Biobodies Salon

BIOBODIES SALON
Kira O’Reilly and Shannon Bell
Thurs. Jan 31 2013
8:00 – 10:00 pm
Villains Beastro
256 Pelissier
Windsor, ON, CANADA

Kira O’Reilly and Jennifer Willet: Refolding (Laboratory Architectures Twins), 2010.

The BioBODIES SALON is an event featuring two extraordinary speakers addressing new bioart practices at the intersection of Art + Science + Technology. Jennifer Willet from the University of Windsor and the INCUBATOR Laboratory will host theorist and artist Shannon Bell (York University) and artist Kira O’Reilly (Queen Mary, University of London) in exciting presentations and discussion about the transformation of bodies through bioart and biotechnological practices. The night will conclude with cocktails and casual conversation with the speakers.

The BioBODIES SALON is sponsored by INCUBATOR Laboratory, INTERMINUS Research Group, and The School for Arts and Creative Innovation, at the University of Windsor and the Art Gallery of Windsor.

Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/49758735362598

Kira O’Reilly is a UK based artist; her practice, both wilfully interdisciplinary and entirely undisciplined, stems from a visual art background; it employs performance, biotechnical practices and writing with which to consider speculative reconfigurations around The Body. Since graduating from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 1998 her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, China and Mexico. She has presented at conferences and symposia on both live art and science, art and technology interfaces. She has been a visiting lecturer in the UK and Australia and U.S.A in visual art, drama and dance. Most recent new works have seen her practice develop across several contexts from art, science and technology to performance, live art and movement work. She is currently an AHRC funded creative fellow at Department of Drama, Queen Mary University of London.

Shannon Bell is a performance philosopher who-lives-and-writes philosophy-in-action.

Her books include: Fast Feminism (Autonomedia, 2010), Reading, Writing and Rewriting the Prostitute Body (Indiana University Press 1994); Whore Carnival (Autonomedia1995); Bad Attitude/s on Trial coauthored with Brenda Cossman, Lise Gotell and Becki Ross (University of Toronto Press 1997); New Socialisms eds. Robert Albritton, Shannon Bell, John R. Bell and Richard Westra (Routledge 2004).

More recently Bell has been researching extremes in art – particularly bio and hybrid art.

Bell is currently working on shooting theory –– videoing-imagining philosophical concept such as Heidegger’s stillness, Husserl’s epoché, Batiallian waste, Weil’s attention, Deleuzian deterritorialization, Virilio’s vision machine and accident.

Bell is an associate professor in York University’s Political Science department, Toronto, Canada. She teaches modern and postcontemporary theory, cyberpolitics, aesthetics and politics, violent philosophy and fast feminism.

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Suzanne Anker

The University of Windsor Humanities Research Group
2012-2013 DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS SERIES presents:

SUZANNE ANKER
School of Visual Arts, New York
Lecture:  “Between Awe and Artfice: Welcome to Wonderland”
Thursday October 4, 2012 7:00 pm

Freed Orman Centre Assumption University Building
The University of Windsor
Special Guest: ART + LIFE Student Exhibition
Friday October 5, 2012 2:00 pm
School of Arts and Creative Innovation
SOVA Projects Gallery, Visual Arts, Lebel Building

Suzanne Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. She works in a variety of mediums ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries including the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institute, the Phillips Collection, P.S.1 Museum, the JP Getty Museum, the Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charite in Berlin, the Center for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin, the Pera Museum in Istanbul and the Museum of Modern Art in Japan. Her books include The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age, co-authored with the late sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, published in 2004 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Visual Culture and Bioscience, co-published by University of Maryland and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Chairing SVA’s Fine Arts Department in NYC since 2005, Ms. Anker continues to interweave traditional and experimental media in her department’s new digital initiative and the Nature and Technology BioArt Lab.

http://www.suzanneanker.com/

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Amanda White

AMANDA WHITE
Frugivore
Tomato Plants
2011-ongoing


I am revisiting a mutual relationship that exists between mammals and their food plants. To do this, I incorporate the natural seed dispersal actions of a fruit-eating mammal (or frugivore) into the human process of food crop cultivation.

I am growing plants from the seeds of cherry tomatoes that I first purchased from the grocery store, ate, and which then became deposited in my waste. The seeds were subsequently harvested from my waste by hand and grown into fruiting plants. I am continuing the cycle by eating and growing further generations of the same tomatoes. The first generation of plants were grown in-doors over the fall and winter of 2011-2012.

The process of this project illustrates the process of seed scarification -the way in which seeds travel through the digestive system of an animal in order to be broken down and prepared for germination and growth. This is an important process in ecology, as it allows for seed dispersal and plant diversity.

The use of urine and feces as plant fertilizers and compost materials are also common in our farming practices and yet are seen as the work of animals, not humans. The Frugivore project emphasizes our human bodies as animal bodies, with the potential to perform similar tasks and behave symbiotically with other organisms in our environment.

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Stephen Surlin

STEPHEN SURLIN
microcompositions
Microorganisms, Computer, Speakers, Video Monitors
2013

microcompositions is a musical installation and a collaborative composition, performed in collaboration with some of the microorganisms that live in Windsor’s complex and rare ecosystems.

The video documentation features the steps that lead to the musical composition including gathering the microorganisms from around Windsor and recording their movements under the microscope. A second video presents the musical performance created by the microorganisms in collaboration with Surlin’s object tracking software.

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Tina Suntres

TINA SUNTRES
BIOman
Chia on form
2012

The objective of this project was to show how plants could be used as an optimal bioart medium. There are many reasons why this is so. Plants are vital – producing the necessary oxygen and nutrients for animal life to flourish on earth. Utilizing plants instead of tissues in bioart reduces the need for many of the animal byproducts used in labs. They can be grown into many shapes and they do not need to be disposed of as a biohazard after the piece is displayed. Plants are often overlooked during debates that question the ethics of utilizing living materials in art because they are not conscious.

