LABS 2020

The Leonardo Abstracts Service (LABS) is an evolving, comprehensive database of thesis abstracts (PhD, Master's and MFA) on topics at the intersections between art, science and technology. This English-language database is hosted by Pomona College (Claremont, CA), under the direction of editor-in-chief Sheila Pinkel.

Each year, in addition to being published in the database, a selection of abstracts chosen by a peer review panel for their special relevance are published annually on our website. The six highest-ranking abstracts of 2020 will be published in Leonardo journal (see upcoming Vol. 54, No. 5, October 2021). We are pleased to present below the top-ranked thesis abstracts of 2020, and we congratulate the authors of the theses.

Highest-Ranking Abstracts

Highly Ranked Abstracts

We also wish to acknowledge the following authors of notable abstracts: Luca Carrubba, Sophia Charuhas, Paul Dolan, Isabella Pasqualini, Katarina Petrovic, F. Myles Sciotto and Drew Thornton.

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Audiovisual Installation as Ecological Performativity

Teresa Marie Connors

Audiovisual Installation as Ecological Performativity lies in the fields of sonic arts and audiovisual practice, which experiment with developing non-linear installations.  The project was initiated by my artistic shift away from fixed-media formats to non-linear procedures and by recent ecological discourses of human and nonhuman agency.  The research aims to locate an ecology of practice that, rather than being autonomous and reductive, is directly affected by the specificity and proximity of connections made in practice and process on a relational level.

My research was guided by the belief that non-linear creative processes exploring co-creative devices from the agency of material can elicit different sensibilities and lines of communication, providing an alternative way in which to be in creative practice and experience the world—one that is emergent, contingent and performative.  Thus my project was drawn to concepts of material agency and performativity in the writings of Karen Barad, Jane Bennett, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, Andrew Pickering, and Timothy Morton.  In addition, the philosophical provocations of Timothy Ingold, Erin Manning, Brian Massumi, Isabelle Stengers, and Thon Van Dooren were enlisted to locate my ecology of practice in a relational mode of experience that emphasized an ecological awareness.

Teresa Marie Connors: dr.teresa.connors@gmail.com. PhD, The University of Waikato, New Zealand, 2018.

Documentation photo for Teresa Connors’ Piano at the End of a Poisoned Stream. Installation presented at the New Zealand Playhouse Gallery in Hamilton in April 2017. © Teresa Connors.
Documentation photo for Teresa Connors’s Piano at the End of a Poisoned Stream. Installation presented at the New Zealand Playhouse Gallery in Hamilton in April 2017. (© Teresa Connors)

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From Interaction to Post-Participation: The Disappearing Role of the Active Participant

Varvara Guljajeva

This practice-based research explores the shift from active to passive participation in interactive art. By exploring interactive art history and the discourse of identity within the field, the dissertation investigates how artworks that demonstrate no audience involvement, but still incorporate an internal system interaction with a data source, are addressed.

The research tracks down the interest shift from human-machine to system-to-system interaction, and explores the reasons behind this. In order to approach the paradoxical situation in interactive art, where the artworks that demonstrate no direct audience interaction are addressed as interactive, the term of post- participation is introduced and discussed in the thesis. Research tools, such as direct and indirect post- participation, are developed and applied for the practice-based investigation.

Dissertation contributes to the evolution of interactive art, by analysing and contextualising passive audience interaction in the form of post-participation. It argues that the concept of post-participation helps to address the shift from an active to a passive spectator in the complex age of dataveillance, an age in which humans are continuously tracked, traced, monitored and surveilled without our consent.

Varvara Guljajeva: varvarag@gmail.com. PhD, Estonian Academy of Arts, 2018.

The Rhythm of City (2010) by Varvara & Mar at the Elektronika Festival, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (© Varvara & Mar)
The Rhythm of City (2010) by Varvara & Mar at the Elektronika Festival, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (© Varvara & Mar)

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A Reactive Brain Computer Interface: A Novel Sonification and Visualization Approach Evoked by Illusions

Marlene D. Mathew

This dissertation looks into the effects that art may have on the brain, by looking into visual illusions. Visual processing can create visual evoked potentials (VEP) in our brainwaves, which are evoked potentials caused by a visual stimulus, measured by the electrical response of the brain’s primary visual cortex.

