We (Nathan Thompson and Guy Ben-Ary) are artists and researchers at SymbioticA, the Centre of Excellence for Biological Arts at the University of Western Australia (UWA) where the biological laboratory is where the creative process takes place. Our research explores a number of fundamental themes that underpin the intersection of art and science; namely life and death, cybernetics, and artificial life. We consciously approach processes capable of transforming bodies or living biological material from an artistic, philosophical and ethical perspectives, and we make use of new scientific and cybernetic technologies to create artworks that re-evaluate understandings of life and the human body. We use bio-technologies in a subversive way, attempting to problematize them by putting forward absurd or futuristic scenarios. Visual strategies are employed to help lure viewers into exploring the artworks in a manner that draws viewers into a dialogue about the future of these technologies, and encourages them to re-evaluate their own perceptions and beliefs.
For this IDEATE residency we propose to further develop and embrace possibilities of ‘In-Vitro driven surrogate performers’ and explore the possibilities of bio-engineering the ‘input’ mechanisms to our Surrogate Performers – the auditory (Retinal Organoid) and visual senses (Cochleanoid).
We are excited at the opportunity to further our explorations through this ANAT research program.