Drawing as Process. Drawing as Document.

Drawing as Process. Drawing as Document continues exploring current thinking on the practice and theory of Drawing, its creative, expressive and educational value, as well as its fundamental importance to translating and analysing the world.

Contributions include:-

Lucinda Burgess has a background in painting, landscape design and oriental philosophy, which has led to a fascination with the raw elemental qualities of materials and inform a sculptural practice that accentuates the reality of constant change, undermining the idea of a fixed thing, object, entity or identity. In Material Repetition, she discusses her ideas and work.

Ian Chamberlain’s work takes its influence from man-made structures. Reinterpreting them as monuments placed within the landscape, these objects in turn become landmarks of their time. In Reminders of a past, he discusses his ideas and work.

Tania Kovats is renowned for producing sculptures, large-scale installations and temporal works which explore our experience and understanding of landscape, encompassing sculptures and drawings which explore her preoccupation with         the sea. She discusses her work in Mediating between Nature and Self.

Richard Talbot’s work includes large-scale drawings, sculpture, and more recently, video/installation. His research and studio practice is centred on contemporary drawing, but he brings to this a particular interest in the theory, history and practice of perspective. In A perspective on drawing, he discusses his ideas and work.

Kelly Chorpening is an artist, writer and educator. She has been the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Drawing at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL since 2006. Her recent experiments explore ways of materialising the form of language in order to test the fundamental processes of naming and identification that occur in both drawing and writing. She discusses her work in Between drawing and writing.

Formally a cardiac nurse, artist Sonya Rademeyer uses the vehicle of sound, movement and deep listening to explore the sensing of traces in her everyday experiences and the fragility of line to capture and translate them into form. She discusses her ideas and work in The Language of Line.

Ana Mendes is a writer and visual artist, creating projects in which she uses photography, video, drawing, text and installation to address issues of memory, language and identity. Her research project, On Drawing, aims at establishing a connection between drawing and thinking in the realms of arts and science. In Drawing, language and thinking, she discusses this project together with her ideas and work.

Jason Lane is an artist who collects predominantly reclaimed steel and is drawn to the aged qualities and personal histories of materials. Inspiration for his work is also in part derived from a fascination with mechanical objects and their animalistic qualities. He has also made a series of Drawing Machines.

Giulia Ricci’s finely detailed geometrical works use a variety of processes, hand-made and digital drawing, laser engraving, installation and video. Drawing underpins the artist’s practice across the various media. She discusses her work in A vocabulary of patterns.

Susie Howarth is a multi-disciplinary artist currently making drawings exploring errors, imperfections and erasures. She takes inspiration from organisational documents: annual reports, business plans, newsletters, brochures, charts and strategic policy frameworks.

Anna Ursyn is a professor and Computer Graphics/Digital Media Area Head at the School of Art and Design, University of Northern Colorado, USA. She combines programming with software and printmaking media, to unify computer generated and painted images, and sculptures. Her article discusses Drawing as a Way of Thinking.

Artist and writer, Richard Bright, has addressed the relationship between art, science and consciousness for over 30 years. In his recent series of drawings, Contemplations and Neural Communications, he explores the impermanent and shifting process of thinking, drawing inspiration from Buddhist philosophy and neuroscientific literature and imagery.

Deconstructing Patterns

Deconstructing Patterns explores pattern as a primary aspect of the world across the fields of molecular and micro-biology, physics, visual art, mathematics, neuroscience and zoology.

Contributors include:-

An exclusive interview with Ian Stewart, Emeritus Mathematics Professor at the University of Warwick, Fellow of the Royal Society, and author of over 120 books on mathematics. In Thinking about Patterns he discusses the mathematics behind patterns in Nature.

Werner Sun is a visual artist. A particle physicist by training, he makes folded paper constructions that investigate the role of pattern and abstraction in the everyday acts of observing and knowing. In Patterns: Not Math, Nor Science, Nor Art, he explores patterns as ‘entities unto themselves’.

Bryony Benge-Abbott is Public Engagement Manager (Exhibitions) at the Francis Crick Institute, London. She both curated and project managed ‘Deconstructing patterns’, the first exhibition at the Crick with new collaborations between scientists and artists in the field of sculpture, film and spoken word. She discusses this exhibition in On ‘Deconstructing Patterns: art and science in conversation’.

Helen Pynor is an Australian visual artist who works at the intersection between art and the life sciences, working with photography, video, sculpture and performance to explore ideas surrounding human and animal bodies, and disease. In Random precision. Countless intimate acts, she discusses her collaborative project with Dr Iris Salecker at the Francis Crick Institute, London.

