BIO·FICTION@Berlin presents ASN selection of short films from the second BIO·FICTION Science Art & Film Festival which took place from 23 – 25 October, 2014. at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria. BIO·FICTION explored the emerging field of synthetic biology from different disciplinary angles including science and engineering, social science, cultural studies, amateur biology, film makers, artists and designers. It comprises presentations, panel discussions, do-it-yourself biology demos, performances, art work and of course film screenings. BIO·FICTION 2014 is produced by Biofaction a research and science communication company based in Vienna, Austria.
What would our cities look like if advertising messages are produced not from artificial lighting but from swarming midges, glowing like fireflies? Instead of being electronically controlled, ads could be flown and danced by swarms who have undergone special flight training. “The Outline of Paradise” explores the promises and capabilities of technoscience. This film explores the concept of “sustainable luminosity”, a new way of providing natural and sustainable light to our urban centers.
2 – Bacteria to the Future Sam Ireland – UK 2014
What if artificially intelligent bacteria could be connected to build communicating populations? Could we make bacterial computers? In this charming animation, Brian the Bacterium provides a possible answer.
3 – Protocell Technology Shamees Aden & Sam J.Bond – UK 2012
The study of protocells could dramatically change our understanding of the nature of materials. Protocells blur the gap between the non-living and the living, and can, therefore, when used as material, integrate the dynamic properties that living
Whereas retracing the evolution of life forms by using fossils has become increasingly possible, predicting the future development of living organisms is hardly conceivable, even more with the capacities synthetic biology brings towards the creation of entirely new species. This clip is an experimental piece, which explores an evolution that is sped up by synthetic biology, by utilizing skulptures which are presented as fossils from the future. While it tries to imagine the future of human development, the film also underlines that such an evolution is entirely unforeseeable.
“Chlorotherapy” explores a new type of utopian medicine based on a realistic technology: DNA transistors. Because access to care will become a major issue in the future, easy to access biotechnologies become highly interesting. Plants, historically related to the medical world, will be the ideal support of this exploration. Through genetic modifications, plants become able to diagnose diseases and to deliver appropriate therapeutic substances. The film offers sensual interpretations, which anchor synthetic biology in a reality that is compatible with the momentum of human life.
Inspired by science and video games, Macrostructure is the first episode in a micro-series entitled “What If You Created Artificial Life And It Started Worshipping You”. We are taken on a 3D animated journey through a world inhabited by synthetic life forms and the self-aware machines who manufacture, control, and recycle them.
7 – Quasi-Objects / Cinematic Environment #8 Lorenzo Oggiano – IT 2012
“Quasi-Objects” is an on-going art project consisting of 3D generated videos and prints, a practice of “organic re-design” that aims to contribute to the debate of an up-coming postnatural ecosystem: Life as something that is not exclusively located within a body, but rather immanent in any complex system, human or non-human.
8 – Living Food Minsu Kim – UK 2013
What if food were consumed alive, as a fictional character? What if food was able to play with our cutlery or create hyper-sensations in our mouth? In this film, dishes are living, moving, created things, beautiful and stomach-churning at the same time.
The development of biotechnologies will also lead to a fundamental change in industrial production. “Copy and Clone” discusses an extremely serious subject with a side order of humour: the animation displays the effects of biotechnologies on animal food industries through the window of a computer. What happens when the “copy and paste” commands of our devices step into real life?
Other artworks apart form Biofiction
Luis dos Santos (P)
The photographic works presented herein try to motivate the viewer to depart from the standard norms in their respective area of action in order to reflect the future back into the present.
In order to establish that cognitive association, the selection of photographs shown in this exhibition were captured at different architectural venues of the world as they can be seen today. However, this project forfeited a pure documentary approach in favour of an interpretation of what kind of living spaces could have been achieved, when reality is interpreted in the light of what we would like it to be.
