Regine Debatty reports from the bleeding edge of art made possible by advances in scientific technologies, each week in conversation with an artist, a hacker, a designer or a scientist discussing creative ways to explore science and technology.
#A.I.L. 1: Anna Dumitriu, visual artist and respected founder and director of “The Institute of Unnecessary Research”, explains how she finds herself locked inside university laboratories to collaborate with scientists on major projects. Warning: the program includes communicating bacteria, panda blood and a robot that steals your face.
#A.I.L. 2: Richard Pell is the founder and director of a museum which has no equivalent in the world: The Center for Postnatural History in Pittsburgh, the first museum that seeks to research, document and exhibit man-made biological systems.
#A.I.L. 3: Howard Boland, artist and mathematician, co-founded C-LAB, an interdisciplinary art platform that explores the meaning and idiosyncrasies of the organic and the synthetic life. In the past, C-lab have engineered cacti that grow human hair and worked on interstellar plant specie. Nowadays, C-LAB is still exploring living organisms but is also particularly interested in working with magnetic nanoparticles and bacteria that might or might not smell like bananas.
#A.I.L. 4: Jonah Brucker-Cohen talks to us about hacking, about the joys and perils of social media and about the art of designing critical networks. We'll also examine some of his own works that range from the "Wifi Liberator" to "America's Got No Talent".
#A.I.L. 5: Artist and hacker Tom Keene investigates technological objects and attempts to understand their agency and how they act as mechanisms of control within contemporary society.
#A.I.L. 6: In this episode we meet 4 new graduates from the design interactions department of the Royal College of Art: Koby Barhad, Raphael Kim, Ai Hasegawa and Angela Bracco. Their futuristic projects invite us to reflect on genetic manipulation, Elvis Presley, the next frontier of Japanese love hotels, and other futuristic projects dealing with human and non-human animals.
#A.I.L. 7: In this episode Régine Debatty meets 4 new graduates from Design Interactions, the department of the Royal College of Art that specifically investigates the social, political and ethical impacts of the latest advances in technology and science. Joseph Popper proposes to send someone on a one-way ticket to deep space, Neil Usher has designed a robot able to spot faces in the clouds, Shing Tat Chung investigates a world where bankers and estate agents give free rein to their superstitions and Tobias Revell explores how a banking ship operating 24/7 in the Arctic could further deregulate the world of finance.
#A.I.L. 8: The guest today is Thomas Thwaites, a speculative designer who gained fame for building a toaster from scratch. The adventure involved smelting iron in his mum's microwave, trekking in the highlands of Scotland in search of a mica mine, AND trying to convince BP to take him on a helicopter ride so that he could collect on an oil rig the crude oil he needed to make the plastic case for his toaster. We talk toasted bread but we also look at some of Thomas's other works. One of them asks whether biology would be biology as we know it if Darwin had become a mathematician and had never written On the Origin of Species.
#A.I.L. 9: Our guest today is Neal White, an Associate Professor of Art and Media at Bournemouth University and the head of the Office of Experiments. The OoE uses a strategy called Overt Research to explore and document places of scientific secrecy and technology that are – on purpose or not – concealed from public view. The Office of Experiments also organizes critical excursions where members of the public are taken on a bus tour to discover and study these 'Dark Places' from up close. Our conversation will focus on the tour the group recently made in West London.
#A.I.L. 10: In this episode, we are talking to artist John O'Shea and to Professor John Hunt from Liverpool University about Pigs Bladder Football, a work that looks back at the time when football balls were made from pigs bladder. For the project, however, the artist collaborated with a group of scientists to replicate the techniques used to create artificial human organs and engineer balls using animal cells harvested from abattoir waste.
#A.I.L. 11: In this episode, she talks to artist Nelly Ben Hayoun. Hayoun has recently returned from a stint with NASA where she co-devised Ground Control Opera, an opera performed by space scientists.
#A.I.L. 12: This episode's guest is Ruairi Glynn, an artist, architect, curator and a lecturer in Interactive Architecture at Bartlett. We'll be talking interactivity and machine with a mind of their own and illustrate these issues with Fearful Symmetries, the gigantic robotic installation he showed at Tate Tank over the Summer.
#A.I.L. 13: The host of this episode is artist Koen Vanmechelen who has spent the past 20 years crossbreeding national species of chicken in order to create the ultimate 'Cosmopolitan Chicken Project.' You might or might not know it but each country has its own peculiar type of chicken: the French, for example, have the Poulet the Brest. It's white and red with blue feet, the same colours as their flag. Americans like their chicken to be big and powerful. The Chinese have chicken with silky feathers. But Koen's work is not just about chicken and egg. His work encroaches on the fields of science, philosophy and ethics to ask questions about biocultural diversity, identity, evolution and freedom of movement.
More information: www.koenvanmechelen.be
#A.I.L. 14: This episode features artist Bruce Gilchrist who together with Jo Joelson is part of the cross-disciplinary art practice London Fieldworks. The duo has recently collaborated with avant-garde artist Gustav Metzger (who in 1959 launched the auto-destructive art movement) and asked him to sit on a chair for 20 minutes thinking of nothing. Meanwhile, readings were taken of the electrical activity taking place inside the brain of the artist. The resulting electroencephalograms were then analyzed and turned into instructions for a factory robot to dril a hole inside a bloc of stone. The result is a 50cm high cube of stone with a void that represent in 3 dimensions what happens inside the brain of Metzger when he is thinking about nothing.
#A.I.L. 15: The guest today is designer and artist Ollie Palmer. Working with scientists from University College London and the Institute of Zoology in London, Ollie has been working on a six year research project to choreograph and stage an ant ballet. The work uses a robotic arm that sprays synthesised pheromone that causes a colony of ants to follow artificial trails in preference to their own natural foraging behaviour.
More information: olliepalmer.com/ant-ballet/
#A.I.L. 16: Today's guest is artist and critical engineer Julian Oliver.
#A.I.L. 17: Today's guest is speculative designer Lisa Ma who talks about the people who are 'designed out' by technological innovation and in particular the factory workers making joysticks.
Visit we-make-money-not-art.com// for more information.
#A.I.L. 18: Régine Debatty discusses creative ways to explore science and technology with artists, hackers, designers and scientists. Today artist and designer Zoe Papadopoulou talks about scientific and technological developments in ART (Artificial Reproductive Technologies.) Visit we-make-money-not-art.com// for more information.
#A.I.L. 19: Régine Debatty discusses creative ways to explore science and technology with artists, hackers, designers and scientists. Today's guest, discussing manufacturing, factory lines and art, is Jeremy Hutchison. Visit we-make-money-not-art.com// for more information.