Dr Iris Salecker is program leader in the Division of Molecular Neurobiology at the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research in London (now part of the Francis Crick Institute). In Patterns and the visual system of the fruit fly ‘Drosophila’, she discusses her ideas and work, and her collaborative project with artist, Helen Pynor, for the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition.

Chu-Li Shewring works as a filmmaker, sound artist and sound designer collaborating with artists and independent filmmakers. In Infinite Instructions, she discusses her work and collaboration with poet, Sarah Howe, for the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition.

Nathan Goehring is a Junior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute and a Senior Research Associate in the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology at UCL. He discusses his work in Patterns and molecular and biological development.

Working on the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition is discussed further in interviews with Ravi Desai, Poet in the City and 1A Arts

Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her poem, A New Music, was specially commissioned for the Deconstructing Patterns exhibition.

Roger Beaty is a postdoctoral fellow in cognitive neuroscience working with Daniel Schacter in the Schacter Memory Lab at Harvard University. In New study reveals why some people are more creative than others, he discusses mapping network patterns in the brain during creative thinking.

Priya Subramanian is a Research Fellow at the Department of Mathematics, University of Leeds. In The maths behind ‘impossible’ never-repeating patterns, she explores the formation of quasipatterns.

Thomas Woolley is a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Cardiff University, specializing in mathematical biology, where his doctorate focused on understanding the pattern formation behind fish spots and zebra stripes. He discusses this in How animals got their spots and stripes – according to maths.

Being Human with Artificial Intelligence

Being Human with Artificial Intelligence explores contemporary dialogues on the relationship of AI, consciousness and creativity, and the impact of AI on the future of humanity.

Contributors include –

An exclusive interview with Kevin Warwick, whose main research areas are artificial intelligence, biomedical systems, robotics and cyborgs. In Cyborgs and I he discusses his ideas and work on Artificial Intelligence, robotics and the future of humans ‘plugging’ into technology.

Yoshua Bengio is a Canadian computer scientist, most noted for his work on artificial neural networks and deep learning. His main research ambition is to understand principles of learning that yield intelligence. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas and work on AI and Deep Learning.

Arthur I. Miller is fascinated by the nature of creative thinking – the mind’s ability to transform information from everyday experiences into the most sublime works of art, literature, music and science. In Creativity in the Age of Machines he discusses the relationship of AI and creativity.

Mario Klingemann is an artist working with algorithms, data and artificial neural networks. He investigates the possibilities that machine learning and artificial intelligence offer in understanding how creativity, culture and their perception work. In AI and Neurography he discusses his ideas and work.

Ryota Kanai PhD is a neuroscientist working on the computational principles underlying consciousness and the brain, and the founder and CEO of an AI startup, Araya, Inc. in Tokyo. In Creating Artificial Consciousness he discusses his ideas and work in trying to understand consciousness by creating it.

Thomas Dietterich is one of the pioneers of the field of Machine Learning. His research is motivated by challenging real world problems with a special focus on ecological science, ecosystem management, and sustainable development. In AI and Machine Learning he discusses his ideas and work.

Mike Tyka studied Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Bristol. He obtained his PhD in Biophysics in 2007 and went on to work as a research fellow at the University of Washington and has been studying the structure and dynamics of protein molecules. Since 2015 he has also begun working with artificial neural networks as an artistic medium and tool. His latest generative portraits series Portraits of Imaginary People are featured in this visual article.

Keith Frankish is a philosopher and writer. His interests lie mainly in philosophy of mind, and he is well known for defending an illusionist view of phenomenal consciousness and a two-level theory of the human mind. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas on the relationship between AI and Consciousness.

Shimon Whiteson is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and a tutorial fellow at St. Catherine’s College. His research focuses on artificial intelligence. In this exclusive interview he discusses the TERESA project, which aims to develop a telepresence robot of unprecedented social intelligence.

Adrian Holme is a teacher, writer and artist. His article, AI and the idea of the human: myth, metaphor and agency, examines the enduring value of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in considering the questions of AI.

Subhash Kak is an Indian American computer scientist who has made contributions to cryptography, artificial neural networks, and quantum information. He asks Will artificial intelligence become conscious?

In ‘Machine folk’ music composed by AI shows technology’s creative side, Bob Sturm and Oded Ben-Tal describe their research which examines how state-of-the art AI techniques can contribute to musical practice.

Leah Henrickson is a doctoral student whose current research focuses on discerning the social and literary implications of natural language generation. In We, robot: the computer co-authoring a story with a human writer, she explores the possibilities of creative human-computer interaction.

