The Biorama Sessions contextualized works of artists exploring the natural environments, artificial landscapes and interactions with real and imaginary life forms.
The director of DRU [Digital Research Unit], Derek Hales, introduced the session giving a background of the DRU and how it is currently being reorganized as part of their relocation to the Bates Mill Studio. Monica Bello, the curator of Biorama, gave a brief talk on its aim in bringing together artists exploring notions of life, science and digital reality.
Andy Gracie, one of the artists in residency at DRU, gave a talk on his research playfully titled– Is there life on Marsden? He spoke of the research developed during his residency and various ideas he explored looking at ways of recording and communicating the landscape relating to search for extraterrestrial through probes and installations. His work with microbiologist, Dr Paul Humphreys, attempted to purify colonies of thiobacillus that could be used to etch copper. One question regarding the exchange of their collaboration prompted both different and interesting answers. For Andy, the residency and working in the microbiology lab was primarily a huge learning process – whilst for Paul the surprise lay in Andys enthusiasm for science that is often lost amongst his own students and the ‘aesthetic thinking’ which may enrich the experience of science but is ignored in papers.
Up next, London Fieldworks, a partnership of Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson presented a series of works that often started as a scientific route and result in a more spiritual and fictional outcome. Their work included research into hibernation perhaps aimed for future space expeditions and was performed in collaboration with geneticists.
c-lab, presented a series of mars related projects and experiments. This included A Rose for Mars, The Martian Rose, an experiment where two terrestrial roses where subjected to Martian environment, and also ideas around interacting with and producing life for Mars.
Agnes Meyer-Brandis gave a presentation on her work which used an ice probe to explore the underground terrains. These probes had cameras and microphones but also included humorous superimposed animations. In her upcoming work/experiment, she will look at raindrops in close to zero gravity and has been invited to take part of a parabolic flight alongside scientists.
Brandon Ballangee spoke of formulating a combined art/science platform in his works, his studies on amphibians in nature and his art activity which involves taking participants out for walks so they can experience effects of climates changes (particularly looking at mutations in amphibians). His more recent work, Love Motel For Insects, is a canvas with UV light attached attracting insects which mate on the canvas. The resulting “painting” are the remains of an orgy produced by insects.
France Cadet works with i-Cybie robot dogs. She rebuilds the hardware and adds software. The dog robots she showed related to bioartists works such as GFP doggy (GFP Bunny), Flying Wings doggy (SymbioticA/Stelarc’s Third Ear) as well as other genetic mixes. Curiously she avoids an anthrophomorphic reading of the work because she knows their programmed sequence.
Agent etoy.Marcos presentation featured etoy’s toywar and the more recent work, Mission Eternity, a large undertaking to offer a way of preserving the mortal remains of a person virtually.
Finally, an evening jam with supercollider included a series of images and sound compositions with Thor Magnusson and Enrike Hurtado using generative software and coding around concepts relating to the computer or biology rather than acoustic instruments.