The process by which these photographs were created consists in the capture of several brackets using differente exposure times and to combine them together during post-production in a single coherent image that represented the author’s vision. Luis dos Santos
“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Robert F. Kennedy – 1968 Presidential Campaign
“Flesh Computer” Ethan Shaftel (USA) – 2013
When his cybernetic pet project is put in jeopardy, the handyman of a decaying apartment building is forced to take a stand, blurring the lines between human and machine.
FLESH COMPUTER, a short film from writer/director Ethan Shaftel, 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 of consciousness in counterpoint to the action. Also starring Rob Kerkovich (NCIS: New Orleans), Anthony Guerino, and introducing Elle Gabriel. More info at FleshComputer.com
“The Spider Project” Clea T.Waite (USA/DE) – 2000
Interspecies Multi-channel Video Installation © 2000
Inspired by the turn of the millennium, The Spider Project is a research artwork that contemplates the basic cycles of nature: creation and death, time, the elements, and the workings of the universe.
Concentrating on spirals and circles as the central motif, the images derive from the micro and macroscopes which epitomize our time. An inter-species collaboration with three-hundred Nephila spiders, The Spider Project is a requiem for the 20th Century, from the mastery of the atom to DDT to space travel, a preparation for “rebirth” into the 21st Century.
“Meta-Book: The Book of Luna” Clea T.Waite (USA/DE) & Lauren Fenton (USA) – 2014
Transmedia electronic assemblage, 41 x 63 x 85 cm © 2014
MetaBook: The Book of Luna is an expanded cinema installation, an electronic Wunderkammer crossed with an illuminated manuscript that narrates a poetic essay about the Moon’s place in the historical imagination. The nature of love, madness, the unknown, and our capacity for the sublime are amongst the passions that have crystallized around our only satellite. The MetaBook is an immersive experience that combines the dynamic possibilities of the digital archive with the intuitiveness of the book and the engagement of cinema inviting the reader to navigate between the lunar craters or just float between them in a constant orbit.
Book of Luna
“On the Silver Globe for Méliès and Zygmunt Rytka” WROcenter Group, PL
object with an interactive projection, photography, 2012On the Silver Globe is an installation referring to the history of cinema and television, inspired by photographs by Zygmunt Rytka documenting the July 21st 1969 live TV broadcast from the first manned landing on the Moon.
Georges Méliès’s visionary work Voyage to the Moon was also used in the installation: one of the earliest films of the sci-fi genre and a classic not only in terms of the cinema, but also – or perhaps above all – in the history of human imagination and aspirations. Méliès’s film lies solicitously guarded in archives, but is at the same time widely available on the internet in countless files. One such file, downloaded from the internet, has been used in this installation as a matrix of pixels capable of generating a live 3D picture. The film is a cultural icon downloaded from the internet, but is also modified via the internet by the viewers. This installation uses excerpts from Georges Méliès’s 1902 film Le Voyage dans la Lune and Zygmunt Rytka’s 1969 photographs.
“Proteo” Joanna Hoffmann (PL/DE)
soundscape: Andre Bartetzki (DE)
A hologram-like animation related to the exhibition at Art Laboratory (opening 23rd January 2015), presented i.a. at the exhibition “Not invented by nature” at BioQuant DKFZ Heidelberg, and Biofiction Festival in Vienna – Artlaboratory-berlin
ASN Forum overview:
Special Guest & Participants of the Forum:
– Bujnicki Janusz, Prof. Dr hab
Head of the Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Protein Engineering
International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, PL
– Rob La Frenais, Dr
Curator, The Arts Catalysts, London, UK
– Ingeborg Fullep, Ass. Prof.
Founder/Dir. of Media Scape
University of Rijeka, Academy of Applied Art (APU)
University of Applied Sciences, Berlin (HTW)
– Piotr Krajewski,
Artistic Director, WRO Art Centre, Wroclaw, PL
– Ralf Schäfer, Dr
Head of Image Processing & Interactive Media,
Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin, DE
– Zofia Szweykowska-Kulińska, Prof Dr hab.
Head the National Leading Science Centre, Poznan RNA Consotrium, PL
Head of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology
UAM Poznan, PL