An interface using reactive BCI data is developed by creating a framework that will provide sonic and/or visual output of this neurofeedback information. This is done primarily from an artist/composer (Art) standpoint while looking into cognition and perception (Science). The development of Visum and Aspecta, two bio artworks by concentrating on the conceptual design, implementation and challenges is also documented.

Significant developments in the use of BCI technology for artistic purposes is explored, like how to precisely collect and process EEG data aesthetically, and what license can be used with the data in order to create meaning or an environment for the audience themselves to bring meaning to the artwork. By intersecting scientific methodologies and media arts practice, the author shows how visual perception can inform and offer new forms of expression.

The overall goal is to offer pathways within the field of human computer interaction by introducing novel sensory methods of interfacing with computer systems that aim to amplify human qualities.

Marlene Mathew: 96mathew96@gmail.com. PhD Thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara 2020.

Visum – a VEP visualization. (© Marlene Mathew)
Visum – a VEP visualization. (© Marlene Mathew)

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Art and Technology: Coherence, Connectedness, and the Integrative Field

Carlos Augusto Moreira da Nóbrega

This thesis is a theoretical and practical intervention in the field of art and technology. It proceeds from the re-examination of four specific domains that in the past 40 years have considerably informed the invention of new aesthetic forms: art, science, nature and technology. We have identified that each one of these domains and how they inform one another reflects the influence of a Western analytical tradition based on fragmentation, dichotomies and dualities. In consequence of this, art of the last decades has suffered from a sort of mechanistic thought which results from a predominantly weary aesthetic model, founded in dualities such as: object/process, form/behaviour, meaning/information.

The main question that the present study addresses is how to overcome this predominantly reductionist inheritance and to develop an aesthetic model able to interconnect in an integrative fashion those disparate domains, respective discourses and practices?  The answer to this question, developed throughout this thesis, is an aesthetic principle built upon the notions of resonance, coherence and field models, rooted in an integrative view of living organisms based on the theory of biophotons. This constitutes the main contribution of the thesis to new knowledge.

The practice-based methodology of this thesis has been to develop artworks based on the confluence of living organisms and artificial systems in order to permit empirical observation and reflection on the proposed theory.

Carlos Augusto Moreira da Nóbrega: gutonobrega@eba.ufrj.br, PhD, University of Plymouth – UK / 2009.

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The Art of Cyborgs: A Techno-Social Approach to Contemporary Culture

Minka Stoyanova

While some frameworks for the discussion of contemporary art outline era-defining, totalizing, narratives, others are based on the recent adoption or proliferation of specific technologies. Both will likely become obsolete as technological development progresses and neither is fully applicable across artistic media. The project of this thesis is to suggest the cyborg as an alternative approach that can be applied across temporalities and practices.

Analyzed in three parts, this thesis outlines technology’s historic relationship to society and culture since the rise of cybernetics in the mid-twentieth century, defines cyborg theory at the level of the individual as a techno-social cultural theory, and finally applies that theory to an analysis of online performance art and hacking/making as artistic practice

The section on online performance investigates how technology has been used to extend and reform the body drawing parallels between physical body alterations and software-based alterations of the virtual cyborg body. The final section analyzes hands on practices of media art as critical engagements that disrupt the cyborgian continuity between individuals and their technologies. These readings are not meant to be all inclusive, but should illustrate the usefulness and applicability of the cyborg as a tool for understanding contemporary artistic production.

Minka Stoyanova: theartist@minkaart.net. PhD, City University of Hong Kong, 2019.

‘Postcards From Berlin’ from the series The Virtual Stabbing at the Fabric of the Real… (2017).(© Minka Stoyanova)
‘Postcards From Berlin’ from the series The Virtual Stabbing at the Fabric of the Real… (2017). (© Minka Stoyanova)

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How Machines See the World: Five Essays on Biological and Artificial Vision

Carloalberto Treccani

This thesis aims to investigate how vision emerges in biological and artificial ‘creatures’.

The thesis, positioned at the intersection of art, aesthetics, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence studies, begins by questioning why and how the world appears articulated into objects distinct from each other and with precise characteristics. The most immediate answer is: “because the world has those characteristics”. However, as shown by several psychophysical studies, biological visual systems cannot retrieve the physical properties of the world. Nevertheless, despite these problems, visual-guided behaviours are generally successful. Given this paradox, this thesis investigates the strategies that visually gifted ‘creatures’ have implemented to circumvent these obstacles.

