrors the human body.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Form, Growth, Behavior: The Making of P_Wall
Here are my scans of the attempts to draw perfect lines and circles with casted arms/hands. Some dates are missing, illustrating the inconsistency of biological creatures and paralleling the imperfection that this project points toward.
My casts come off tomorrow, so a second set of drawings will possibly provide a point of comparison.
I just read about totebags made from living microbes, on display at the V&A.
Also, there is a researcher at Central St.Martins working with bacterial cellulose to "grow clothing:
Jane presented a tremendous amount of material for consideration, in just the introduction and first chapter of her book. What I find really fascinating is the approach to history: viewing the documentation of performance art through the lens of the critical writing. She is analyzing the analysis from a feminist, and contemporary perspective. Her reports on the reactions of those viewing these performances are persuasive examples of the conflict between mind/male/I and body/female/it. It seems that, from her perspective, there is a tendency toward comparison/contrast in the analysis, and mentions conflict and difference are evident in the discourse. Having only read the first chapter, I'm interested in how these arguments may be posed in other than comparative terms. Can we talk about gender/body issues in other than him/her terms?
I was particularly intrigued by the ideas about the body versus the person whom the body belongs to and if it belongs to us at all ("us" being all individuals). In her introduction, Blocker says,
"Our experience of the world is embodied, deeply physical, and sensory, but we also conceive of ourselves and our bodies as separate entities - I and it - that exist in a relationship whereby "I" am the presumed subject and "it" is the presumed object" (7).
This notion of the relationship every individual has with his, her, or its body as being rooted in separation rather than integration made me question if this was a problem or not.
1) So, I'm interested to find out if Jane thinks this is a problem -
a. should we be thinking in these terms of separation or should we be more integrated and have a more unified sense of self?
b. Or, if this isn't really the problem, do you think this idea of "I" being the subject and "it" (the body) being the object should be reversed? Should we be more focused on the body being a subject rather than an object and on the idea of self as the object that is influenced and controlled by the body?
c. This leads me to the idea that this separation is what arguably makes us human. We are our own greatest desire - the likelihood of animals, for example, thinking this way is hard to imagine. They probably don't separate their sense of self from their physical body - this leads back to 1a. - is this a problem that we separate our own sense of self? Should we perhaps strive to be more animalistic and integrate our selves with our bodies in order to become more human, or would that lead to becoming less human?
Upon further reading after this idea was introduced, Blocker does acknowledge that this is somewhat of a problem; however, she says,
"I do not presume to solve the problem of the body but rather I want to dwell in that problem for a while, to consider more carefully the nature of the anxieties and desires it has produced" (7).
2) So, yes, it is a problem, but I'm still curious about it -
a. Is it a problem that needs to be solved? She talks about the problem in great length, but doesn't address whether or not it is something we should be thinking about changing or how we should go about changing it.
b. Do you think this is a problem that can be solved? Should we even bother with an attempt to change?
c. What are the stakes of simply living with the "problem"? If the body is, "that condition of not knowing that results in the conflict between what we undeniably are and yet remain distanced from" (7), what are the concerns we should be worried about our relation to the rest of the world if we can't even relate to our own selves?
This piece is beautiful and in a strange way looks to me almost like a Cubist self-portrait. That said, if I did not know that it was Cole's DNA, I am not sure that I would see it as more than aesthetically pleasing. I would like to understand more about the philosophy behind the work.
Although we have generated some really interesting ideas, we have not yet determined a specific direction for our collaboration. Some possibilities:
1) Beer Headphones (as opposed to Beer Goggles)
2) The creation of physical objects which could be distributed around the campus. We are interested in possibly recording people's interactions with these objects in some way.
3) Extracting our own DNA...
4) Creating beautiful glass petri dishes upon which images are drawn using florescent bacteria.
Possible Mediums: Glass, crochet, fingerpaint, frosting, performance art.
1. In her introduction, Jane Blocker clarifies that when she refers to the term body she is "referring, in the most basic sense, to that condition of not knowing." She goes on in her book to expound on this idea by addressing concepts of sex and pain in relation to the self. How does the body inadvertently affect the self and vice versa? When do they become the same: "the moment when the lips shape the air that pushes past them, when body and word are one"? How can these questions be applied to the body as a living breathing organism that consists of many other organisms? How do the other organisms that are part of our bodies relate to or change the self? How do we change them? Are they inherently part of who we are?
