My WdKA

Living Station

Week 22
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bio

Artists and designers shine new perspectives on utilizing and getting inspired by microorganisms, as tiny factories that operate as building blocks in our society. Bio-designers search for alternatives in the form of new bio-materials and implement them on a i.e. industry scale, which can lead our society to a different direction in how we ‘deal’ with other specimens. Technology and the arts today evolve at great speed. The major crises that are happening in this world led these fields to have new ways to think and engage in different disciplines. These professionals created new links between them. Bio-artists raise questions about the same subject in new narratives, speculation of a future with metaphors, symbolic actions and sometimes, each time more, experimenting in lab facilities that expanded tremendously in the last two decades all over the world, including DIY and instructions about how to ‘play’ with other organisms at home.

The field where art, design and science meet will become a platform for the creation of artefacts and bodies of knowledge, however, it is a paradoxical field. If we take the ‘plant’ as a subject, you can approach it from different angles, from its history, color, inter-relations with its surroundings, taste, form, etc. In one of the plant-communication angles, scientist Monica Gagliano from University of Sydney is establishing a communication with plants (which means the plant has a sort of ‘intelligence’). At the same time the plants are the main food source that we humans and other specimens have, and also become a ‘material’ explored further in the bio-design industry. In which role would a bio-artist or bio-designer approach it (the plant)? If the plant is considered an intelligent being, would it have any law protecting it as an intelligent life form?

The course will also investigate what kind of approach will be taken as bio-artist or designer in this field where organisms play different roles in our ecosystem, this will lead to the discussion of ethics: would the organisms have any law protecting their intelligent life form? All of these questions will lead to shape new ways of working and what it takes to work and collaborate with other life forms. Where we normally ‘isolate’ species from our surroundings, we may have to think about how we can work as a network, connected on different levels instead of isolated beings. With a better understanding of the surroundings and interplays between species, it could be the vector for the next approach to design a ‘living community’.

All the Living Stations are recent and under constant development.