With this purpose in mind, the thesis, first, highlights difficulties, complications and erroneous convictions about vision, that the attempts at the creation of visually ‘intelligent’ machines have unveiled. Secondly, it discusses the role played by Artificial Neural Networks to better comprehend how biological vision works. From there, using the driving principle of neural network technologies, i.e., trial and error, the thesis proceeds to formulate an empirical approach to vision, able to connect biological and artificial vision.

Finally, the thesis tries to foresee several future scenarios of the co-evolution of human and machine vision. The hitherto unexplored scenarios that the arrival of ‘intelligent’ artificial vision opened oblige us to reconsider vision as a diffuse practice across visually gifted entities.

Carloalberto Treccani: carloalberto.treccani@gmail.com. PhD thesis, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, 2020.

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Prototyping Relational Things That Talk: A Discursive Design Strategy for Conversational AI Systems

Birgitte Aga

This practice-based research inquiry explores the implications of conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, ‘relational things that talk’, on the way people experience the world. It intentionally does not situate itself neatly within specific design categories, or within forms of art, social movement or activism, but across these arenas. It responds directly to the pervasive lack of ethical design frameworks for commercial AI systems, compounded by limited transparency, ubiquitous authority, embedded bias and the absence of diversity in their development.

The effect produced by relational things that talk upon the feelings, thoughts or intentions of the user is here defined as the ‘perlocutionary effect’ of conversational AI systems.  The proposition of this effect frames the central practice of this thesis and the contribution to new knowledge which manifests as four discursive prototypes developed through a participatory method. These are contextualised through examples of forms of cultural expression and social action by designers and artists which have critiqued human-like artificial systems. In so doing, this inquiry proposes the appropriation of relational things that talk as a discursive design strategy, extended with a participatory method, for new forms of artistic expression and social action, which activate people to demand more ethical AI systems.

Dr. Birgitte Aga: birgitteaga@gmail.com. PhD, University of Plymouth, 2019.

Things That Talk (© Birgitte Aga)
Things That Talk (© Birgitte Aga)

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Biochromes: Perceptions of Australian Medicinal Plants through Experimental Photography

Renata Buziak

This practice-led visual arts research uses photography to represent medicinal plants of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and provides a visual articulation of the actions of decay and regeneration. It draws on natural science and extensive consultations with members of the Quandamooka community. Grounded in these precious relationships and fieldtrips, it emphasises the importance of protocols and processes of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the respectful treatment of cultural property, and the productive outcomes of sharing stories.

My interest in medicinal plants stems from my childhood in Poland, my grandmother’s knowledge of folk medicine, and ecological concerns for preserving biodiversity.

My studio practice consists of works on paper and time-lapse videos based on the fusion of organic and photographic materials in a process I name the biochrome. The images are generated through bacterial micro-organic activity encouraged by arranging plant samples on photographic emulsions and allowing them to transform during cyclic decay and regeneration.

Informed by the history of art and botanical illustration, ethnobotany, medicinal plants databases, and basic microbiology, the work centers on the action of decomposition as traced by photography, creating a visual metaphor for the medicinal plants’ transformative action.

This research aims to extend appreciation and understanding of Australia’s natural history, invites audiences to closely consider value of Australian healing plants, which in turn aims to support and preserve traditional knowledge, natural environments and biodiversity.

Renata Buziak: renata@renata-buziak.com. PhD, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, 2015.

Melaleuca quinquenervia… disinfectant... (©RenataBuziak)
Melaleuca quinquenervia… disinfectant... (©RenataBuziak)

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The Human Use of the Human Face: The Photographic Self-Portrait in the Age of the Selfie

Karen ann Donnachie

This multidisciplinary, practice-led research, articulated across electronic, and post-internet art, experiments with and through the selfie, (ie. networked, vernacular, photographic self-portrait) in order to propose a new critical understanding of the genre’s effect on wider photographic self-portrait practice. Not satisfied with the dismissal of the selfie as a mere remediation, “The Human Use…” maps the selfie as a distinct, complex, controversial genre at the crossroads between performance, narcissism, social tic, self-projection and a possibly irrational quest for authenticity in the photographic image.