 

 

Concerning the Spiritual

To avoid killing its essence, rather than as a specimen to pin down and dissect, it is best to think of spirituality as related to experience – often subtle, but also usually powerful and emotionally charged experience. The spiritual dimension is therefore better considered as an adventure playground to explore, full of fun, challenge and excitement, of opportunities to test oneself, to learn and to grow. The experiences it offers are both deeply personal and universal at the same time.

Larry Culliford: On The Psychology of Spirituality (Interalia Magazine, Dec 2017)

Since the 21st century, there has been a drive toward an expanded sense of spirituality that goes beyond the quest to fulfil or orient the self to using it as the basis of policy formation in fields like social work, education, health, psychotherapy and even business.

Rina Ayra: On Contemporary Art and Spirituality (Interalia Magazine, Dec 2017)

 

Concerning the Spiritual explores contemporary dialogues at the intersection of Art, Philosophy, Science and Spirituality.

Bill Viola is a seminal figure in the field of video creating installations, films, sound environments, flat panel video pieces and works for concerts, opera and sacred spaces for over four decades. In this interview, An avenue to self-knowledge, he discusses his work and his encounter with Zen Buddhism.

As a physicist working in a theological environment, Mark Harris is interested in the complex ways that science and religion relate to each other. He runs the Science and Religion programme at the University of Edinburgh. In this exclusive interview, On Science and Theology, he discusses his ideas and the interaction between the physical sciences and theology.

Miya Ando is an American artist whose metal canvases and sculpture articulate themes of perception and ones relationship to time. The foundation of her practice is the transformation of surfaces. In this exclusive interview, Fleeting Light, she discusses her ideas and work.

Mario Beauregard, PhD., is a neuroscientist currently affiliated with the Department of Psychology, University of Arizona. His groundbreaking research on the neurobiology of spiritual experiences has received international media coverage, and a documentary film has been produced about his work (The Mystical Brain, 2007). The Emerging Post-Materialist Paradigm: Toward the Next Great Scientific Revolution explores his ideas on the transition from materialist science to post-materialist science.

Michael Falzoni is an artist whose work is inspired by the possibilities of infinite combinations, reflecting his interest in relationships and the interplay between internal and external realities. In this exclusive interview, The possibilities of infinite combinations, he discusses his ideas and work.

Rina Arya is a Reader at the University of Wolverhampton who is interested in the visual and material culture of religion. In this exclusive interview, On Contemporary Art and Spirituality, she discusses nature of the dialogue between art and spirituality, how they come together and what form they take.

Larry Culliford was a hospital doctor and GP before becoming a psychiatrist. In 1998, he helped found the ‘spirituality and psychiatry’ special interest group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In this exclusive interview he discusses his experience and ideas into understanding the psychology of spirituality.

Lewis deSoto is an American artist of Cahuilla Native American ancestry. His multimedia installations combine sound, light, video, space, and sculpture elements and are site-specific or oriented toward making a complete environment. His conceptual artwork utilizes automobiles, inflatables, electronics, photography, wood and metal construction. In this exclusive interview, Consciousness in context, he discusses his ideas and work.

Artist and writer, Richard Bright, has addressed the relationship between art, science and consciousness for over 30 years. In Contemplations, he shows some work from his series of drawings that explore the temporal nature of reality and stillness of the mind.

 

between Art and Science

between Art and Science is co-edited with Eleanor Armstrong (currently a PhD candidate at University College London). This issue explores how participants in interdisciplinary works between the arts and sciences collaborate together, what helps these collaborations take place, and the possibility of creating a space in between that encourages new thinking.

Contributors to the issue include:-

In How can we understand collaborations between Artists and Scientists? researcher and PhD candidate, Eleanor Armstrong, explores some of the tools that exist for understanding interdisciplinary research and how they can be applied to collaborations between artists and scientists.

Art/Science collaborations are further explore by science communicator, Judit Agui, in Reflecting on successful collaborations: Spit Crystal.

The Tissue Culture & Art Project (TC&A), (an on-going research and development project initiated in 1996 by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr) was set to explore the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. This article shows some of the works involved.

The collaboration between Dr Daniel Crow, physicist and Dr Charles Ogilvie, artist, began at the Royal College of Art in 2010. In Account of a Collision they discuss their projects working together.

Melanie King is an artist and curator with a specific focus on astronomy. In Parallax: Perspectives in Astronomy and Photography, she shares a number of collaborations with a number of scientific institutions that have led to developments in her own research, and further afield.

In Nine-tenths of the iceberg: research as the unseen component of artists’ work, artist Sarah Craske and scholar Charlotte Sleigh discuss the importance and recognition of artist’s research and critical practice involved art/science collaborations.

