Ars Bioarctica – biological art activities in an Arctic Station

The first finnish Bioart Seminar (29-31 May) is taken place in Kilpisjärvi Biological Station (Faculty of Biosciences in Helsinki University), situated in the mountain birch forest zone near the 70th parallel of northern latitude (69°03’N; 20°50’E) in the northwesterenmost part of Finland.

The principal aim of the station is to promote biological and geographical research in the north, and to provide students of biology and geography with information about natural phenomena in northern lands.

During the Seminar the Finnish Bioart Association is going to founded and there is a real time connection to the Hybrids: Reflections on Science and Art -Conference, held in Porto, Portugal on 31st May.

Programme Kilpisjärvi Bioart Seminar

MUTAMORPHOSIS _ ART/SCIENCE CONFERENCE PRAGA

Mutamorhosis (Praga, Biblioteca Municipal, 8-11 noviembre ) ofreció un lujo de tres días para poder escuchar y comunicar con una representación importante de personajes del cuadro actual de arte/ciencia. Artistas, pensadores, científicos, comisarios e investigadores etc de todo el mundo participaron en un programa intensivo de sesiones en formatos de presentaciones, mesas redondas y debates abiertos, y paralelamente a las conferencias se celebraron varias exposiciones en otros lugares por el centro de Praga.

No muchas ocasiones durante un fin de semana uno tiene posibilidad de escuchar relatar las experiencias de tres personas no- científicos que han participado vuelos de agencias espaciales en la gravedad cero, observar a alguien quien realmente tiene tres orejas, uno de ellos siendo instalada en su brazo izquierda,
conocer las experiencias de artistas que trabajan en laboratorios diversos dedicados en la investigación científica, o conocer datos intimos sobre la vida emocional de las células. En Mutamorphosis esto y muchos más estímulos ofrecieron un marco perfecto para inspirarse y ponerse a reflexionar sobre los ambientes extremos y de la expresión artístico y intelectual actual.

 

 

 

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Sterlarc / An ear on my arm
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Adam Zaretsky / On Mutaphobia

 

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Strange Culture_a film by Lynn Hershman Leeson about Steve Kurtz case

In May of 2004, Steve Kurtz’s wife of 20 years died in her sleep of natural causes. Kurtz is a founding member of an award-winning collective Critical Art Ensemble whose work aimed at informing audiences about the lack of regulation and potential risks of genetically modified food. When emergency medical technicials responded to his 911 call, they saw in his home petri dishes–part of an installation–filled with harmless bacterial cultures. They called the FBI.

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At that point, the nation was still reeling from the 2001 anthrax scares that had shut down everything from Congress to the Supreme Court to the New York Post. Kurtz was detained on suspicion of bio-terrorism.

What makes Kurtz’s predicament film-worthy is that within a week, tests showed that there were no harmful biological agents in his house and that his wife had died of heart failure. But the case against Kurtz has not gone away. Forced to drop charges of weapons manufacture, the federal prosecutor in Buffalo instead brought charges of mail fraud against both Kurtz and Robert Ferrell, a professor of genetics at the University of Pittsburgh who sent Kurtz the (harmless and legal) bacterial cultures used in his art work. The “fraud” alleged is that Ferrell and Kurtz did not properly reveal, in a requisition form, the purpose of the mailing. It must be noted that neither the University of Pittsburgh nor Buffalo has asserted fraud, and neither Farrell nor Kurtz believed that there was anything fraudulent in their dealings. The allegation of fraud is made exclusively by the federal prosecutor–a first as far as anyone knows.

Even assuming that there were a defrauded party, one wonders why it isn’t being handled as a fairly routine civil matter–i.e., why on earth any putative misrepresentation regarding paperwork is being pursued as a criminal matter. But to give it the ultimate Kafka-esque twist, the charges against Kurtz and Farrell have been pursued under the USA Patriot Act. That means that the sentence for otherwise ordinary crimes is doubled. Since mail fraud carries a sentence of ten years, Kurtz thus faces a possible sentence of twenty years.

After all these years, the prosecution has yet to set a date for the trial. But meanwhile, Strange Culture, a documentary film based on Kurtz’s ordeal, offers a brilliant and moving examination of fear and its manipulations.

Strange Culture, a film by Lynn Hershman Leeson starring Tilda Swinton, Thomas Jay Ryan and Peter Coyote.

source: The Nation, 5 October 07

Programa completo “taxonomies”

EXPOSICIÓN

El proyecto Autoinducer_Ph-1(cross cultural chemistry) de Andy Gracie y Brian Lee Yung Rowe investiga la relación simbiótica entre la cianobacteria Anabaena y la planta acuática Azolla. Este sistema de intercambio de información explora las prácticas de cultivo tradicional en el sudeste asiático en donde la Azolla se utiliza en grandes cantidades como fertilizante orgánico rico en nitrógeno en los campos de arroz. La instalación presenta este procedimiento elaborándolo de nuevo como un laboratorio industrial de gran complejidad y que pretende ser un reflejo de las técnicas agrícolas occidentales y de la moderna relación con la naturaleza a través de ecosistemas controlados tecnológicamente.

Andy Gracie será artista en residencia en Comafosca en donde durante el tiempo de exposición de su proyecto, que se realizará de forma escalada – siguiendo el ritmo natural de crecimiento de los organismos y sistemas vivos que componen la instalación –  realizará un registro y seguimiento de la evolución del proyecto.

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El artista estadounidense Brandon Ballengee retrata en Malamp: Visualizing Biological Abstraction in Nature el proceso de abstracción de la naturaleza tras la recogida y muestra de distintas especies de anfibios por medio de trabajo de campo. Los anfibios son una especie de “centinelas” del planeta, siendo un tercio de especies de anfibios los que ha sufrido la desaparición en los últimos 50 años. El resultado del proceso de investigación se presenta por medio de una serie de fotografías de los especímenes esculpidos por las condiciones del medio y que el artista ha recogido y retratado como análisis y registro del fenómeno de malformación en el área geográfica determinada.

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Fundadora del Forschunsgfloss / Research Raft for Subterranean Reefology Agnes Meyer-Brandis presenta su proyecto Earth-Core Laboratory & Elf-Scan en el que investiga las capas subterráneas por medio de una instalación interactiva con muestras de sondeo geológicas. A través de la creación de diversas interfaces que pone a disposición del público la artista investiga los movimientos de los elfos que habitan las capas subterráneas y que diseñan un delicado paraje entre la realidad y la ficción.

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PROGRAMA TAXONOMÍAS

OCTUBRE
5 de Octubre, 20 hs – Inauguración Taxonomías
6 de Octubre – Presentación Agnes Meyer-Brandis
Taller Earth-Core Laboratory & Elf-Scan

NOVIEMBRE
17 Noviembre- Presentación Andy Gracie
Mesa Redonda, Andy Gracie, Ramón Guardans y Vincens Jordana

DICIEMBRE
14 Diciembre – Presentación Brandon Ballengeè

ENERO
17, 18 y 19 Enero – Ciclo de cine medioambiental

Workshop directed by Agnes Brandis-Meyer_6th October

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Workshop: Tools to Search & Core Sample Scanning

Saturday 6th October 2007 . 5 pm @ Comafosca, Node d’art i pensament a Alella, Barcelona, Spain

Examination of deep earth and other layers of reality. A workshop with Agnes Meyer-Brandis, founder of the Forschunsgfloss / Research Raft for Subterranean Reefology“, a small institute whose chief aim is to explore and confirm subterranean phenomena. The workshop includes a short expedition into deep earth layers, methods, ethics, search tools, discoveries and field work activity of the Research Raft. Furthermore you will also have the opportunity to investigate some core samples from location with the “Elf-Scanner”, the core sample scanner developped by the Research Raft.

As part of “taxonomies”, a project by CAPSULA and COMAFOSCA

www.comafosca.net

FREE INSCRIPTION!!!

contact: info@capsula.org.es

CAPSULA and COMAFOSCA launch “taxonomies” Friday 5th October

COMAFOSCA AND CAPSULA LAUNCH THE PROJECT TAXONOMIES
OPENING ON THE 5TH OF OCTOBER 2007 AT 8 PM
“TAXONOMIES” 
ANALYZES THE CHANGING RELATIONSHIP OF HUMANS AND NATURE.

In “taxonomies” the relationship between human and nature is under analysis through different strategies that comprise the project. “taxonomies” consists of an exhibition, round tables, presentations, workshops and other activities. Identifying, analysing and ordering are the terms of this project combined through the process of investigation of artists, thinkers and other guests, among them Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Andy Gracie, Brandon Ballengeè and Ramon Guardans.

In the last decades we have seen how the order in which science is based to observe nature has been modified by the discovery of determined phenomena and natural laws, especially in the area of physics and life science, combined with an escalated technological development. 
Around this cultural movement there have been experiences of a new clasification which – in real or fantastic manner – recreated the relation of the human being with nature and nature by itself, without leaving the materialism of science. This fact relates to the work and research of some artists, thinkers, writers and other intellectuals who intend to analyse the key issues of the present time through a new order of observation and classification on the natural enviroment and other species. 
Taxonomias analyses the relationship of human and nature through the prism of art and science, and the form in which both are conceived within this current and eclectic landscape in which taxonomical systems gain a new sense.

“taxonomies” consists of an exhibition, round tables, presentations, workshops and other activities.

location>
COMAFOSCA, node of art and thought in Alella
Riera Coma Fosca, 42 08328 Alella Barcelona – Spain
opening hours>
Thursday to Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm
Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm / 5 pm to 10 pm de 10
Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm
Free entrance

organize by>
COMAFOSCA, node of art and thought in Alella y CAPSULA
with the support of>
Generalitat de Cataluña: Departamento de Cultura y Ayuntamiento de Alella
with the colaboration of >
Instituto Geológico de Cataluña and Reproducciones Sabaté

more information>
COMAFOSCA, node of art and thought in Alella www.comafosca.net
CAPSULA>

Dr. Natalie Jeremijenko and the Environmental Action Clinic

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Have you recently experienced a heightened awareness of environmental concerns? Common symptoms may include: nausea, depression, feelings of helplessness, and increased fear of the words “polar,” “ice,” and “caps.” While there is as yet no cure for this condition, specialist Dr. Natalie Jeremijenko, of NYU’s Environmental Health Clinic, might be able to help. Since the clinic’s launch in February, Dr. Jeremijenko, along with her trained assistants, has been addressing the environmental anxieties of its visitors.

To be clear, Jeremijenko, 40, has a Ph.D., not an M.D. And the project is run under the auspices of NYU’s Art Department, not the School of Public Health. Her credentials as an artist and environ-mental activist, however, are solid. Since arriving in America in 1994, the Australian-born artist and engineer has been producing work that harnesses technology to make people’s interactions with the natural world more, well, interactive.

When visitors come to the clinic with an environmental health concern—like children’s exposure to lead—the clinic’s specialists don’t simply trot out advice about limiting exposure to paint chips (it’s a conceptual art project, not a health provider). “What differs,” says Jeremijenko, “is that you walk out with a prescription not for pharmaceuticals, but for actions and … referrals to interesting art, design, and participatory projects.” Concern about lead in the neighborhood might call for a prescription for planting sunflowers to detoxify the soil in the park where children play. The clinic then might ask for samples of the flowers to determine how many chemicals the plants had absorbed, while keeping detailed records that are available to the public. “The data is precisely not private—it has to do with the shared space, air, water, and environmental systems we inhabit.”

from Good Magazine : http://www.goodmagazine.com/section/Portraits/mad_scientist

Strict vegan diet to feed a hydroponic garden

I’ve just been recommended to check in this blog this amazing project called N=1=NPK=KIMCHI=N (try do not forget the name!) by Korean artist Jae Rhime Lee.

The project began with a customized diet designed to transform her urine into an ideal nutrient solution for plants. She tested her urine, followed a strict vegan diet which included lots of tofu and spinach, and built a mobile urine recycling unit outfitted with a urinal, bed, table, urine processing system, and hydroponic garden. She grew napa cabbages hydroponically with her urine, made kimchi from the cabbages, and served the kimchi to the public. Jae Rhim is currently doing research for a film/design project about life preservation.

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Biorama reports

Great reports, commentaries and visual documentation of Biorama in we-love-money-not-art:

http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/009634.php

and C-Lab:

http://www.c-lab.co.uk/default.aspx?id=8&mode=view&eventid=91

many thanks!