Video Lectures

‘Bioart’ by Professor Sue Broadhurst

Susan is a writer and performance practitioner and Professor of Performance and Technology in the School of Arts, Brunel University, London. Her publications include Digital Practices: Aesthetic and Neuroesthetic Approaches to Performance and Technology (2007), Sensualities/Textualities and Technologies: Writings of the Body in 21st Century Performance (2010) and Identity, Performance and Technology: Practices of Empowerment, Embodiment and Technicity (2012), all published by Palgrave Macmillan; together with several peer-reviewed journal articles exploring and examining the same area. Her practical work has been presented at London venues, including the ICA. As well as being the co-editor of the online journal Body, Space & Technology now in its thirteenth year of publication, she is also co-series editor for Palgrave’s ‘Studies in Performance and Technology’.

Abstract: ‘Bioart’

This presentation is the first of a series of case study/scenario presentations on interdisciplinarity across the arts and social sciences, the body and the digital, discussed during the day. Susan talks about Bioart. Bioart centres on the artistic investigation of biotechnology and raises complex ethical issues, such as, those relating to the patenting and sale of genes. At the same time genetic engineering is transforming forever our notions of and relationships to life forms including our own. Moreover, the discipline of biological studies is increasingly changing from a life science into an information science. For instance, ‘biosemiotics’ is an interdisciplinary science that studies communication and signification in living systems. Contemporary artists have responded to these changes by working with transgenics, cloning, reproductive technologies, tissue culture engineering and hybridization techniques that reconfigure the borders of artwork and life.

‘Bioart’ Presentation by Professor Sue Broadhurst from MIDAS_LKL on Vimeo.

‘Fertilised Futures’ by Veronica Ranner

Veronica researches the emerging field of the bio-digital – a converging knowledge space where digitality and biological matter meet. Her current doctoral work explores paradigm shifts in reality perception by coupling speculative (bio)material strategies and information experience through design research. Veronica has worked cross- disciplinary with a variety of science institutions and biomedical companies and is interested in complex networked cycles and potential new roles for designers.

Abstract: ‘Fertilised Futures’

This presentation is the second of a series of case study/scenario presentations on interdisciplinarity across the arts and social sciences, the body and the digital, discussed during the day. Veronica presents her work Fertile Futures. Fertile Futures (FF) provides a glimpse of a speculative future: a particular designed human reproductive experience is demonstrated through the use of imagined artefact and scenario. The narrative of this short film is based on research undertaken at the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology (IRDB) at Imperial College in London. It describes one potential direction that technologically facilitated human reproduction could take. Both, the intricate interplay of progress in current research and societal development, as well as this science as active driving force with agency accelerating the entry of invasive technology into the human body in an increasingly opaque manner, are compound and broken down into this experience on personal level.

‘Craft + Technology residency’ by Heidi Hinder

Heidi is an artist-maker and researcher. Trained in Jewellery, Silversmithing & Related Products, Heidi’s practice now broadly incorporates wearable technology and interaction design, in addition to more traditional art objects. Through collaboration, she explores the opportunities afforded by digital innovation in her work, while maintaining integrity to her craft-based training and an adherence to the value of materials and making. Heidi is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Birmingham City University (3D Design) and is leading a collaborative research project with the V&A Museum.

Abstract: ‘Craft + Technology residency’

This presentation is the third and last of a series of case study/scenario presentations on interdisciplinarity across the arts and social sciences, the body and the digital, discussed during the day. In this presentation, artist Heidi Hinder shares some personal reflections and insights, from the processes involved in two current examples of interdisciplinary collaboration: ‘Money No Object’ and ‘Tangible Memories’. She identifies and explores points of similarity, intersection and opposition in the different research projects, both of which have developed out of the Pervasive Media Studio and its associated community of collaborators, in Bristol.

‘Craft + Technology residency’ by Heidi Hinder from MIDAS_LKL on Vimeo.

‘Interrogating Embodiment, Aliveness & Agency in Digital Spaces’ by Stelarc

Stelarc is Director of the Alternate Anatomies Lab, SODA, Curtin University Perth. Stelarc explores Mixed and Augmented Realities. He has performed with a Third Hand, a Stomach Sculpture, Exoskeleton and a Prosthetic Head. He is surgically constructing and stem-cell growing an ear on his arm that will be internet enabled. In 2010 he received a Special Projects Grant from the Australia Council and was also awarded the Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts Prize. Publications include Stelarc: The Monograph, Edited by Marquard Smith, Forward by William Gibson (MIT Press 2005). Stelarc is currently a Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Alternate Anatomies Lab, School of Design and Art (SODA) at Curtin University. In 1996 he was made an Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and in 2002 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Monash University, Melbourne. His artwork is represented by the Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne.

Abstract: ‘Interrogating Embodiment, Aliveness & Agency in Digital Spaces’

This presentation is part of a series of talks on Body and the Digital: Approaches to interdisciplinarity, embodiment and performance, discussed during the day.