Aesthetics get Synthetic: Knowledge Link through Art and Science (KLAS) is an Artist in Residence program of the Max Planck Society. The innovative artist residency program brought professional artists into high-quality research groups and, by doing so, established a bridge between art, science and society. The results of this collaborative program is discussed in a series of exclusive interviews  with Otavio Schipper and Sergio Krakowski, Dr Alex de Vries, Agnes Meyer-BrandisDr. Charles Cotton, and Dr. Tom Robinson.

Pinar Yoldas is a Turkish-born designer-artist-researcher. She was involved in a collaborative project, Future and Emerging Art and Technologies (FEAT), between leading international artists and European scientists. In an exclusive interview, On my FEAT, she discusses her work and her involvement in the project.

The Critical Connections symposium was held at Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Creative Industries Precinct in March 2017. The symposium provided a platform for thinkers working across art, design and STEM to articulate key issues and share interdisciplinary strategies. In CRITICAL CONNECTIONS: Connecting Art, Design and STEM, Svenja Kratz and Jacina Leong provide an overview of each panellist’s key arguments and insight into current viewpoints.

Plus, Charissa Terranova contributes a review essay, Wunderkammer in a Book, about ‘Harmonious Complexity, An Exhibition Celebrating 100 Years of On Growth and Form’, that explores the work and legacy of Scottish zoologist D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson.

The Subjective Lives of Others

In this issue of Interalia we explore the subjective lives of others, the nonhuman entities with which (or whom) we share our lives – whether we know it or not. Through artworks and essays, poems and sound works, we embrace the complex structures and functions of other living systems as diverse as bee hives, gorilla troops and ant colonies. We engage with the collective intelligence of micro-organisms such as bacteria and slime mould and find connections between these living systems and the techno/social networks within which our own subjectivities play out.

Shifting between species and across scale, and connecting theory and practice, a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives address the notion of nonhuman subjectivity from biology, mathematics, computation and sound, to art, curation, philosophy and pedagogy. Speculations on the ontology of the nonhuman – for we can never truly know the subjective experience of an other – take the form of cultural critique and interspecies relationships. Dominant themes presented include; social and collective behaviour of humans and nonhumans; interspecies ‘collaboration’ and co-creation; mechanisms for distributed intelligence; and emergent and adaptive systems in art and science. The contributions collectively explore the motivations and methods used by researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines across the arts and sciences, who engage critically and creatively with nonhuman systems as material, model and metaphor. Some, who are working directly with biological material and living systems, tease out the negotiated territory of interspecies authorship, where human creativity is questionable and cooperation is key. Artists become caretakers for living ‘collaborators’, whose behaviour may be possible to predict but cannot be controlled.

Modelling is discussed from diverse perspectives, exploring the underlying mechanisms and mathematical basis of biological and behavioural expression, identifying patterns between systems in order to gain greater insights and understanding of fundamental laws. Whether conceptual or physical, models allow for comparative cross/inter-species speculation and simulation, rules tested, applied and imagined. Questions are raised in philosophical discussion around how we relate to and co-habit with nonhuman life and how we make meaning of biosemiotic forms, through analogy and metaphor.

To set the scene curators, Christian de Lutz and Regine Rapp reflect on their exhibition series exploring nonhuman subjectivity, a two year programme at Art Laboratory Berlin which comes to fruition in Autumn 2017. In Reflecting Nonhuman Subjectivities they contextualise their curatorial stance through the critical lens of ‘posthumanities’, examining recent developments in science/art and bioart practices. Much of the work focuses on the process of decentering, of engaging with ‘other-centric’ positions and connection is made between human creativity and nonhuman processes, whether mechanistic or intentional. The role of the artist operating between fields of knowledge production is discussed, as species and materials are combined to reveal and embody sensory perceptual worlds of the nonhuman, whether that be revealing the hidden microbial world within our bodies, hooking up to fungal mycelium communication networks, or engaging with the olfactory world of the dog. Lula Criado and Meritxell Rosell, co-editors of CLOT magazine, extend the discussion further On Interspecies Creativity through a revisiting and recontextualising of interviews conducted in recent years with practitioners co-creating with living organisms. Through the juxtaposition of practices, and through the words of the human agents orchestrating the creative production, many ethical considerations are drawn out in this negotiated space, exploring issues of control, authorship and agency.

Presenting the works of artists, scholars and biologists as an interwoven trio of texts, Charissa Terranova, Meredith Tromble and Rachel Mayeri, present complementary works in written, visual and haptic form. Entangling Art & Biology: Three Serpentine Knots Of Indisciplined Practice playfully intersects notions of polymathy and in-betweenness: between science fiction and academic form, between human and nonhuman endeavour, between self and other. ‘Knitting together stories and images from the history of biology, the study of complex systems, new visualization and sensing technologies, and the integration of all of the above in works of contemporary art’ they explore interconnected territories with ‘metadisciplinary excitement’.

