In 2005 BEAPworks presented research and development projects with an adventurous approach to emerging technologies. This year the BEAPworks exhibition again showcases local artists exploring new pathways for creating electronic and biological art: Donna Franklin, Nicola Kaye, Stephen Terry, Tanja Visosevic, Guy Ben Ary, Mark Cypher. These artists deal with a variety of concerns that focus on our ever-growing computer mediated existence.
The works are not overt but subtle in their choice of topics and materialization, allowing the audience to be confronted by seduction of ideas. These works challenge and extend established notions of art practice. In this time of an expanding economic growth in Western Australia new technologies are endorsed and consumed with little critique of their social implications. The BEAPworks exhibition stimulates thinking and critical debate concerning our relation to these emerging technologies, and supports creators who explore new artistic developments that convergence science, art and technology.
Imagine clothes that grow with you - that change colour from season to season, something that require nutrients - fashions that entice - yet are of a substance usually associated with skin.
Following the theory of the garment as a vehicle of communication - these living clothes aim to confront the viewer through spectacle and by the physical actuality of forms that parallel the existence of our own bodies. The garments interface biological (fungi) and digital surfaces to raise questions about the futures of bio-textiles and their application; through interaction, beauty and the implications of manipulating living entities.
This project would
not have been possible without the assistance of BEAP, ArtsWA and
The Government of Western Australia, John Curtin Gallery, CCA Contemporary
Performance Students, Edith Cowan University. Filmed at FNAS by Sharon
She will be exhibiting the work Fibre Reactive , previously shown as a part of BEAP 04 Bio-Difference, Hatched 05 PICA www.pica.org, at the ENTRY 06 Festival, "Second Skin" Exhibition in Zeche Zollverein, Essen at the Vitra Design Museum, 25Aug - 3Dec06 www.entry-2006.com This living garment created from fungi was completed during her Master of Arts at Edith Cowan University and artist residency with SymbioticA The Art and Science Collaborative Research Laboratory at The School of Anatomy and Human Biology and The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, at The University of Western Australia.
Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow
T. S.Eliot The Hollow Men (1925)
The installation Concrescence enables participants to accumulate virtual objects onto their shadow, generating hybrid compositions of subjects, objects and sounds Concrescence is a term used in biology and refers to the growing together of related parts or growth by the increase of the addition of particles. Similarly the term is also employed by the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead to designate the growing together of diverse elements into a newly evolving entity, that never fully congeals.
Likewise, the installation Concrescence is a metaphor for the hybrid combinations of object and subject that are formed through a lifetime of intimate relations with objects: where do we start and where do they begin?. Marx defined human social relations as constructed through relationships we have with commodities. Likewise, the collective force of social, economic and personal interaction with these "economic cell forms" (commodities) changes the identity and meaning of both objects and subjects. Concrescence suggests that the relationships that we have with objects are far more mutable and intricate, inevitably involving many more materials, ideas and agencies than current definitions of subjects or objects can explain.
The Living Screen is a new species, a living cinematic apparatus. When we gaze through it, we are engaging with a machine-organism. This work is a research and development project exploring what occurs when we cinematically engage with a living screen. It therefore employs film theory to bring into question ones spectatorship with Bio-Kino. The screens are grown from different tissues and Nano-Movies are projected over these living canvases, via a Bio-Projector (The projection is 500 µ (microns) in size) The Living Screen has many connections to primitive cinema, early motion pictures that pre-date 1905 that fall under the category of the 'cinema of attractions'. Tom Gunning defines the 'cinema of attractions' as a form of confrontation that addresses the audience directly. "Rather than being an involvement with narrative action or empathy with character psychology, the cinema of attractions solicits a highly conscious awareness of the film image engaging with the viewers' curiosity."1 The screens will transform, react and change over time and eventually die. This is the confrontation that the spectator must face. "Confrontation rules the 'cinema of attractions' in both the form of its films and their mode of exhibition. The directness of this act of display allows an emphasis of the thrill itself - the immediate reaction of the viewer."2 What thrill will the spectator receive when it clearly confronts the spectator about life, death and the Other. Fairgrounds and vaudeville houses were where early cinema found its audiences. It was also a form of safe house for the Other. With Bio-Art proliferating throughout the world, the art galleries of today are no less a freak show, as is The Living Screen.
1. Tom Gunning, "An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator" in Linda Williams, ed., Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing (New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, 1997), p.121. 2. ibid, p.122.
He collaborated with the Tissue Culture & Art Project for 4 years (1999 - 2003). Guy was worked as a Research Fellow in the neuro-engineering Lab, Georgia tech, Atlanta, USA, 2006. Together with Phil Gamblen & Dr. Steve Potter developed the next generation of MEART. The "living screen" is one of his newly developed projects. Guy is taking a MFA course in the school of arts, UWA and has a law degree from Tel Aviv University .
Nicola Kaye and Stephen Terry's collaborative research spans over a decade culminating in their present investigation into digital 3D imaging incorporating realtime 3D video interfacing with Internet and webcam technologies. Their exhibition Bypass displays constructed 3D video narratives of specific Perth sites of desirable and undesirable spaces which make reference to social inequalities. The viewer is placed involuntarily into these contexts through Realtime 3D editing. This forces a re-negotiation of the space, as the viewer is now inserted within the narrative. By making the viewer complicit within the projection the artists hope to create a level of discomfort paralleling issues of social concern.
Dr Paul Thomas
Dr Paul Thomas, is the coordinator of the Studio Electronic Arts (SEA) at Curtin University of Technology and is the founding Director of the Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth. Paul has been working in the area of electronic arts since 1981 when he co-founded the group Media-Space which met weekly and developed a series of artistic resources fitting an Artslab concept. Media-Space was part of the first global link up with artists connected to ARTEX. From 1981-1986 the group was involved in a number of collaborative exhibitions and was instrumental in the establishment a substantial body of research. In 1995 he founded the group Terminus= an online research group and in 2002 Media-Space Perth inc was reformed and developed the Centre for Living and Electronic Art Research (CLEAR). Paul is currently the Artistic Director of the Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth 2007. He has recently completed his PhD researching a reconfiguration of space. Paul is also a practicing electronic artist who's research can be seen on his website 'Visiblespace'. http://www.visiblespace.com
BEAPworks is sponsored by: