When Microbes Dream

Jennifer Willet
September 11th 2022
Ectopia – Experimental Art Laboratory
https://ectopialab.org/

IOTA Institute is pleased to be touring manager for When Microbes Dream, a solo exhibition by Canadian bioartist Jennifer Willet, which opens at Ectopia in Lisbon, Portugal on 11 September 2022. When Microbes Dream premiered at Kapelica Gallery (Ljubljana, Slovenia) in Oct 2021, and continues on its European tour. This exhibition coincides with FEMeeting, an international consortium of women in art, science and technology (11-17 Sept 2022).

When Microbes Dream introduces audiences to allegorical visions of biotechnology as a technology of abundance, rooted in interspecies collaboration and bespoke ecologies. With this exhibition, the artist reimagines laboratory aesthetics as bountiful, feminine, and gaudy in direct contradiction to scientific norms. Willet presents several works including live specimens in conjunction with performative sculpture, large-scale installations, and a series of digital prints.

Each artwork presents a complex vision of organisms large and small (mammals, microbes, plants, and insects) working in collaboration to present biotech processes to human audiences. This work de-prioritizes the human scientist as the dominant organism working within a robust laboratory ecology. Rather, presents the daydreams of non-human organisms living, reproducing, performing and dying within laboratory settings.

When Microbes Dream presents a feminist science-fiction where biotechnology manifests interspecies collaboration, reproduction, theatre and storytelling as a means to re-imagine our shared biotech future.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Acknowledgements

This exhibition is produced in partnership with IOTA Institute, INCUBATOR Art Lab, Ectopia, and FEMeeting. This project gratefully acknowledges the support of the University of Windsor, Canada Research Chair Program, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Trade Commissioners at the Embassy of Canada to Portugal, and the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

When Microbes Dream Project Assistants: Billie Mclaughlin, Domenica Mediati, Angela Awada, Jude Abu Zaineh, Lisha Laing, Aleeza Tariq, Kadila Adili, Phil Habashy, Justin Elliott, Michael Lucenkiw, Gillian Hughes, Luke Maddiford, Ashley Hemmings, Megan Andrews, Hadia Nadeem, Lyndsay Mckay.

Project Assistants: Billie Mclaughlin, Domenica Mediati, Angela Awada, Jude Abu Zaineh, Lisha Laing, Aleeza Tariq, Kadila Adili, Phil Habashy, Justin Elliott, Michael Lucenkiw, Gillian Hughes, Luke Maddiford, Ashley Hemmings.

Image credit
1) Jennifer Willet. Laboratory Ecologies. Image Credit: Caitlin Sutherland, UWAG 2020
2) Jennifer Willet, Biosafety Puppet Playhouse. Image Credit: Scott Lee, UWAG 2020
3-4) Jennifer Willet, Baroque Biology: Paper Theatre, 2019. Image Credit: Justin Elliot.