In Becoming Non-human/Designing Non-human Oliver Kellhammer questions our definitions of intelligence through the perceptual world of the slime mould, Physarum polycephalum. Defined as the ‘poster organism’ for investigations into decentralised intelligence and ideas of extended body cognition we are lead through a series of biological entanglements and subjective realities as we are invited to inhabit the world of another form of consciousness. As an artist and teacher, Kellhammer mediates this territory though practical experiments allowing the slime mould to make decisions on his behalf, and through thought experiments, inviting his students to redesign urban spaces from a nonhuman perspective. As absurd oracle or speculative design tool, the slime mould offers the liberating opportunity to try to see the world from a different position.

Another example of the extended body comes in the tentacled neuronally distributed form of the octopus, whose anatomy possesses a nervous system networked across its entire body. Here, film writer and film maker, Jasper Sharp, reviews Peter Godfrey-Smith’s book, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, contextualising the text in relation to film history, highlighting some cinematic star appearances from clever molluscs from documentary, drama and science fiction. Analogies compare the octopus’ mind to the construction of musical ensembles, comparing the control centres of a conductor-lead orchestra to a jazz improvisation group.

Decentralised decision-making and distributed intelligence are further explored musically by composer and bee keeper Heloise Tunstall-Behrens in The Swarm: a choral exploration of honeybees. Her choral work, an all-female opera, interprets the complexities of the waggle dance ritual performed as honey bees establish new nest sites. Here the voices form the collective body – a superorganism of sound – which reveals complex behaviours of spatial organisation, cohesion and consensus through polyphonic singing. Kuai Shen examines socialisation, self-organisation and technological networks in Playing with ants & other insectstaking us on a tour of ant algorithms and avatars through the eclectic cultures of evolutionary biology, art history and video games. The techo/social rules of ‘ant mimicry’ are defined in terms of interrelatedness, the ant colony seen as an ‘empirical system’ of social interactions and communication networks – similar patterns emerge between the information traffic of harvester ants and that of Facebook users. Whether disguising pheromone scents in order to escape, mimicking sounds in order to get fed, or creating a distraction to affect a raid, mimicry becomes a sneaky tool utilised to secure evolutionary advantage. These masks are effective in both natural phenomena and ubiquitous in game-play systems.

In Harnessing Slime Mould Communication for Musical Computing Eduardo R. Miranda describes his innovative work bringing new electronic components into musical composition. Biocomputer Rhythms is a performance between human composer and organic ‘memristor’, the slime mould Physarum polycephalum, mediated via a grand piano and a complex micro-electronic system. Performed in real time, oscillations are translated into waveforms through ‘a network of protoplasmic filaments that rhythmically contract and expand, producing shuttle streaming of intracellular contents’, a network that is resilient, efficient and self-healing. Simon Park exposes the complex social world of microscopic forms in Creative collaborations with invisible life, sharing key examples from an extensive repertoire of working with micro-organisms, developed over 30 years professional practice. Through his hybrid experimentation communities of bacteria, cryptozoa and infusoria are exposed to transformative environments, where varied conditions and elements reveal the hidden wonders of bacterial structure and behaviour. In vitro or in vivo, we are reminded of the importance of our own bacterial selves and the influence of bacterial balance on our moods and wellbeing.

Zooming between the micro-scale of slime mould decentralisation and the human scale of the networked city, collective behaviour is explored through the varied processes and practices of the interdisciplinary team orchestrating Crowd Control, a situated participatory project which took place in Hackney Wick, East London in July 2017. Intentions, approaches and observations are shared through the accounts of participatory research and public experiments designed to creatively and critically explore how individuals operate within groups in response to environmental conditions.

David Sumpter takes a philosophical position on mathematical modeling in The unreasonable effectiveness of soccermatics? Elegant solutions and behavioural rules are inferred and applied to the modeling of complex biological systems, most notably the multiple interactions played out in the beautiful game. Whether observing animal systems in the wild or those on the football pitch, the beauty of mathematics is given credence – ‘Maths simplifies, maths clarifies and maths captures complexity.’

Further research into the mathematical modelling and analysis of biological systems is explored by Kit Yates in How many locusts does it take to start a biblical plague? Just three.

