Events   About   Projects   Experiments   Texts   Blogs   Resources   Contact horizontal divider horizontal divider horizontal divider
ARTSCIENCE TALKSHOW
14 Sep 2013; Laura Cinti - 23 Nov 2013

ArtScience Talkshow

As part of the Night of Art & Science festival, where museums and venues in Leiden open their doors for the evening, the ArtScience Talkshow organised by The Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends (STT) and Waag Society was hosted at Raamsteeg2.

The live talkshow featured winners of the Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award (DA4GA) and focused on the collaborative aspect between the artists and science institutes making up each team. Speakers included Howard Boland & Laura Cinti of C-LAB with Bela Mulder of FOM Institute AMOLF, Charlotte Jarvis with Christian Freund and Harold Mikkers of Leiden University Medical Center, and Haseeb Ahmed with Jos Kleinjans of Netherlands Toxico-Genomics Center

ArtScience Talkshow

The debate was lead by Jacco van Uden of STT and Lucas Evers of Waag Society who aptly interrogated the nature of collaborations involved in each of the three award-winning projects. 

Alongside the art-science teams, taking part in each debating sessions, were researchers and artists working in the field of art-science: Rob Zwijnenberg of The Arts & Genomics Centre, Edwin van der Heide of Media Technology Leiden University and Taco Stolk of the Royal Academy of Art-Science Department.

ArtScience Talkshow

Howard and Laura's involvement took shape of an intensive residency that involved the artists relocating to Amsterdam for five months to undertake the work within FOM Institute AMOLF. An official permit was granted by National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) for the artists to perform the laboratory work including working with genetically modified organisms. LIVING MIRROR required a unique integration of wetware, software and hardware to capture individual portraits using living bacteria. It was appropriate to approach the work as a research project fitting well within the institutional framework. The artists worked closely with their scientific collaborators, Bela and Tom Shimizu, who acted as advisors and facilitators in the project. The project benefitted from a great team of engineers who helped realise and build key aspects of the project by working closely with the artists who undertook research, prototyping and conducting all biological wet laboratory work.

Challenges in the immersive collaborative research based model is time and budget - a practical route for realising the idea was established through several stages, in particular the artists also had to make significant investments in establishing laboratory methods for cultivating these esoteric organisms and in the production of bespoke hardware. As genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have not been displayed as art in the Netherlands, C-LAB also worked on foregrounding an application to exhibit GMOs through a formal governmental application.

Traditionally most art-science collaborations are formulated through a division of work and disciplinary activities, however, the immersive model throws into question these ideas as artists acquire expertise skills from other disciplines. As a collaborative model, it prompts a need for all parties to have a more shared understanding of the undertaking - shifting the project into a hybrid context.

ArtScience Talkshow

Charlotte's project on stem cells used a more traditional mode of art-science collaboration - perhaps best suited to fit the context of DA4GA. In this model, the scientists at Leiden University Medical Centre iPSC Core Facility carried out all the laboratory work while the artist focused on obtaining visual material and designing objects for the exhibition - such as the custom designed incubator produced by ClickNetherfield. During the exhibition period the scientists also cared for the artist's cells by replenishing media and material at intervals. Charlotte donated her own body tissue and fluids which the scientist used to produce the stem cells. While Charlotte and her team used the traditional model of art-science collaboration - it would not have been possible for her to work with her own tissues due to certain risks of these tissues re-entering the body as carcinogenic substances.

The three scientific collaborators included group leader in charge of instantiating the collaboration, Christine Mummery, and two scientists, Christian and Harold involved in the laboratory work. A striking comment from Christine, earlier in evening during a public inteview with Régine Debatty, was how she saw Charlotte’s art an excellent way of communicating stem cell sciences. While Charlotte, for various reasons was not involved in the scientific work apart from donating her cells, she did extensive filming of the process and also contributed by supplying clips of procedures that could be used in teaching. This led to an interesting discussion on what role the parties played in the collaboration, the type of interactions generated and how this influenced the politics of the work.

Rob raised a critique that such collaboration lacked a proper hybrid form - where artists and scientists remain separated - dealing only with their own methods and is representative of an older form of collaboration. This, he added, effectively is what comes through in the presentation of the artwork.

ArtScience Talkshow

Haseeb's collaboration took shape as discussions and conversations with scientist Jos that informed his work and can be seen as a more traditional art model where the artist remains based in his studio/gallery rather than being actively involved with the science institution.