2. In this part of her book, Blocker relates sex, power, mouths, the nude body and pain to the concept of love. She admits that it is a post-modernist view of love. However, this analysis seems shallow and tends to dismiss, or not address, relationships outside of the romantic or sexual. How do children fit into this concept of love, or are the conclusions reached only to be applied to adults? When is the line crossed between innocent love and that of pain, power, and sex? Is she posturing that this analysis is a universal condition?
Once again, the bottom of the image represents the top of the tank and the top of the image represents the bottom of the tank.
Some additional realizations are that you see less paths near the bottom of the image because the shadows of the sea monkeys are larger and move across the paper more quickly due to the proximity of the light source, and thus are harder to document.
The water is becoming more murky as time passes, thus the introduction of some green into the composition, and I wanted it to be more apparent that the sea monkeys are moving through a medium.
1. i am interested in how the transitions artists made in terms of commercial goals impacted the art community from a curation aspect.
2. i would like to discuss the differences between the body as an organism vs the body as a subject further, i feel like it has more to do with the intent than the material.
Test tiles (3" x 3") fired to use for choosing perimeter color for larger gridded piece. The larger piece will be 12 inches square.
1. It seems to me that the Vito Acconci works described by Blocker are diaristic in the sense that Acconci had a failed romantic relationship with Dillon that was complicated by Dillon's infidelity with Oppenheim. How can Acconci escape the diaristic and claim his work deals with the body in general? Is it solely because of his maleness?
2. I am interested in the concept of the "body as organism" being foreign in the art context (in contrast to body as subject or object). Are there body-based performance artworks that you could point to that treat the body more like an organism without imposing control upon it? What impact do these works have? What is their potential?
Laura Hynes & Kate Casanova
The "Living Room" project: a living performance space, bringing art and music to life.
In the tradition of 18-19th c. "salon" concerts, we would create a salon/living room out of various living elements: a grass couch, a fungus-growing chair, a moss wall or rug, flourescent-protein printed wallpaper, a flower foot stool, a rickety old upright piano (guts open and strings prepared) adorned with succulents. More "living art" is hanging on the walls of this formal space.
Performance of a "Life Cycle" song cycle? If the room took on a 18-19th c. style, it would also be really neat to juxtapose electronic music improv (filtered through sound patch of the sound of something growing) with 18-19th c. song. I like the idea of breaking up the original "classical" songs into fragments that would be gently improvised upon or altered and then interwoven with the electronic music... shadows of their former selves (à la George Crumb Makrokosmos III, mvmt. 5 "Music For a Starry Night" with its ghostly Bach fragments on prepared pianos).
Sara Nichol & Christy Newell
We decided we needed to focus our energy on something specific--something that captured our skills and interests and was doable in the timeline of the class. We had both been excited, but overwhelmed with some ideas that came out of our last meeting with doing a large collaborative project in a public space, so narrowing our focus seemed like the natural next step. Since both of us have an interest in photography and doing something with things that grow, we decided to create a series of living images. Some of our ideas with this included making stamps out of fluorescent proteins growing on a petri dish, making photo paper that has fluorescent proteins growing in/on it, and growing sprouts or other plants on top of an image.
We decided to draw up a tentative sketch of a photo series that incorporates some of our interests:
• Photo 1 is a blank sheet of paper
• Photo 2 is a photo & print of #1 with seeds sprouted out of it (at time of exhibition sprouts would be dead)
• Photo 3 is a photo & print of #2 when sprouts were living, with another plant/natural growth added (at time of exhibition new growth would most likely be dead as well)
• Photo 4 is a photo & print of #3 added to compost, decomposition begins and is later halted, leaving image partially destroyed
• Photo 5 is a photo & print of #4 while in compost pile, with GFP grown on the surface or in the emulsion
The photos could be shown in the Living Room, ideally under a black light. Photo 1 would glow under the black light because its surface is all white. Gradually, as the white surface of the photo is taken up by visual information in the picture, they would progressively glow less. That is, until the final print which would possess GFP.