Faces are flickering, bodies are re-loading. Memories are transplanted, desires are re-coded, task envelopes are inflated. Fluid time, freeze frame. Connected but compressed. Static hissing. A remote manipulator is actuated. Tele-existent absence. Nobody is here, nothing has to be, everything is automated. Everyone is synchronised. Possibilities are collapsing. Cognition is augmented. Floating signifiers, liminal spaces. Absent and indifferent, someone somewhere reconsiders, reconfigures and quickly recedes. Simply. A muscle twitches, an eye scans, a finger swipes, a mouth prompts, an extra ear quivers. Excessively. Everything is becoming. Nothing is happening. Something finishes, nothing starts. Surveillance algorithms proliferate, hysteria is detached and deployed incrementally. Time to forget. Occasions not to remember. Inevitable regrets. Anamorphic anxieties. Thinking stretches then subsides. Spinning slowly, sighing with expectation. Amputated avatars. Phantom flesh. Never born, yet to die. Misplaced expectations and partially living chimeras of meat, metal and code. Contestable futures.

As biological bodies we perceive and operate in local spaces. And this has meant being situated in proximity to other bodies. To become aware and intelligent agents we need to move in the world. The body constructs its environment through its experience of undulating surfaces, textures and unexpected structures – from multiple viewpoints. Our musculature and nervous system determines our strength for tasks, our dexterity in manipulation and our speed of locomotion. Now, our identity and capabilities are no longer determined by our physiology but rather by our connectivity. Imagine hearing with the ears of someone in London, whilst seeing with the eyes of someone in New York, whilst someone from Tokyo is simultaneously accessing my body and remotely actuating it. This body becomes a host for multiple agents. Its sensory experience is beyond the boundaries of its skin and beyond the local space that it inhabits. Our interface and access to machines, instruments and computational systems determine our effectiveness and cognition. Clad in senors, stick-on circuitry and wirelessly connected, our bodies are immersed in data streams and virtual systems. We are increasingly expected to perform in Mixed and Augmented Realities.

‘Interrogating Embodiment, Aliveness & Agency in Digital Spaces’ Presentation by Stelarc from MIDAS_LKL on Vimeo.

‘Soft Circuits, Smart textiles and Mobile Video in Participatory Performance’ by Dr Camille Baker

Camille is an artist-performer/researcher/curator within various art forms: participatory performance and interactive art, mobile media art, tech fashion/soft circuits/DIY electronics, responsive interfaces and environments, and new media curating. She has fascination with all things emotional, embodied, felt, sensed, the visceral, physical, relational, and participatory projects, that involve video, communication devices and biofeedback. Her PhD research, with the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute, involved social mobile VJing called MINDtouch, as part of research on Liveness and Presence in mobile performance media. Camille has presented internationally: The Future of Art and Computing: A Post-Turing Centennial Perspective Symposium – AISB Conference, Goldsmiths College, April 6-8, 2014; ICT 2013, Vilnius, Lithuania, November 6-8, 2013; EVA Conference 2013, London; ACM Creativity and Cognition, June 17-21, 2013, Sydney, Australia; TekStar Art and Technology Festival, June 14-16, 2013, Byron Bay, Australia; (ISEA) International Symposium of Electronic Art 2013, June 8th-16th, 2013, Sydney Australia; Becoming Nomad: Hybrid Spaces, Liquid Architectures and Online Domains, April 10, 2013,University of York St John, York, UK; Exhibiting Performance Conference, University of Westminster, March 3rd, 2013; and many more.

Abstract: ‘Soft Circuits, Smart textiles and Mobile Video in Participatory Performance’

This presentation was part of series of talks on Body and the Digital: Approaches to interdisciplinarity, embodiment and performance, discussed during the day. In this talk, Camille examines her current artist practice and research with a focus on working with soft circuits, smart textiles and mobile video in participatory performance. Emphasis in talk will be on the ongoing collaborative project ‘Hacking the Body’ (now Hacking the Body 2.0) with Choreographer/Media Artist Kate Sicchio, which examines the practice of computing hacking and how choreography and participatory performance can be shaped by its ethos, methods and approaches. The conceptual framework, examines current rhetoric on personal code and data collection in the modern world to extend and question a variety of parameters of the states of the human body. ‘Hacking the Body’ also explores emerging technological tools and devices to find new ways to devise engaging performances as artists, and as a means to make immersive experiences for audiences and participants. Dr Baker also discusses her earlier artist projects, such as her Masters project the Dream Pod, PhD research MINDtouch, or the incomplete Video Love Letters project, which all led to or influenced this work. Baker will also briefly discuss the EU FP7 FET funded project FET-Art/ICT & Art Connect, that she was the Principle Investigator for this past year, and which helped progress Sicchio’s other choreographic work, with knock on effect to their collaborative work.

‘Soft Circuits, Smart textiles and Mobile Video in Participatory Performance’ Presentation by Dr Camille Baker from MIDAS_LKL on Vimeo.