The nature of this model is often understood as a way of archival gathering of visual and textual material from the sciences. Haseeb spent a significant amount of time obtaining scientific images (i.e. CT Scans) from the institute's genetic research on Zebrafish to create 3D virtual models of embryos. The models were used as building blocks for 3D prints and in the artist sculpting processes. The work relies on a more subjective use and interpretation of material and was in this sense divorced from works of his collaborators. Drawing on mutated Zebrafish skeletons as a "sculptural vocabulary" to build his site specific installation and the fact that Zebrafish are considered as 'organic material' rather than animal in the first five days of their lives, Haseeb attempts to poetically draw links between Catholicism's concept of life and death in relation to the stages between life and death in current genomic practices.

A particular aspect interrogated in this model is its relevance to specific scientific inputs as outcomes follows more subjective and interpretative agendas. This was led by an intense debate that asked to what extent the artists needed to work with the scientific institution and perhaps even more provocatively - what makes art-science connections special as opposed to art-anything or science- anything?  

ArtScience Talkshow

At the end of the debate, Laura provided audience with a live demo of the unique shimmering effect of magnetotactic bacteria used in the LIVING MIRROR. Specific to these bacteria are their ability to move in response to the Earth’s magnetic fields. They produce a stunning shimmering effect in real-time visible to the naked eye. By changing the magnetic field, bacteria rapidly switch direction a synchronic rotation causing light to scatter and producing a visible shimmer.

ArtScience Talkshow

 

Other References: ArtScience Talkshow: Website
Program Night of Arts & Knowledge
C-LAB:blog: Laboratory Preparation of LIVING MIRROR for Age of Wonder
C-LAB:blog: Setting up LIVING MIRROR at Natlab
C-LAB:event: AGE OF WONDER
C-LAB:event: ALL ABOUT IMAGING: TRANSACTIONS
C-LAB:event: ALT_CPH 14 ASSEMBLE
C-LAB:event: AMOLF OPEN DAY
C-LAB:event: ART-SCIENCE TALK
C-LAB:event: ARTSCIENCE TALKSHOW
C-LAB:event: BEYOND BIENNALE MEETS DISCOVERY FESTIVAL: THE REALITY SHIFT EXHIBITION
C-LAB:event: DA4GA OPENING EXHIBITION
C-LAB:event: KiiCS AWARDS CEREMONY: ARTS & SCIENCE FOR INNOVATION
C-LAB:event: LIVING MIRROR
C-LAB:event: SCIENCE ART SOCIETY
C-LAB:event: YOUNG SYNTHETIC BIOLOGISTS - YSB 1.0
Post Comment:
 
Name (required)  
Email (required - not displayed) 
Website

Letter 3 and 5 in the word above (required)  
To:
 
From:
 
Recent Events
AGE OF WONDER 28 Mar-06 Apr 2014 Natlab, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
ART AND INNOVATION: THE FUTURE OF INTERDISCIPLINARITY 19 Mar 2014 Auditorium Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
LIVING MIRROR 03 03-16 Dec 2013 Raamsteeg2, Leiden, The Netherlands
TERRA 0 08 08-17 Nov 2013 Microwave International New Media Arts Festival 2013, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong
GROW YOUR OWN 25 Oct-19 Jan 2014 Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland
THE FUTURE OF ART-SCIENCE COLLABORATIONS 07 07-11 Oct 2013 Lorentz Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
AMOLF OPEN DAY 05 Oct 2013 FOM Institute AMOLF, Science Park, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
NOT INVENTED BY NATURE: HELMHOLTZ INITIATIVE SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY 15 Sep-04 Oct 2013 German Cancer Research Center - DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
ARTSCIENCE TALKSHOW 14 Sep 2013 Raamsteeg2, Leiden, The Netherlands
DA4GA OPENING EXHIBITION 14 Sep-15 Dec 2013 Raamsteeg2, Leiden, The Netherlands
ART-SCIENCE TALK 24 Aug 2013 Art Laboratory Berlin, Germany
SPEED DEBATE ON SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY AND NEURO-ETHICS 31 Jul 2013 Print Room Cafe, UCL, London, UK
YOUNG SYNTHETIC BIOLOGISTS - YSB 1.0 12 Jul 2013 Wellcome Trust, London , UK
EN VIE / ALIVE 26 Apr-01 Sep 2013 Espace Fondation EDF, Paris, France
DO IT TOGETHER BIO #5: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ART 24 Apr 2013 Waag Society, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ART FROM SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY 08 08-12 Apr 2013 The Royal Institute of Great Britain, London, UK
© 2013 c-lab. All Rights Reserved. Sitemap | T&Cs | t: +31 (0)20 754 7207 e: info@c-lab.co.uk Design and Implementation by c-lab (2013)