Exhibiting chia in the form of a person helped anthropomorphize it into something that could be perceived as living and breathing so people could relate to it. It took the chia a week to grow on paper towels, similar to the length of time that is required to grow skin grafts. The chia sheets were then pinned onto a human form. The form is exhibited along with photographs, one of which shows the chia BIOman with a tomato. The intention is to bring the concept full circle and as such it represents how we are what we eat, with plants being the main source of nutrients.

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Natalie Nadeau

NATALIE NADEAU
Inheritance
Second hand doilies, Petri dishes, agar, bacteria, fungi, reconstructed lab table
2012

Inheritance is a work compromised of five oversized Petri dishes, hosting bacteria and fungus covered doilies. Each second hand doily is submerged into an agar solution, which is the ‘culture medium’ that encourages bacterial and fungal growth. This process has been active for a number of months.

The crocheted doilies embody a strong and perhaps forgotten sense of domestic and social heritage; embedded in their social fabric are the individuals who once utilized the doilies for their intended purpose, as well as the artisans who purposefully crafted each one with the skills and knowledge learned from the past. By not sanitizing each doily prior to use, bacteria and fungus are able to inherit the thread of each crocheted motif, allowing a possible link to each doily’s historical ancestry. The collision of microorganisms with symmetrical domestic surface treatments reveals the ties between certain formations found in the colonies of bacteria and fungi and traditionally crocheted thread stitches. Each specimen is an investigation into generational lineage, geometric formation and unknown origins.

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Brandon Lemire

BRANDON LEMIRE

Open reduction internal plantation
Digital print
2012

intramedullary Die-Section
Digital print
2012

fractured growth
Digital print
2012

In my work I explore different states of vulnerably in relation to man and the environment.  I am interested in the discourse between the biology of nature and human anatomy.  My time spent working in the operating room as a surgical technologist has given me a great appreciation for what the human body endures in order to survive traumatic events and life altering illnesses.

These experiences can be related to the unsterile world outside of the hospital setting in how we as humans interact with the planet. I believe it to be possible that humans are in fact an illness or a traumatic event, imposing our will on the earth.  Humans can be categorized as parasites that are slowly devouring the planet that supplies them with sustenance.

To comment on this subject I create drawings and juxtapose them with surgical instruments used during a particular surgical procedure and the blood and tissue of the human body that are revealed during the surgery. The outcome is a strategically arranged, three dimensional, mixed media composition that is then photographed.

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Amanda LaFlamme

AMANDA LAFLAMME
Beauty and the Yeast
Bread, Plexiglass, Wood
2012

This piece was created using the historical and biotechnological process of mixing flour, water, salt, and yeast to create a mass of dough. Through fermentation, live organisms interacting within the dough created alcohol and carbon dioxide gas, which caused the dough to rise before and during baking. After baking and slicing the bread, the artist used a laser engraver to toast the words of the story into each slice. The story and the bread itself are representations of feminist issues such as the stereotyping of the female sex and gender, the empowerment of women, the contributions of women to our culture as well as the field of science, and the missed connections between these issues.

Traditionally science was male dominated yet women have been unrecognized scientists for centuries and bread making is just one example of that as baking has been seen as ‘women’s work’ yet bread making is biotechnology. Once upon a time women were legally banned from universities and ownership of property including businesses. Thus men first created women’s limitations and then used women’s perceived lack of growth and independence as proof that women were incompetent. Still today, women face economic limitations due to our patriarchal society although it is changing slowly. This representation of the link between bread making and biotechnology in the form of art symbolizes women’s resiliency and resourcefulness. What men have done with riches, women have done with their scraps.

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Ashleigh Gunter

ASHLEIGH GUNTER
Natural Selection
Rocks, Milk Paint, Digital Photography
2013

My artwork has grown out of an interest in the environment, and takes a critical view of the environmental issues local to the Windsor, Ontario area. I work in several mediums, which include photography, painting and drawing – both traditional and digital, and by combining these I am able to create an organic mixture with an eclectic feeling.

I work very much in the moment, letting the materials guide me. Using natural items in my art over a traditional canvas and paint, results in a much more unpredictable outcome and requires a lot more improvisation. The combination of photography and the painting of natural materials allow me to create an earthy flow from the predictable to unpredictable.

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BioART: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences – Chelsea Greenwell

CHELSEA GREENWELL
Luteum Papilio; Reverence
Plexiglass, agar, bacteria, fungi, dragonfly, digital prints, light box
2013

My work looks at the influence humans have upon the natural world and questions how we perceive our relationship to it and how we interact with it. In Lutum Papilio, I am both inspired by and interrogate the actions of bioartist Marta de Menezes in her project Nature? in which she describes having “created live butterflies where their wing patterns were modified for artistic purposes.”[1] With Lutum Papilio I sculpted butterflies out of clay to replicate the Bicyclus anynana and Heliconious melpomene species used in de Menezes’ work. These were then cast out of plastic with a vacuum sealer to replicate a Petri dish environment. After being sterilized, they received a layer of agar upon which mold formed due not only to the specific placement of bacteria, a constructed interference, but also the human interaction of handling these butterflies.

In Reverence, a piece that physically represents my thoughts on the homage we owe to our relationship with nature, I stained sections of the wings of a found dragonfly with various cell biology staining dyes, replicating the manipulation of light through stained glass. Stained glass is a way we control or enhance light, a natural phenomenon, for aesthetic means. I am asking if this is a reflection of how we, as human kind, perceive our relationship to nature.


[1] Marta de Menezes’ artist statement for Nature? http://martademenezes.com/portfolio/projects/

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