In the face of mass-media’s sensationalist depiction of the selfie as product of celebrity emulation, vanity, sexual promise and self-indulgence, “The Human Use...” introduces affect, connectedness, belonging and being human to the discussion concerning the motivations behind, and social consequences of, the selfie. Through this reading, it emerges that the selfie, by indelibly weaving itself into an emerging visual and visceral dialect, has already, and irrevocably, influenced the photographic self-portrait.

Addressing not only the artefact or surface of the image, but also the activity, production and cultural motivation of the selfie, this research examines its privileged position inside a rapidly expanding and evolving social media ecology. With the contemporary social urge to participate, to dialogue, and to share, the selfie becomes yet another human use of the human face.

Karen ann Donnachie: karenanndonnachie@gmail.com. PhD Thesis, Curtin University, 2017.

 

Delayed Rays of a Star, 2015. (© Karen ann Donnachie)
Delayed Rays of a Star, 2015. (© Karen ann Donnachie)

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Electronic Art in the 20th Century. The Case of Frank J. Malina: A Steam Methodology Educational Program for Primary School Children

Kiriaki Genitsaridou

This paper examines the work of pioneer artist and scientist Frank J. Malina.  It explores his multi-talented personality and influence not only on his contemporaries but also his descendant and seeks to find connections with today’s practice. The outcome of this theoretical research is the design and implementation of an art-science educational program for primary school children, combining contemporary digital programming tools with basic principles of light design and visual perception. This educational program is based on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) methodology. The purpose of the program is to familiarize children with the effects of light and in particular the Play of brilliants through the work of Frank J. Malina.

Kiriaki Genitsaridou: kiriakigenitsaridou@gmail.com. Hellenic Open University, Lighting Design and Multimedia MA, 2019.

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Mediated Memory and the Internet: Indigenous Protagonism in Brazil

Louise M. Hisayasu

This research draws connections between collective memory, digital technologies and Indigenous protagonism in Brazil. I propose that digital technologies and the Internet, which are growingly affordable, accessible and multi-medial have become necessary tools for the Indigenous community and Indigenist movements in Brazil since the mid-1980’s. The fire which engulfed the Brazilian National Museum in September 2018 evidences not only the fragility of the memory institution, but also verifies the instability which exist at the intersection of history and collective memory. Indigenous protagonism is a movement pushing for Indigenous authorship and autonomy; mobilising Indigenous artists, scholars and individuals from their historical place of object to author. 305 Indigenous ethnicities live spread out across Brazil, in both rural and urban areas. They account for 0.4% of the entire population. With over 274 Native oral languages spoken, digital technologies provide a route for the preservation of cultural heritage which is not predominantly textual. Digital technologies do not only afford mediated memories, but also serve as tools for the creation and dissemenation of contemporary Indigenous culture. Through the case study of Programa de Índio, Rádio Yandê, Índios On-line and Arte Eletrônica Indígena, this research studies the impact digital technologies and the Internet have as tools on the preservation of Indigenous collective and mediated memories, passively creating archives of non-linear (hi)stories.

Louise M. Hisayasu: lou-ise@posteo.net. MA, Donau Universität Krems, 2019.

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A Field Guide to Exit Zero: Urban Landscape Essay Films, 1921 till Now

S Topiary Landberg

This theory/practice dissertatioon concerns an under-theorized mode of documentary moving image practice in which the urban landscape is the subject and not simply a sePng. As a history of urban landscape essay filmmaking, this field guide provides analyses of how the city provides a canvas for collective and collaborative agencies. It is an exploration of three generic film structures or methodologies for representing urban nature: 1) the city as visual music, 2) spoken word landscapes, and 3) media cartography. Part one centers on how cross-sectional montage, the day in the life structure, microcosmic and synecdochic formats function in classical city symphony and one of its experimental off-shoots, the jazz-inspired infrastructure étude. Part two explores how the acousmatic voice shapes meaning and can evoke a dysphoric or queer relationship between sound and image. Part three is the practice component, an interactive documentary employing the interaction metaphor of cartography and providing an atlas of a single central San Francisco city block through time.

S Topiary Landberg: stopiary@ucsc.edu. PhD dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2020.

Compass interface menu for the idoc “Exit Zero: An Atlas of One City Block Through Time” (© S Topiary Landberg)
Compass interface menu for the idoc "Exit Zero: An Atlas of One City Block Through Time" (© S Topiary Landberg)

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The Art, Aesthetics, and Materiality of the Arcade Videogame Interface: A Practice-Included JAMMA Era Arcade Platform Study

Kieran Nolan

This research presents a practice-included platform study of the arcade videogame interface as a self-reflexive art medium. It frames the arcade as both platform and genre, focusing particularly on the mid-1980s to late 1990s, the JAMMA era.