Two contributions follow poetic formulae. The Other Country by Astrid Alben conjures up imagery of the coming together of elemental phenomena and tells tales of the interrelationships of relational habits, whilst Will Holloway’s False Consciousness forms a loose but tangible network between all manner of human and nonhuman systems, from machine learning, music and language to traffic, market forces and the question of free will in the crowd. As an interwoven poem of interconnected parts, it alludes to the conclusion that ‘the whole isn’t just the sum of (first order)… but is actively wiggling some of its parts’.

This image may well hold true for this issue, as we invite the reader to piece together the individual parts to form their own collective whole. This issue is by no means meant as a definitive collection – there are a great many other artists, scientists, designers and thinkers exploring the territory of nonhuman subjectivity and collectivity. What we aim to provide is an associative and interconnected collection of thoughts, histories, ideas and practices, which allow the reader to build a perspective from multiple positions, one that challenges the dominant cultural definitions of intelligence hierarchies.

– Heather Barnett (September 2017)

………………..

New Thoughts New Works

New Thoughts. New Works explores recent developments in artists work and thinking who engage with art and science, mathematics and philosophy.

Elaine Whittaker explores the biological forces that make us human, from the foundational processes and materials needed to form an organism, to exploring the microscopic world of cellular ecologies. Her installations incorporate a range of diverse materials: from wax, paint, sound work, and photo-based imagery, to wire, mosquitoes, salt crystals, and live microorganisms. In Shiver (and more) she discusses her installation on Shiver together with her other works.

Jared Vaughan Davis often deals with topics ranging from epistemology, mythology, ancient and modern cosmology, and the science of ‘belief’. In an exclusive interview, Exploring the Contradictions of Living, he discusses his ideas, work and inspiration.

Jasmine Pradissitto describes herself as “a practising Quantum Artist and Creativity Warrior”, a “painter who sculpts with light and colour using the scientific knowledge accumulated over years of experience”, creating ‘holograms you can touch’, forms inspired by nature, the human condition and scientific breakthroughs, which are melted and reshaped from plastics into sculptures as a commentary on an Anthropocene world. She discusses her ideas and work in The Search for a Brave New World Aesthetic.

Laura Splan’s work explores intersections of art, science, technology and craft. Her conceptually based projects examine the material manifestations of our mutable relationship with the human body. In Manifest Expressions she discusses a number of her recent works and installations.

Udit Mahajan is an experience-interaction designer, creative technologist and new media artist based in New York, with a background in electrical engineering from India. He is interested in the use of design and technology for multi-modal digital and physical interactions, narratives, experiences and interfaces. He discusses his work in Old New Beginnings.

In 2017, artist Sarah Craske has been in the depths of a synthetic biology lab, working in the Bioprocess Laboratory (BPL), ETH Zürich in Basel, Switzerland as part of the Biofaction Artist in Residence programme. She had been invited to work alongside research scientists and bioengineers who had participated in the research project SYNPEPTIDE. She discusses this on-going residency in Theriak.

Merging media arts with biology and posthumanist philosophy, Günes-Hélène Isitan’s art encourage a rethinking of what it means to be human beyond anthropocentrism. Exploring the cultural barriers we build in the life continuum, it questions human nature by revealing the interdependency relations and co-becoming fates from which our world emerges. In From our Naturalness to our Multispecies Humanness she discusses her recent work.

The Enso, Japanese for circle, is an inspiration for imagery in the work of Karen Margolis. A sacred symbol in Zen Buddhism, embodying infinity and perfection, she is attracted to this mystical aspect as well as the paradox of imperfection, and she reinterprets the circle in both positive and negative space, in a struggle between destruction and creation, as a shared language connecting body to mind. Expanding the Circle show her recent work.

Guang Zhu is an artist whose works are inspired by her creative experiences, her research into the history of mathematics and the explorations on parametric equations. She works with formulas and code to create whimsical abstract simulations that attempt to communicate from her mystic imaginations. She discusses her work in Music Notes.

Artist and writer, Richard Bright, has addressed the relationship between art, science and consciousness for over 30 years. In his recent series of drawings, Shift in Thought, he explores the impermanent and shifting process of thinking.

Future Realities

My work looks at the toolsets needed for working within a world in flux. It takes an ‘ecological’ approach that considers design to be materially linked (rather than aesthetically) with the natural world through technologies that can ‘exceed’ the performance of machines. In this way, alternative outcomes for human development may be possible.

Rachel Armstrong

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

R. Buckminster Fuller

 

Future Realities explores emerging interactions between art, science and technology which push the boundaries of human knowledge and experience, including augmented and virtual realities, gene editing, living and body architecture, AI and immersive technology.

Contributions include –

Rachel Armstrong takes an alternative approach to environmental design that couples the computational properties of the natural world with the technology of liquids and productivity of soils. She calls the synthesis that occurs between these systems and their inhabitants living architecture. In this exclusive interview she discusses her ideas and work.