Laura, Kate, Sara & Christy
We all liked the idea of the "Living Room" as a platform for other projects to take place within as well as being a project on it's own. It could be a space for Sara & Christy's photos to exist. It could be the stage for a performance of Laura & Kate's "Life Cycle" song.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Moving Cell was the fact that it started as a way for dancers to illustrate the all ready understood chaos of a cell. Thus, it seemed that when the project was originally conceived it was going to be used as a pedagogical tool to help others (especially nonscientists) understand activities within the cell. Very quickly, however, Dave and Carl's collaboration moved from simply communicating ideas to testing theories. As Carl described it, The Moving Cell has become a way to create predictions made under a microscope at the human level. It was amazing to see how dance and cellular biology could come together and create valuable research.
On another note, it was also refreshing to partake in an exercise that was based on making an instantaneous decision. As humans, I feel we often spend a great deal of our time just thinking about the decision we haven't even made yet and trying to predict what the outcome might be. It was a nice change of pace to simply think about the body in relation to speed and split second choices.
I've arranged a tour of the Lab at 11:00am on Thursday, March 1. This is in McNeal Hall (St.Paul campus), room 355. This is where the human body can me measured in 3D using a scanner.
Please let me know if you can attend, by commenting here, or emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura, Terez and I had a discussion beginning with hydroponic gardening, and ending with wearable Chia pets. Since food is scarce in Regis, Laura and Terez are considering an indoor garden. Issues of sustainability and convenience influence both edible and wearable objects; there is a scale between necessity and luxury. Fashion accessories are not necessary for biological function, but "primping" can lead to procreation. Jewelry, in the same way, adorns and identifies the wearer. We thought that combining some form of biological function with adornment would bring attention to the inconvenience and unsustainable processes used to produce jewelry, such as gold mining. We concluded that the use of lichen and moss to create wearable, edible jewelry was an interesting idea to develop. Maybe it will be grown in the Regis West Garden...
Below is a copy of my presentation in PDF form. Check out the links I've posted below as well to get a better sense of my experience and interests with biological bodies. Thanks!
Here's my website. It's a bit outdated, but has better descriptions about some of the projects I showed in my presentation.
Here's are links to other artists I've worked with who in some way incorporate biological bodies into their work, whether they work with them directly or make content about them:
use this category to post the presentation that you made to describing your interests and passions as they relate to our course.
ppt, images, text, mov - use any formats that best suits what you wish to share.
Following the posts that describe the concepts that you explored in your initial 2 conversations [concept sketch #1 and concept sketch # 2] post the ideas that emerged when two clusters connected.
Post these cluster generated concepts with the name of you cluster [a self-identified process] and used both names in this post re: a meeting of two clusters
I stumbled across an interesting picture on the internet today of a seashore that was glowing blue - I looked into it and came across this entry:
I tried to find a news site that had more definite information on this, but wasn't able to. I just thought it was interesting for anyone who might want to pursue a more thorough investigation of this phenomenon. :)
It was exciting to see a successful (academically) and mutually beneficial relationship between an artist and a scientist. A couple of thoughts that came out of this presentation for me:
1. Are dancers more in touch with physical manifestations of emotions and therefore less susceptible to psychological disorders that relate to pent-up emotions or aversion such as dissociative identity disorder? What research has been done in relation to dancers and their range of emotions/psychological states relative to that of the general population? It seems as though acting out violent movements, in spite of them not doing actual damage, would have significant impact on Carl's dancers.
2. If students in primary and secondary schools were to use dance as a mechanism for learning the way physical systems work (from biology to the function of a car engine) they might absorb the information in a more lasting way. Perhaps the learning-through-dance-movement technique could be studied and implemented. It certainly would be beneficial to get students moving around more during the school day. This also relates to what Carl said about conceptualizing movement. If we are only used to moving our fingers to give and receive information we will only think within these terms. If we expand our typical body use to broad gestures perhaps we will think more broadly as well...
Laura B. and I met last week to talk about possible collaboration opportunities. We both have an interest in food, specifically growing our own food. This got us talking about the Regis buildings and the small (and pretty crappy) cafe that just closed down in Regis East. The cafe was only open from 11am-2pm and served either microwavable, canned, or prepackaged meals. I wonder why they went out under? ;~)
This leaves Regis East right back where it started, with the vending machines being the only source of sustenance for students throughout the entire building.
