LAWRENCE MALSTAF

shrink
File Festival
Two large, transparent plastic sheets and a device that gradually sucks the air out from between them leave the body (in this case the artist himself) vacuum-packed and vertically suspended. The transparent tube inserted between the two surfaces allows the person inside the installation to regulate the air flow. As a result of the increasing pressure between the plastic sheets, the surface of the packed body gradually freezes into multiple micro-folds. For the duration of the performance, the person inside moves slowly and changes positions, which vary from an almost embryonic position to one resembling a crucified body.

TZUSOO

SCHRÖDINGER’S BABY
Schrödinger’s Baby(2019/20), TZUSOO alludes to the popular thought experiment devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. Schrödinger proposed a scenario in which a cat is locked in a box with an unstable radioactive atom that could potentially begin to emit radiation and release a toxic gas. However, there is no way to say with certainty when or indeed whether this will happen without opening the box. The result is a paradox, with Schrödinger asserting that the cat enters a state of superposition that makes it impossible to say whether it is alive or dead.The South Korean artist translates this famous paradox into the reality of her own life, creating a digital baby in virtual space. Based on her inner grappling with potential motherhood, TZUSOO bought the digital model of a developing embryo, refining it according to her own ideas. She is free to determine the sex, skin colour and other characteristics or to dispense with all specifications so as to avoid stereotyping. In Schrödinger’s Baby, TZUSOO thus discuss core aspects of her work including reflection on gender and origin for which she also draws on her personal experience as a South Korean artist in Europe.

GUY BEN-ARY, PHILIP GAMBLEN AND STEVE POTTER

Silent Barrage

Silent Barrage has a “biological brain” that telematically connects with its “body” in a way that is familiar to humans: the brain processes sense data that it receives, and then brain and body formulate expressions through movement and mark making. But this familiarity is hidden within a sophisticated conceptual and scientific framework that is gradually decoded by the viewer. The brain consists of a neural network of embryonic rat neurons, growing in a Petri dish in a lab in Atlanta, Georgia, which exhibits the uncontrolled activity of nerve tissue that is typical of cultured nerve cells. This neural network is connected to neural interfacing electrodes that write to and read from the neurons. The thirty-six robotic pole-shaped objects of the body, meanwhile, live in whatever exhibition space is their temporary home. They have sensors that detect the presence of viewers who come in. It is from this environment that data is transmitted over the Internet, to be read by the electrodes and thus to stimulate, train or calm parts of the brain, depending on which area of the neuronal net has been addressed.

xenobots

Xenobots – the First “Living Robots”
Researchers used the Deep Green supercomputer cluster and an evolutionary algorithm to design new life-forms that could achieve an assigned task. Then they built them by combining together different biological tissues from Xenopus laevis embryos, hence the name Xenobots.
Credit:A scalable pipeline for designing reconfigurable organisms
Sam Kriegman, Douglas Blackiston, Michael Levin, and Josh Bongard
PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1910837117

JOHN RAINEY

embryonic sculptures

FEDERICO MASSIMILIANO MOZZANO

embryo

LORIS CECCHINI

Embryoids