Arcade platforms represent a set of technologies designed for consumer level play but traditionally closed off to non-developers as creative mediums. This thesis addresses their nature as aesthetic interfaces.

The arcade interface taxonomy presented extends beyond input controls and audio-visual feedback, incorporating the arcade cabinet, all communicative system architecture links, and the interface defined by environment and user context.

Methodologically this thesis draws heavily upon the platform studies approach, including technical and historical research alongside case studies on harnessing system constraints to best aesthetic effect. Data sources consulted included industry archives, technical manuals, interviews, exhibitions, playtest feedback, and first-hand tacit research of the arcade videogame interface as an artistic medium.

Control, Arcade Operator, and VR SuperGun are a trilogy of interactive self-reflexive meta artefacts forming the material art-practice element of this thesis, combining into an experiential, critically reflective composite overview of the arcade interface.

The overall study contributes to understanding of JAMMA era arcade videogames as material and aesthetic forms, and their role as a convergent link across new media art, interface design, game studies, and indie-game development.

Kieran Nolan: kieran.nolan@gmail.com. PhD, Trinity College Dublin, 2019.

VR SuperGun prototype, screen capture. (© Kieran Nolan)
VR SuperGun prototype, screen capture. (© Kieran Nolan)

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IM-Medea: Posthumansim and Remediation in Music-theatre

Thanos Polymeneas-Liontiris

This thesis presents a practice-based research on experimental music-theatre. It investigates notions of posthumanism, cybernetics and remediation, when practically applied to performance art. The research fundamentally inquires “Which principles of cybernetics could contribute to the practice of new music-theatre, how, and what would this imply”.

The practical aspect of the research consisted in devising a series of generative performances, orchestrated by interactive feedback-based processes between audience, performers and computational technology. Essentially a type of work that challenges the traditional concepts of authorship and spectatorship in performance.

The first part of the thesis is an introduction to the theoretical context of the research, situating it in the wider aesthetic and philosophical milieu by engaging with the discourse of a.o. Simondon, Hayles, Pask, Latour, Dixon, Bolter and Grusin. It also examines Heiner Müller’s Despoiled Shore Medea Material Landscape with Argonauts, the play upon which the performances were based. The second part of the thesis presents in detail the generative performances, focusing on the processes, the technologies employed, and the experience of the participants.

This research contributes to the development of methods for devising cybernetic and ecosystemic music-theatre works based on behavioural interactions between performers, audience and technology. It also formalises a theoretical understanding of the phenomenological and experiential aspects of these new dynamic relationships.

Thanos Polymeneas-Liontiris: athpoli@gmail.com. PhD, University of Sussex, 2019.

Gonçalo Almeida during Quicklime, at Modern Body Festival 2016, The Hague (© Erin McKinney)
Gonçalo Almeida during Quicklime, at Modern Body Festival 2016, The Hague (© Erin McKinney)

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All-Women Initiatives in Art and Technology 1986–2020. Atenea: Mentoring and Networking Project in STEAM

Elena Robles Mateo

This dissertation explores a series of all-women initiatives that have emerged at the intersection of art and technology, it is a global mapping of this techno-social and artistic phenomen. It describes the context that has given rise to such initiatives since the middle 1980s, focusing on the the different positions adopted to address the situation of women in arts and technology. This research work elaborates the linkage of such initiatives to the early history of all-women art groups and alternative art spaces, the history of women in new media arts and network cultures. From colletives to exhibitions and festivals, a wide range of self-organized formats are also analyzed in their correlation with information and communication technologies. With the results obtained, this dissertation aims to become a source of references that enriches the scarce bibliography on the topic. It provides a list of curatorial and organizational forms with the earliest and unpublished practices which altogether contribute to the current women’s historiography.

Lastly, while discussing the current situation of women in art and technology fields, this dissertation presents Atenea, a networking project for women in Arts and STEM with a mentoring program for kids and adolescents.

Elena Robles Mateo: elenarobles@zohomail.eu. PhD thesis Universitat Politècnica de València 2020.
 