As a student who spends a great deal of time in Regis, this is troubling to me. How can I fuel my creative mind when my choices are limited to soft drinks and processed snacks? Regis has essentially become a food desert and with no real way for students to obtain a fresh, cooked in real time, meal.
This got Laura B. and I thinking about the prospect of creating a hydroponic system for growing food in Regis East. We talked about how plants can activate both private and social space and how we both desire to be outside a great deal of them time or at least to have nature close to us. What better way to do this than to be able to harvest your own salad greens and other veggies when lunch time rolls around. Dreaming even bigger, Laura suggested we might even be able to serve sushi at some point, since we'd have live fish at hand to fuel the hydroponic system. Who knows, this is just in the thinking stages.
We both have little knowledge of hydroponics, but are both super excited about the prospect of designing one of these systems. If you have any advice on research/execution feel free to comment. Also, if you're interested in potentially working on this project, lets talk!
After having a great conversation with Anna about mutual interests and possible collaboration projects, I just wanted to share a little bit of what we talked about. Since Anna is interested in relationships between humans and nature (i.e. plants, animals, bacteria, etc.) and I'm interested specifically in how people control and mimic natural systems, we got on the subject of bacteria. We started discussing how we've not only manipulated bacteria in this class, but also how we have no control over the bacteria growing on our bodies. We started asking, what if the body is just another kind of vehicle for bacteria? What if our main purpose is simply to act as a vessel of transport for bacteria?
Keeping this question in mind we started thinking about bacteria as a social entity. They are constantly reproducing, eating, changing, growing, moving, etc. It's like you're the host of one big bacteria party on your body. We started thinking about things that people do at a party or in preparation to go out to a party. For instance, we may adorn ourselves with jewelry or dress up for a party. We might put on make-up if going to a party. Once we get to the party we might have a cocktail or partake in some dancing. As our conversation continued we started to throw out some ideas about possible projects related to the theme of parties and bacteria:
1.) Bioluminescent make-up: adorning the body with bacteria for pure vanity
2.) Bioluminescent garments: in honor of raves and playing off of glow sticks, adorning the body with plastic clothing that could house bioluminescent bacteria inside. We would hold a dance party and have people wear the garments
3.) Probiotic cocktails: playing with the notion of serving guests "living drinks" (i.e. yogurt based things, fermentations, etc.)
4.) Probacteria gel: creating a bacteria gel to counteract the hand sanitizer craze in hopes of building up strength in one's immune system
These were the main concepts we came up with for possible projects. If any of you are interested in collaborating on some of these or have research/execution advice. Feel free to comment.
I thought I would let you all know about a couple of upcoming shows featuring music by and/or performed by me.
Friday the 24th at 7:30pm in Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall (inside Ferguson Hall) my guitar teacher Maja Radovanlija is giving a recital featuring that improv I mentioned during my presentation....I think it's going to work!
And Sunday March 4th at 2pm at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Maja is performing a piece I wrote for her inspired by Bill Viola's video piece "Three Women." I am also performing on a piece by my colleague Andrew Bergman.
Hope to see some of you there!
Meet with one or two people who share one of your passionate interests in art and the biological body.
Following your conversations, describe some of the ideas that you explore and post a concept that you developed. Be as specific as possible about the focus, motivation, and presentation of the collaborative work when you post your concept sketch. Use any media or combination of media that best conveys your concept.
The purpose of the concept sketch is to open a space for imaging a project without necessarily having the resources of time, funding, space, available technologies, skill, and assistance at hand.
These concept sketches that will help us all to broaden the scope of what we imagine to be possible and of interest to people within the group.
Art Historian and Professor Jane Blocker has generously given us permission to share several excerpts from her elegantly written book What The Body Cost: Desire, History, and Performance.
In preparation for her visit on Tuesday February 28th, read the text that you will receive via email and post 2 questions for consideration and discussion.
Hunter Cole defines her work as "reinterpreting science as art". This raises a host of questions about the relationship of science and art, the long history of artists whose work engages science and its processes, technologies, insights, theories, histories, and cultural critique.