Anna Dumitriu’s work fuses craft, technology and bioscience to explore our relationship to the microbial world, biomedicine and technology. She is artist-partner on the FEAT (Future Emerging Art and Technology) project, with MRG Grammar, investigating the grammar of gene regulation. In this exclusive interview, Make Do and Mend and CRISPR gene editing, she discusses the FEAT project, her approach to art and developing in-depth art/science collaborations.

Jim Campbell is an artist who creates LED light sculptures that are unique in that his media and message are inseparable. He uses technologies developed for information transfer and storage to explore human perception and memory. In this exclusive interview, Expressing to the Unconscious, he discusses his work and the importance of low resolution moving images that express to the unconscious.

boredomresearch is a collaboration between British artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith. The artists are internationally renowned for exploring an understanding of the natural world through the medium of computational technologies. Their work considers our strategies for coping in a world increasingly destabilised by human activity. In this exclusive interview they discuss their work and their current FEAT Robots in Distress collaborative project.

Lucy McRae is a science fiction artist, body architect and inventor of Swallowable Perfume. She places the body in complex future scenarios, inventing visually iconic films and experiences that connect science with imagination. Lucy influences culture by providing a feminine point of view on scientific breakthroughs related to health and the human body. Future Body Architect shows some of her work.

Špela Petrič and Miha Turšič have been working together for several years and have a background in natural sciences, new media, bio art, product design, space culturalisation and postgravity art. In this exclusive interview they discuss their work and their current FEAT becoming.a(thing) collaborative project.

The participants in the Antarctic Biennale international project have returned from their first art expedition to Antarctica. About 100 people from around the world – artists, architects, researchers, poets, writers, musicians and philosophers – set off on board a scientific research vessel, the Academic Sergei Vavilov, from the port of Ushuaia to the Antarctic Circle. In All aboard the Antarctic Biennale in Venice, Clive Adams, founder director of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), reviews their work and exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

And, physics professor, Philip Lubin, explains why we can begin an interstellar mission today – and why we should.

Plus, there’s the Future Realities video talks blog, featuring –  Elon Musk: The future we’re building – and boring ; Anab Jain: Why we need to imagine different futures ; Maurice Conti: The incredible inventions of intuitive AI ; Chris Milk: The birth of virtual reality as an art form ; and Ray Kurzweil: Get ready for hybrid thinking.

 

Maps and Mapping

Maps have the capacity to open worlds of reality and imagination. Their lines, points and spaces depict both hopes and fears, and urge the wanderings, and wonderings, of the mind.

John O.E. Clark: Maps that Changed the World.

 

Maps are one of the greatest illusions known to man and yet we instinctively put our faith in them.

Disregarding the evidence of our own eyes, we assume, when using maps, that they are a substitute for reality. But there is no way in which they can be – in all respects.

Peter Barber: A Tissue of Lies (Tales from the Map Room)

 

Maps and Mapping explores contemporary ideas and work on personal responses to place and the meaning of maps, map-making and (sometimes) going beyond the map.

Contributors include:-

Stephen Walter’s drawings are a tangle of signs, words and images that draw the viewer into the artist’s intricate worlds. His artwork, Albion, is a landmark map of England and Wales, where the mundane and regular things in life have evaporated away to reveal sites of longstanding cultural significance and those steeped in folklore.

Driven by her desire to “know the world,” Ingrid Calame has been tracing the marks on its surface, turning them into intricately patterned paintings, drawings, prints, and murals, for nearly 20 years. In Tactile Maps, she discusses her ideas and work.

In his book, Off the Map: : Lost Spaces, Invisible Cities, Forgotten Islands, Feral Places and What They Tell Us About the World, Professor of Social Geography, Alastair Bonnett, presents a stunning testament to how mysterious our planet still is. His forthcoming books Beyond the Map: : Unruly enclaves, ghostly places, emerging lands and our search for new utopias and New Views: The World Mapped Like Never Before reveal how geography is getting stranger. In this exclusive interview, Off the Map and Beyond, he discusses these books and his ‘love of place’.

Cartography, methods of visualizing information, history, current events, satire and humor are some of the subjects that captivate Dan Mills. His ‘visual article’, Current Wars and Conflicts, use maps as a space to visualize data about wars and conflicts.

Chris Kenny’s three-dimensional collage-constructions have been described as ‘witty, severe, paradoxical things, appearing at once rational and also deeply surreal’. In his Mapworks, he uses the colours of his materials in an almost painterly way, and says that he replaces “the cartographer’s logic with an absurd imaginative system.

