30th July 2021 – Sensory Intermediaries: biochemistry, images and imagining at non-human scales

Sensory Intermediaries: biochemistry, images and imagining at non-human scales

Friday 30th July 2021, 4pm – 5:30pm NZT
Zoom discussion

Alicia Sometimes, Swaminatha Iyer, Andrea Rassell and Deirdre Feeney will discuss aspects of their varied practices, all of which occur in part at non-human scales. Alicia’s presentation will look at the use of poetic language across non-human scales, drawn from her work with dark matter and particle physics. She will explore how the ambiguities of language can assist creativity and playfully experiment with temporal sensibilities. Deirdre’s presentation explores ways in which optical devices, traditionally used to make invisible objects visible, can be creatively re-imagined to bring certain imperceptible durations into our sensory realm. She will speak about how combining imagination with material and immaterial technological adaptations can generate a different temporal experience and awareness of ‘durational’ time. Iyer’s biochemical research enables him a unique perspective on non-human scales as a designer of bio-interactive molecules. In his talk, he will question where biology ends and synthetic biomaterials begin. Interactions between synthetic and biological materials are becoming increasingly sophisticated, for example for implantation and drug delivery systems, and require better imaging capabilities in order to visualise them. Andrea picks up on this nanoscale ‘imaging’, and, through recent moving image and media art projects, asks how art might act as a sensory intermediary for scientific phenomena.

LASER Tāmaki Makaurau Talk hosted by Janine Randerson and Andrew Denton (AUT) with PhD candidate Shelley Simpson as guest respondent.

Presenter Biographies

Andrea Rassell is a media artist and interdisciplinary researcher in science art. Working in nanoart — artforms that engage with nanoscience and nanotechnology — she creates experimental films and moving image installations that explore technological mediation and the perception of the nanoscale realm. She is a Research Fellow at SymbioticA and the School of Molecular Sciences, University of Western Australia. 

Killugudi Swaminatha Iyer is the Deputy Head of Molecular Sciences at the University of Western Australia. He leads an internationally recognized research program in the field of bionanotechnology (UWA Bionano), an interdisciplinary branch of biomedicine and biotechnology. His team has made a significant impact by integrating fundamental concepts of cell and molecular biology with bioengineering to develop innovative nanoformulations for the treatment of undruggable medical conditions.

Deirdre Feeney is an artist and researcher working across art, design and STEM. She develops optical image systems as perceptual tools for generating experiences of wonder and explores a range of material and digital methods to create her hybrid systems. Deirdre is a Lecturer of Contemporary Art at the University of South Australia.

Alicia Sometimes is a writer and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word and poetry at many venues, festivals and events around the world. She is director and co-writer of the science-poetry planetarium shows, Elemental and Particle/Wave. Her TedxUQ talk in 2019 was about combining art with science.

Image credit – Andrea Rassell (2020) The Society of NanoBioSensing. Digital still.

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