ASN organized this art/science event along with the Club for Science & Art in Poznan, Poland. The exhibition and film series ran from 29.10.2015 – 14.01.2016 at the Small Aula Gallery & CSA Gallery in the Collegium Biologicum of Adam Mickiewicz University. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with scientific debates and discussions at the opening and closing, an ongoing art/science film program, and an exhibition exploring various art/science themes.

 

Exhibition  

The Evolution I exhibition was a group show featuring the following work from Suzanne Anker, Katarzyna Hoffmann, Joanna Hoffmann-Dietrich, Reiner Maria Matysik, and Jill Scott:

 

Jill Scott  |  Jellyeyes: Evolution and Vision

A collaborative and interpretive augmented reality (AR) artwork. 24 eyes of the poisonous Australian box jellyfish and the large round eyes of one of our favorite foods, squid or calamari, this piece draws from a combination of scientific facts. The main aim of this work is to raise awareness about evolution and encourage more reflection by the public, through interactions with metaphorical narratives based on symbiosis, co-evolution, and completion.

Jill Scott (Dr.) is Professor for Art and Science Research at the Institute of Cultural Studies in the Arts, Zurich University of the Arts. She is also founder of the Artists-in-Labs Program, and Vice Director of the Z-Node PhD program on art and science at the University of Plymouth, UK. Her artwork spans 38 years of media art production about the human body, behavior, and body politics, and recently on neuroscience, ecology, and sensory perception. Recent artworks have involved the construction of interactive media and electronic sculptures based on studies she has conducted during residencies in neuroscience labs at the University of Zurich. Her publications include: Neuromedia: Art and Science Research with Esther Stoeckli (2012); Transdiscourse 1: Mediated Environments (2011); and Artists-in-labs: Networking in the Margins (2011).

For this project, Jill collaborated with Dr. Stephan Neuhauss: Neurobiology, University of Zurich, Dr. Lisa-Ann Girshwin, Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services and Nikolas Völzow, Programmer at ZKM Karlsruhe and the AIL Production Studio.

 

Suzanne Anker  |  Vanitas In a Petri Dish

Suzanne Anker is a pioneer in Bio Art, working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. Chairing SVA’s Fine Arts Department in NYC since 2005, Ms. Anker continues to interweave traditional and experimental media in her department’s new digital initiative and the SVA Bio Art Laboratory. She works in a variety of mediums ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally, including at the JP Getty Museum, the Pera Museum in Istanbul, and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Her book The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age was co-authored with the late sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, published in 2004.

 

Joanna Hoffmann  |  MicroR-evolution: Intrinsic Connections

How is the evolution of space-time reflected in biological structures and their interactions? Which universal processes and geometries are hidden in “microscapes?” What perceptual tools do we have to apprehend them? In this series, an RNA molecule became a key for artistic investigations about structural emergence, alterability, and affinity in nature. The series involves short 3D stereoscopic animations, and was developed in cooperation with Prof. Janusz Bujnicki, Genesilico Lab, ICMB Warsaw and KNOW Polish National Leading RNA Research Institute in Poznan.

Joanna Hoffmann-Dietrich (Dr hab) is Professor of the University of Arts in Poznan, where she leads the Studio for Transdisciplinary Projects & Research AE/UAP. She is also co-founder and Chair of the Art & Science Node in Berlin. Her artistic works have been widely presented in venues such as: the Center for Contemporary Arts in Warsaw; the Science Museum/DANA Centre and MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in London; the Transmediale Festival and European Patent Office in Berlin; the WRO Media Art Biennale in Wroclaw; MUSE Centre of Photography and the Moving Image in New York; the BioQuant Centre in Heidelberg, DE; and the Hiroshima City Museum, Japan.

She has been an artist-in-residence at: Eilslabs/DKFZ/Heidelberg University; Academy of Film and Television Potsdam-Babelsberg; CEMA Centre for Electronic Media Art/Srishti College & NCBS National Centre of Biological Science, Bangalore, India; KHOJ & ICGEB International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology New Delhi, India, and is a Reiterated Fellow of the Polish Minister of Culture.

 

Reiner Maria Matysik  |  Prototypes for Organisms

Matysik’s work became well known particularly through his models of post-evolutionary organisms, which are situated between his vision of active evolution (evolution controlled by humans) and the future forms of living biological sculpture. The artist’s motivation in creating these prototypes of future organisms stems from his conviction that the rapid advances in modern molecular biology and genetic engineering will have dramatic consequences for the process of biological evolution, as well as for art, that can hardly be assessed at present.