How do you view her work in the context of contemporary art?
my department has entered a video contest through electronic theater controls, a theatrical, film and architectural lighting equipment manufacturer. they are giving away a few lighting consoles to students who submit a video "showing them their etc" and it would be wonderful if you could click this link and "like" it through your facebook account. if you watch it you will be treated to a sneak preview of our upcoming production and listen to a very sleepy lighting designer talk about her process as well. there is also a clip of classmate hannah smiltneek in action.
thank you so much!
Medieval Manuscript Illumination
Scores with a Significant Visual Component
Skills/Possibly Useful Things-
Access to Recording Equipment/Software
After reading about Eduardo Kac and the Critical Art Ensemble, I came away with very mixed feelings. It is clear from Kac's extensive philosophical writing in defense of his choice to produce Alba that he has spent significant time considering potential outcomes and concerns. While I still feel that his choice was unethical, it is important to me to know that it was not a decision made on a whim. I also felt that both Kac and to a much larger extent, the Critical Art Ensemble, seek primarily to shock participants through risky and (at times) morally questionable practices. While what I read implies that their intentions are merely pedagogical, it seems clear to me that they are often really seeking provocation. If the CAE were merely seeking to teach, there would be no need to thaw embryos or release potentially harmful transgenic bacteria into the environment. While I understand that provocation has an important place in art and in any movement that seeks radical change, those sorts of tactics turn me off. One premise that the CAE operates under, about which I am in complete agreement, is the importance of allowing and encouraging laypeople to participate and understand practices which are traditionally reserved for "experts" (powerbrokers).
This video was filmed at Women's Studio Workshop by Artist-in-Residence Abigail Uhteg. It's all strung together photographs to have a stop motion look and the Ratatat sound track works pretty well with it. The video show cases both etching and letterpress, as well as papermaking, bookbinding, and just how much work can go into making an edition of artist books. I thought it would be a good illustration of some of the media that could be available to you here in the printmaking area of the art department.
I got to work on this book while at Women's Studio almost two years ago. See if you can catch me in the video for just a second. (There's lots of brunettes on this photage so don't be fooled!)
Gene gun and how it works
Patent protection vs. seed saving
invasive and native plants of MN
living organisms in food (i.e. cultures, starters, fermentation) and growing food
mapping/tracking/recording biological bodies
consumer culture of biological bodies and natural resources
Biology and molecular biology
Metalworking & welding
Photography, darkroom printing
Craft-making: sewing, cross-stitching, other handicrafts
Basic construction and demolition
Basic electronics, circuit building, relays, and soldering
Arranging things visually
Lichen and moss
Body as a vessel for complex systems, objects, etc
Living clothing, clothing that interacts with wearer and her surroundings
Interactive music and art, theatrical/visual performances of music, improvisation, film, craft/fancy beer, alternative venues for music and art.
Microscopic enlarged to macroscopic
Genes & gene expression
Digital 3D modeling (Rhino, SketchUp)
Computer aided CAD drawing
Working with power tools
CS5 Programs (Photoshop, Illustrator etc.)
Access to woodshop, 3D printers, router, lazer cutters
Branching systems (found in nature)
natural, found objects
Paper quilling (never done it, just itching to try)
Body - related to breathing, anatomy, phonation/speaking
Interaction, Functionality, Refinement
Digital Print Layout
Cooking (worked as a chef)
Construction (I have built square things like cabins, cabinets, etc)
book binding, constructing book enclosure, book conservation, nontraditional books
I use to...quilt and bead, sing in a chamber choir, take Tang Soo Do, bake a lot, perform in musicals
Exploration of space through movement
Social implications due to biological ideas
Meditation, chaos theory and systems theory
Food, cooking, eating, organics, growing/gardening, preserving, mushroom hunting/fungi
Animals, human/animal relationships
Relationship between the natural and unnatural/manmade
Literature: fiction and non-fiction, Spanish and English
Agriculture/Industrial agriculture/GMOs, permaculture, food justice
alternative lifestyles/living off the grid/building one's own house/composting toilets etc.
Local movements/Transition Initiative, grassroots
Neuroscience (just an interest...I know very little about this)/Psychology
Color and subjective aesthetic experience
Alternative medicine/holistic healing practices
Adobe Creative Suite
non traditional performance, transgenic organisms, heritage produce, kinesthetic relationships, additive and subtractive color mixing and theory
photography - digital, film
digital photo editing
filming - digital and super 8
film editing - final cut
sound recording and editing
- oxy acetylene welding
- MIG welding
- TIG welding
- hazardous machine and tool use (saws, drills etc.)