Shannon Rankin is an artist who uses the language of maps to explore the complexities and interconnections between the inner and outer worlds, between that which is known and that which remains beyond the field of knowledge, that mythical place on medieval maps where the dragons lie and cherubs blow the wind.

Lordy Rodriguez’s works explore the human urge to locate/define oneself by charting the environment in precise detail. Using the language of cartography, he makes drawings that go beyond map-making into abstracted, imaginary terrain. He discusses his work in Person and Place.

Layla Curtis is an artist whose practice has a focus on place, landscape and mapping. Her multi-form work examines the attempts we make to chart the earth, how we locate ourselves, navigate space and represent terrain. The Thames (from London Bridge, Arizona to Sheerness, Canada) is a collaged map, hand-constructed from fragments of international atlases and nautical charts, reassembled to form the familiar outline of the Thames.

Plus, there is the Maps and Mapping video talks blog featuring – Daniel Eisenstein: Mapping the Universe ; Danny Dorling: Maps that show us who we are (not just where we are) ; Monica Stephens: The Frightening Future of Digital Maps ; Aris Venetikidis: Making sense of maps ; and Amy Robinson Sterling: Play a game, map the mind.

 

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Earth

We face our humanity and its effect on climate change with a cold stare crafting works that are as emotionally alarming as the hard facts of our scientists.”

David Buckland

If soil is conceived as a super-organism – as more than the sum of its parts – it remains essentially amorphous, without an overriding form. We, descendents from the living earth, are that aspect of the soil that has taken form – that has pulled itself together and learnt to move around. We are soil that has learnt to talk and reflect on its place in the cosmos. We are walking, talking, thinking soil.

Daro Montag: Thinking soil.

 

Earth explores the Arts and Sciences relating to Climate Change, Ecology and Ecosystems, Geology, Soil Culture, and the Anthropocene Era.

In LAND: Context, Material, Site and process, environmental artist, Chris Drury, discusses his work that makes connections between different phenomena in the world, specifically between Nature and Culture, Inner and Outer and Microcosm and Macrocosm.

Heather Davis is co-editor (with Etienne Turpin) of Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies. In The Domestication of Plastic she discusses the recent extension into consumer markets of 3D printing.

David Buckland is an artist, film-maker, writer, curator, and creator and director of the international Cape Farewell project, which brings together artists, visionaries, scientists and educators to build an international collective awareness and the cultural response to climate disruption. His focus of enquiry is embedded in what we touch, intellectually and physically. He discusses his work in Cape Farewell and the art of David Buckland.

Techno romanticist, Jasmine Targett’s work aims to visually and conceptually investigate ‘blind spots’ in perception, making the void between existence and nature tangible. In ‘My Nike will live longer than me’ and ‘Noctilucent Canary’ she discusses two of her artworks that highlight issues surrounding anthropocentrism and the environment.

‘Soil Culture’ was a programme that the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) delivered between 2013-16 which used the arts to inspire a deeper public understanding of the importance of soil. In Life after ‘Soil Culture’, founding director of the CCANW, Clive Adams, discusses this project and what followed from it.

Artist Siobhan McDonald is interested in the changeable nature of landmass, historical events and their interconnection to time. She goes to diverse locations like Iceland and the Arctic Circle to record and distil what is ephemeral and essential in theses fragile landscapes. In Crystalline she discusses and shows some of her work from her recent exhibition.

Daro Montag’s art practice has, for many years, been involved with environmental and ecological issues – he is particularly interested in the inherent creativity of the organic world. Thinking soil is an essay relating to project and book This Earth.

Ellen Alt is a mixed media artist. In an exclusive interview, Ice Melting. Ice Writing, she discusses her work that highlights climate change.

Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright, translator, and research artist whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, culture, and climate change. In Small Adaptation Miracles in Alaska she discusses how patterns of migration are changing.

CLIMARTE is a Melbourne-based organisation that produces, promotes, and facilitates arts events with an alliance of arts practitioners and organisations that advocate for immediate, effective, creative, and inspired action on climate change. Following on from the successful 2015 inaugural event, ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 will take place across Melbourne and regional Victoria from 19 April until 14 May.

Plus there’s the ‘Earth’ video talks blog featuring – Zaria Forman: Drawings that show the beauty and fragility of Earth ; Al Gore: The Case for Optimism on Climate Change ; Satish Kumar: Soil, Soul and Society ; Sam ‘Ohu Gon III: Lessons from a thousand years of island sustainability ; Tega Brain: Eccentric Engineering: Thoughts for the Anthropocene ; and Francesco Sauro: Deep Under the Earth’s Surface, Discovering Beauty and Science.

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