Visualization Map: All-women initiatives in Art and Technology 1986–2020 (© Elena Robles Mateo)
Visualization Map: All-women initiatives in Art and Technology 1986–2020 (© Elena Robles Mateo)

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A Method for the Analysis of Handmade Electronic Music as the Basis of New Works

Ezra Teboul

“Handmade electronic music” emphasizes the sonic potential of electronics, shifting the location of expertise to include manufacturing in addition to performance. A generalizable mode of study of this music has remained elusive but can be formalized by acknowledging prior work in technology studies and engineering. Specifically, I assess the potential of reverse engineering, the critical deconstruction of technical objects for comprehensibility, maintenance, and improvement.

I focus on circuits, code, and representations of these technical media. I offer a view of reverse engineering through the lens of technology studies as not only a complement to interview and archival-based research, but also as a necessary step in the full documentation of artworks rooted in electronics. I present how this new approach to musical analysis in a sociotechnical context enables better informed documentation and reiteration of electronic works by connecting material decisions with artistic consequences.

The generalizable nature of this reading is illustrated through six case studies: Steve Reich's Pulse Music (for Phase Shifting Pulse Gate) , Paul DeMarinis' Pygmy Gamelan , Ralph Jones' Star Networks at the Singing Point , and Tamara Duplantis' Downstream , and two of my own works. Indeed, if reverse engineering identifies connections between tools and aesthetic experiences, it can also reveal alleys of artistic experimentation left unexplored. Here, research and practice do not only serve each other, they are co-constructed.

Ezra Teboul: ezra@redthunderaudio.com. PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Synthetic Creatures of Media Arts: Biorobots and Other Biotechnological Entities as an Art Practice of Hybrid Ecology

Daria Vdovina

This research explores the role of biotechnological art in the emergence of new thinking patterns on the blurring border between natural and artificial. It considers synthetic creatures as a result of artistic practices seeking to introduce new life forms emergent from a synergetic combination of contemporary technology and synthetic biology. In historical continuity from first cave paintings of chimeras to first automata this study looks at the shift from ancient animism to the system of thought established due to philosophical and technological developments of Enlightenment. Further, it investigates how the dominant paradigm in Western tradition from the times of Cartesian split is transforming nowadays. Inspired by Simondon’s, Latour’s, and Ascott’s conceptions it analyzes the evolution of the idea of coexistence. Exploring Penny’s and Whitelaw’s writings it looks at trajectories of ideas about embodied cognition that inspired reactive robotics and Alife research. Combining these prerequisites it suggests examining how with creatures of media arts their authors are addressing the notion of the sentient living technology. Case studies of the artworks cellF and Bricolage by the Australian art duo of Guy Ben-Ary and Nathan Thompson offer particular examples where synthetic creatures as analytical models complement the discussion about technological hybridization of planetary ecology and carry a mythological load into culture through art.

Daria Vdovina: vdovinadaria@gmail.com. MA thesis, Aalborg University,  2019.

Dying biobot, In Vitro Agencies, Solu Space, Finland, 2019. (© Vdovina)
Dying biobot, In Vitro Agencies, Solu Space, Finland, 2019. (© Vdovina)

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Second Wind: Materializing Wind-speed Data From a Ponderosa Pine

Anne Yoncha

Second Wind is a kinetic, responsive art installation which examines invisible processes taking place in and around a Ponderosa pine tree. Wind speed data, measured at 20', 25', 30', 35', and 40' in the canopy of a Ponderosa on the University of Montana campus, is translated into the gallery in real time using two Raspberry Pi single-board computers. This data determines the velocity of five fans in the gallery. Each fan interacts with a suspended vellum paper structure which moves more or less depending on wind speed. The vellum is painted with an ink made of fermented pine needles from the tree, and imagery depicts changes in canopy density based on height.

This piece aims to transform invisible processes into analogues viewers can experience tangibly, engaging in conversations about our capacity to fit within and radically change our ecosystems.

Second Wind aims to raise questions about the limits of perception and knowledge, limits which are especially important to investigate as our capacity to shape our ecosystems continues to grow. Reexamining the concept of the “landscape” through object-making, bio-art, and data materialization can contribute to our conceptualization of plant physiological systems, place-based ecology, and land use and perception.

Anne Yoncha: ayoncha@gmail.com. MFA thesis, University of Montana, 2019.

Second Wind gallery view. (Photograph © Brock Mickelsen)
Second Wind gallery view. (Photograph © Brock Mickelsen)