- epoxy and fiber glass construction
- Papier mache
- Theatrical Lighting Design
- Foundry work (metal pouring and casting)
- Sewing / working with sewing machines
- Black and white film photography
- Dumpster Diving
Installation (interested in incorporating words and sound into my visual projects)
Making GFP photographs using obsolete printing methods
Reactions to smells, light, sounds
The musical stuff: sing (high) soprano, play piano, dabble in accordion, ukulele, harpsichord, and enjoy silly things like kazoos
Performance: stagecraft, theatre, languages (French, German, Italian)
Working with my hands: wouldn't consider myself a visual artist, but would love to try something like paper quilling or sewing (I've already done embroidery, and have a basic machine at home)
Litho, photo and stone
Painting: watercolor, oil, encaustic
Mediocre film editing: Super 8, and Final Cut Pro
Reading text aloud
Cooking and baking
Mold making - plaster, silicone
Super 8 film making (soon!)
Insects (currently cicadas)
Entomophagy (insects as food)
Animal husbandry: hermit crabs, insects
Growing things: plants, fungi
Experiential/immersive art forms
Art making: sculpture, photography, film/video, collage, installation
Collecting things found in nature
The Trans-genetic as Grotesque
GMOs / Industrialized Food
Hybrid Bodies -- both political (geographic) and genetic (biological)
Genetic Code / DNA
Capitalist Critique (via cultural criticism)
Relationship between human/animal bodies (the breakdown of that relationship)
Political bodies / affect
the balance between people/society and the rest of the natural world
food systems - industrial food production, organic and local food production, food sheds
societal norms and behaviors
policy around environmental issues (local, state, federal, and international levels)
lighting technology, computer aided drafting, lighting design, large format painting, dry pigment, dance, choreography, basic carpentry, rudimentary soldering
1. I write, perform, and improvise music
2. interactive and fixed electronics - Max/MSP, Protools, and others
3. Play cello, guitar, potentially various other instruments.
4. I cook
Textile Pattern Design
Fabric/material synthetic (and some natural) dyeing
Adobe Illustrator, InDesign
translating 2d shapes to 3d forms
block-printing, screen printing, mono-printing
Body Extensions/Extending the body through costume/art (Non-surgical/non-invasive)
Animals/The non-human animal
We will schedule a series of 10-15 minute presentations by each participant over the course of the next three weeks, February 14, 21, 29.
The intent of these presentation is to expand our collective understanding of each others interests and increase our awareness of the potential resources that may inform the collaborative projects that emerge this semester.
This is an opportunity to share your creative passions, your fluency with media and concepts central to your work, and how these relate to your interest in interdisciplinary media collaborations in general and those focused on the biological body in particular.
We have access to both Regis room W123 and the adjacent Installation and Performance Space. Let me know if you have a preferred space for your presentation and if there is anything that you may need - projector, computer, speakers, room to move, etc.
Presentations on February 14th:
I found HORTUS to be a fascinating project. I liked that the interactivity of the project was quite crucial to the success of the project. I would enjoy visiting that installation; it seemed well-designed throughout. It sparked thoughts of what the effects of the immense volume of CO2 exhaled in England actually does to the bacteria living in the city, on a large scale. It was also quite poignant and timely for them to incite thoughts of biologically generated usable energy, but perhaps too little too late.
I didn't quite get the virtual garden part. I looked through it, and it seemed to be just a list of the microorganisms in the project, rather than a matrix of real-time images or representations of the organisms, which I expected.
In response to Peter's post, here is a piece by the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis. Xenakis used a software that would translate drawings of his into music. The music isn't amazingly compelling to me, but it's interesting.
In my delightful conversation with Joey, I mentioned this project to him because it is ultimately a musical art piece, but also quite visual. It is a turntable of sorts, which interprets tree core samples and assigns a piano note or chord to the texture of the sample.
I came here to share it with Joey, but I also thought that it was a good project for everyone to see. I found it interesting because it is sort of a destructive method of documentation, but it extends over many layers and, subsequently, ages of growth.
I feel indifferent about the H.O.R.T.U.S. installation. It has layers upon layers of interactivity--people can physically stimulate the growth of the algae, record it on the internet, and create a virtual space to collect the data from that interaction.