Reiner Maria Matysik lives in Berlin, studied fine arts at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and at the Ateliers Arnhem in the Netherlands. In 2004, he directed the artistic development project Institute of Biological Sculpture at the HBK Braunschweig, and worked as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Visual Arts, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University Braunschweig.

He has exhibited his artworks in institutions such as the Berlin Medical History Museum of the Charité, Centre Pasquart, Biel, Switzerland; Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin; Projektraum deutscher Künstlerbund, Laboratoria Moskau; Museum Koenig, Bonn; Georg Kolbe Museum and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Fondación Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote; and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.

 

Katarzyna Hoffmann  |  Reconstruction, 2015

Inspiration for this project was humanity’s constant need to discover and explore the world through impressive and surprising scientific discoveries, which includes at least a dozen newly discovered animal species every year. It returns to old biological drawings, and the internal physiques of bugs, fishes, and arachnids and confronts them with contemporary biological pictures created using advanced technologies, creating non-existent, hybrid, new species. The works were a kind of experiment based upon creation of species which could have been another stage of evolution, perfectly adjusted to constantly changing environmental conditions caused by human activity.

Pictures are created to describe nature, using digital techniques that transcribe its primary structure to a digital code. A plant registered by a 3D scanner, which documents its structure, imperceptible to the human eye. The fragmentation of the plant and removal of its “shell” or “skin” allowed people to observe its internal side. In addition it showed the technique’s inferiority in comparison to the nature’s perfection.

Katarzyna Hoffmann (Tyburska), graduated from the University of Arts in Poznan with an MA in Art Education and Curatorial Studies (2015), as well as an MA in Photography (2016). She is an artist, photographer, curator, and was laureate of the Show Off competition of the Cracow Photography Month 2016, as well as of the competition Antropocen: Progress & Catastrophy as part of the FLOW Festival World Water Day in Poznan 2015.

 

Film Program

A film program ran alongside the exhibition, featuring the following short films dealing with art/science topics:

 

Flesh Computer  |  Ethan Shaftel (USA) 2013, 13:16

A short film from writer/director Ethan Shaftel that explores the nature of consciousness by jumping between the perspectives of an eclectic group of characters including a young girl, a vicious bully, and a tiny housefly. Noted philosopher David Chalmers appears in the film and raises some fundamental questions regarding consciousness in counterpoint to the action.

Award-winning short sci-fi film, Science Festival NYC, 2014

 

Macrostructure  |  Eric Schockmel (UK) 2013, 04:58

Macrostructure is the first episode in a micro-series entitled “What If You Created Artificial Life And It Started Worshipping You,” a 3D animated journey through a world inhabited by synthetic life forms and the self-aware machines who manufacture, control, and recycle them.

Presented at BIO·FICTION Science Art & Film Festival, Vienna 2014

 

 

A New Way in Evolution  |  Uwe Sleytr (AT) 2014, 03:41

An experimental piece that explores an evolution sped up by synthetic biology, it tries to imagine the future of human development. Prof. Uwe Sleytr is head of the Center for Nanobiotechnology and the associated Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Molecular Nanotechnology, member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, president of the Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences, and a co-inventor of NANO-S’ S-layer platform.

Presented at BIO·FICTION Science Art & Film Festival, Vienna 2014

 

Pandas  |  Matúš Vizár (CZ, SL) 2013, 12min

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

Award-winning film, Cinefondation Festival de Cannes, 2013

 

 

 

Quasi-Objects / Cinematic Environment #8  |  Lorenzo Oggiano (IT) 2012, 04:32

3D-generated videos and prints, a practice of “organic re-design” that aims to contribute to the debate of the postnatural ecosystem: Life as something that is not exclusively located within a body, but rather immanent in any complex system, human or non-human.

Presented at BIO·FICTION Science Art & Film Festival, Vienna 2014

 

 

Scientific talks and panel

During the opening events we organized and hosted a scientific discussion panel, featuring the following participants:

 

Prof. Władysław Polcyn  |  Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, UAM

Self-organization and the origin of life

 

Prof. Jacek Radwan  |  Evolutionary Biology Group, Faculty of Biology UAM

Mutations: The yin and yang of evolution

 

Prof. Borys Wróbel  |  Evolutionary Systems Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Life: In art, artificial, synthetic           

                                   

Prof. Krzysztof Łastowski  |  Department of Logic and Cognitive Science, Institute of Psychology, UAM

Modern Synthesis vs Extended Synthesis: Towards a New Paradigm Structure of Evolutionary Biology                                 

 

Discussion moderators

Prof. Zofia Szweykowska-Kulińska  |  Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, FB/UAM

Prof. Artur Jarmołowski  |  Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, FB/UAM

Prof. Joanna Hoffmann-Dietrich  |  University of Arts, Poznan