Announcing Participants: Microbes as Material workshop

Sun 22 Mar 2015

Joining us at The Biomedical and Life Sciences (BLS) Division at Lancaster University are several artists who want to explore the theory and practice of microbiological processes. Due to demand the workshop was extended to 12 artists and researchers –  6  of which are from the open call.

The workshop due to take place this week on the 25th & and 26th March is produced in partnership with the Insight research group, Live@LICA and Abandon Normal Devices, and is funded by The Society for General Microbiology.

The format will involve hands-on ‘wetlab’ sessions learning basic microscopy, bacterial manipulation, how to count microbes, methods for investigating quorum sensing and antibiotic resistance detection.

The successful participants include:

Brian Degger, who has contributed to research on a broad range of topics including fish growth factors, developmentally regulated proteins, freshwater fish population studies, artists use of cutting edge technology, locative technologies and most recently seeks to find new opportunities in democratising biology. He seems to find he does the most interesting work in the context of interdisciplinary teams, whether they are in a biological research station in Finland Lapland, an open lounge in Prague, or a medieval Monastery in Switzerland. More recently he has delivered workshops and residencies around how to make biological techniques more accessible to artists, makers and other interested folk. This may involve octopus dissection, bioplastic cooking, rocket stove construction and plankton cultivation.

Marina Tsartsara who is a London based interdisciplinary dance artist, and a PhD candidate at the department of Dance Psychology at the University of Roehampton. Her MSc was on Screendance and my BA(Hons) on Dance and Visual Art and she is a certified Somatic Movement Performer (ISMETA) and a member of CID (International Dance Council). She is currently training in Body Mind Centering and in Energy Psychology and a founding member together with Maria Sideri (MSc) of ‘Transformation through Movement, Meditation and Creativity’ (TMMC) workshops. Her ongoing research interests include: site-specific performance, kinesthetics, choreographing audiences, interdisciplinary choreography, autoethnography, performance and genetic disease (art and science). She has exhibited/performed in venues such as CCCB (Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona), Pia Almoina Museum (Barcelona), Athens Biennale, London Biennale, Tate Modern, Teatro Vascello (Rome), Teatre Antic (Barcelona), Contemporary Art Museum of Zulia (Venezuela), Moves Festival (Liverpool), IDN Festival (Barcelona), The National Conference of Digital Futures in Dance (Bournemouth), the National Review of Live Art (Glasgow), Rich Mix (London), Pavilion Theatre (Brighton) and Coastal Currents Festival (Hastings) between others.

Inés Cámara Leret is a postgraduate researcher in the Masters of Fine Arts course at Wimbledon College of Arts – part of the University of the Arts London. Site is a stimulus to her line of enquiry and heavily defines the projects that she develops. Through the use of concepts engrained within biology she is able to make processes visible and question the notions of productivity, efficiency and labour. In previous works she has invited the viewer to reflect upon the consumption of silk as a commodity.

Stephen Fortune is a interactive media artist inspired by pidgin programming, cargo culting, and the targeted use of kludged contraptions. His work explores human entanglement with non-human forces. He is interested in exploring the contrast/disjuncture between machinic and embodied knowledge systems and exploring the agency of technology. His current research examines systems subjectivities, which are loosely defined as living during a period where: the ontology of computational culture regards culture as but one more substrate to be computed (where) new subjectivites are requisite to living as a planetary species coupled with distributed technological systems.

Thiago Hersan is currently a Researcher in Residence at FACT in Liverpool. He used to design circuits and improve semiconductor manufacturing technologies. He was a a design-engineer at BeatBots in San Francisco, where he worked on interactive robotic toy design, programming and prototyping. He is also part of Astrovandalistas, an art+tech+activism collective based in Mexico City, whose work is primarily focused on coming up with interfaces for enhancing human-human interaction. In 2012 he was the technical coordinator at Marginalia+Lab, the art and technology space for creativity and research in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He has been involved with the art and technology residency program at the Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo, Brazil; and with Nuvem, the rural residency space in Resende, Brazil.

Louise Mackenzie is a contemporary artist with research interests in evolution, genetics as code, post-humanism, social culture and searching for the soul in physical form. Exploring what it means to be human, Louise Mackenzie’s work often crosses disciplinary boundaries in an attempt to understand why it is that we are compelled to make, discover and progress, rather than simply to exist. Often working collaboratively, her experimental, research-based practice explores human evolution, past, present and future: from the origin of the species, through social and cultural evolution in the present, to genetic manipulation, the post-human and the future unknown. Recent collaborations have included a multi-media project with Newcastle University Music Department on the theme of digital versus physical community and a bio art installation with Newcastle University School of Marine Science and Technology, revealing the sublime in cyanobacteria. Louise Mackenzie was born in Edinburgh, studied psychology in Glasgow and worked as a management consultant in London before returning North to study Fine Art. Louise is currently recipient of post-graduate research funding to explore the evolution of the unknown within Synthetic Biology.

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