But it also feels like it is promoting a weird sterile space. The few people in the exhibit are clearly "cyborging it," but not in a way that I find interesting. Machines create scar tissue on cyborg bodies as they rip them apart physically and mentally--they don't actually create immortal virtual beings (the information being projected from the exhibit from the computers is ephemera at best). And even if we are interested in the leveled collective information that this creates, the nature of what is included in the collective is very limited. It is an archive that leaves out the vast majority of bodies.
Indeed, I think Teréz's comment is spot on--there is something elitist about it. And it just doesn't extend to the level of who owns smart phones and who doesn't. The exhibit feels like it buys into the notion of a post-industrial economy--a thing that doesn't exist (the jobs are just outsourced). It is the metaphorical equivalent of a capacitive touch screen on top of a device that is filled with violence:
Glistening bags of petroleum based plastic filled with algae that create virtual spaces may blend the urban and the natural on some trite level, but the connection that it is making between the collective and the ecological is a false one--the collective here is a very limited set of bodies that aren't interested in an inclusive collective; they are, rather, partaking in glistening distraction. Of course, I partake in this same distraction often (being in the first-world position of the Baudelairean flâneur)--an installation that presents that position in a positivistic, progressive manner isn't to be trusted. I do like artwork that helps to re-figure the rhetoric through which we think (which this installation does attempt to do), but for some reason this artwork dredges up other affections from me. It is attempting to present an architectural utopia out of the techno-ecological, it is a move that I don't trust.
I have abandoned my meal worms.
I hope they don't get lonely.
They were interesting, but have failed to be inspiring. Their environment will stay, and I will keep taking photographic recordings of them in case they reveal something, but I will also start looking at a second biological body: my Wandering Jew.
The Wandering Jew (a plant) which I have nicknamed The Jew, in the spirit of political incorrectness, has been living in my north facing apartment window for the last month and a half. It has been on the brink of death for about 3/4 of that time due to a lack of sunshine (or at least that is my hypothesis). I have just recently moved its home to an East facing window directly in front of my desk in the hopes that it will revive.
I hope to record it's revival back to health by taking a picture once every other day and highlighting the green colors that indicate it's health (it is for the most part brown at this point). I will also record the foot-candles above The Jew at 9 am every day, as well as recording a basis for what the foot-candles were in my apartment. Out of this I hope to get a series of graphs that compare the health (relative "green-ness", highly scientific, I know) to the foot-candles of The Jew's environment.
Here is my first altered photo. The foot-candles were 174.
So what I did here was record the sound of yeast bubbling for an amount of time. In order to hear it better I slowed the recording down quite a bit and also removed as much background noise as possible. The result is something that has a lot of distortion but it does represent an approximation of the rhythm and pitch of the yeast.
Both Hannah and skidmo14 brought up the physical (plastic IV bags) and virtual barriers (QR codes) that H.O.R.T.U.S. creates between the algae and its participants. I feel that by disseminating information through the use of QR codes, it's not so much "bribing them with a virtual game," as it is reinforcing the idea that you have to own smartphone technology in order to interact with the H.O.R.T.U.S. algae. This makes the project somewhat elitist, as participants sit on astroturf and ponder about their solely virtual interactions with the H.O.R.T.U.S. version of Boy in A Plastic Bubble.
On the other hand the architectural plans for the Regional Algae Farm
look fascinating, especially the design for an underwater museum. The Regional Algae Farm seems to have a more direct connection between the people and algae, but is also looking at new ways of sustaining a declining community. The project reuses underutilized areas (i.e. Crane Greenhouses) and creates new structures (i.e. Migro Towers) that aren't an eye soar on the landscape and provide shelter for migratory birds. The H.O.R.T.U.S. installation is just one small look into a much larger enterprise. Despite H.O.R.T.U.S.'s problems involving limited interactivity, Regional Algae Farm seems to be on track to remedying its defects.
I agree with what Hannah said. The virtual garden might be an effective way to get people involved, but it is also kinda cheap. Maybe I would change my mind if I was able to interact with it, but the concept is not all that appealing to me. The physical installation is interesting though. I'm very much in to interactive art, particularly interactive art with a purpose. I've seen many installations that seemed to be interactive for the sake of being interactive...which is fun, but not all too conceptually interesting to me.
Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey
Jennifer Hall and Blythe Hazen
Natural Selectiontransgenic works and other living pieces
After taking photos once per day for five days, I sprinkled the surface of the yeast with sugar and then took additional photos reversing all of the previous time intervals. Despite the fact that the yeast appeared to be dead and had begun to mold, it immediately responded to the sugar and began to bubble and inflate once again.
i have been observing my dogs, buddy and little bit. buddy (red) is a beagle basset hound and little bit (purple) is a beagle dachshund. as you can imagine, they look exactly the same only different sizes. the reason i decided to notate them was because i noticed a while ago they have very similar ways of moving. they are always attached at the hip and even sleep the same way, even when they are in separate rooms when they zonk out they end up in the same position facing the same compass direction. the way that i chose to notate these observations is called labanotation. as an undergraduate dance scholar i studied laban movement analysis. within this field there are different ways of looking at movement and entire written vocabularies to go with them. since i noticed that the movement they were exhibiting was so similar i decided the most interesting thing to note would be the differences in the way they moved, or their effort. the graphs above express the qualities of their movements as described in this graphic:
The H.O.R.T.U.S. installation seems to be an interesting attempt to, in a sense, foster some sort of personal relationship between a single human being and one specific collection of algae. In another sense, however, the use of plastic IV bags creates a physical barrier, distancing participants from the plants, while giving the whole garden a bit of a clinical tone. I'm not sure that the virtual garden component adds anything important to the work. I do think that allowing participants to access information specific to the algae that they "feed" is another way of strengthening a sort of bond, but the virtual garden seems to once again create a barrier between people and the plants. If ecoLogicStudio is pursuing interaction between people and algae as a potential source for nonpolluting energy, I would be very interested in understanding what this particular installation does toward furthering that end.
I think it's awesome that you can interact with the piece by giving air to the different kinds of algae and also finding out more information about them through the phone. However, I don't know how much I like the idea of the virtual garden. I feel like that is just a cheap way to try and get people involved - by bribing them with a virtual game they can play if they take part in the art. It seems to me like just another Farmville and promotes the idea of everything going virtual when the project itself is aimed at promoting life happening in the real world.
If it is a way to help get the project going, though, then I suppose it's a good idea. I'm more interested in the actual algae - what exactly can it do for us? How does my breathing into this bag help our world? I would rather have the project focus more of its energy on answering my questions than inventing a virtual game that diverts attention towards an end rather than the means or the process of the project itself.
Hi fellow classmates!
I am apart of a performance called, Barefoot, a senior project organized by Anna Hanson who is in the theatre department here at the U. I am the sculptor and a technician for this collaborative piece that involves dancers, performers, a lighting designer, a poet, and musicians. We are exploring the human body as it communicates with nature and I am exploring the mark we make in a space through the sculptures I am creating for the performance.
Here is a link to the blog I set up with more information about this event - it documents my process as I work with fellow artists to create this work of art exploring the human biological body.
The performance is this upcoming week on Friday and Saturday - here is the poster with more information.
You should all reserve a seat, though! It's a free event and it's taking place in the installation and performance room that we visited on the first day of class in Regis West that is connected to our main classroom. It's a great chance to see the possibilities of collaboration with multiple artists and with people of different disciplines and it might give everyone some ideas! :)
I hope to see you all there!
It is wonderful to start from a point of failure and to end with a post-apocalyptic landscape. Failure that begets failure--
(...this person failed to make a quality video of the event--the sounds is poor, and their cell phone goes off...)
My first attempts at growing slime mold have gone awry. There has been infection and overgrowth. My cat jumped on top of a tray full of slime mold and completely destroyed both the agar and the text pattern I placed on it.
The text on the above piece originally read: "SUBLIME"
Some of the slime mold I'm growing in petri dishes grew far outside of the confines of the dishes and veined its way along the plastic wrap I enclosed around them to seal in moisture:
Several of the petri dishes had foreign microbes propagating within their borders:
I like the way these contaminants look--I might play around with making the contamination more intentional. I also want to try to grow my own slime mold from tree bark.
Currently, I'm trying another large-scale text based project (this time the stencil I used for the text looks much better):
This time I made sure my growing environment was cat-proofed: