An exploration of the changing understandings of life by 20 contemporary artists.
19 Mar 2021 11:00 am
8 May 2021 5:00 pm
Public programs and events
Registration essential due to limited capacity. These events are ticketed.
Biopolymer Workshop with Betty Sargeant (PluginHUMAN)
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Image credit: Compostable, seaweed-based biopolymer, from CAPTURE: a PluginHUMAN carbon negative art and research project. Photo by Betty Sargeant @PluginHUMAN
Special Arts Forum - Oron Catts
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Biological art and its discontents.
Join award winning artist, researcher, curator and Experimenta Life Forms artist, Oron Catts, in a special arts forum lecture.
In his talk, "Biological art and its discontents", Oron Catts will trace the cultural and scientific developments that led to the emergence of biological art as a new form of art practice. From Alexis Carrel, Stéphane Leduc and Edward Steichen to contemporary lab craft and art, this talk provides a critical look at the development of biological art.
Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr are presenting Biomess for Experimenta Life Forms: International Triennial of Media Art, at Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, 19 March - 8 May 2021 Oron Catts is an artist, designer, researcher and curator whose pioneering work with the Tissue Culture & Art Project is considered a leading biological art project. In 2000 he co-founded SymbioticA, which has gone on to win the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art (2007), the WA Premier Science Award (2008) and became a Centre for Excellence in 2008. Catts' work has been exhibited at MoMA, New York; The Centre Pompidou, Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, among others. Catts was a Research Fellow in Harvard Medical School, a visiting Scholar at the Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University, and a Professor at Large in Contestable Design at the Royal College of Arts, London. In 2012-2013 he set up a biological art lab called Biofilia – Base for Biological Art and Design, at the School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Helsinki, where he was a Visiting Professor.
Image credit: Biomess (2018) by The Tissue Culture & Art Project. Image courtesy of the artist
Experimenta Life Forms - Curator tour
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Join Experimenta Life Forms curators Jonathan Parsons and Lubi Thomas for a unique guided tour of the exhibition.
Experimenta Life Forms explores the changing understandings of life in unexpected, playful and challenging ways. Join exhibition curators Jonathan Parsons and Lubi Thomas for a unique guided tour of the exhibition, delving into the artists' works and the exhibitions' thought-provoking themes.
Featuring 26 contemporary Australian artists working across diverse artforms – including robotics, bio-art, screen-based works, installations, participatory and generative art – the exhibition makes significant contribution to current dialogues around defining life across science, technology, biology and First Nations Epistemology.
Experimenta is the future of art, presenting work that is poised on the intersect between art, science and technology. Since its inception in 1986, Experimenta has developed a worldwide reputation for fostering creativity that extends the aesthetic, conceptual and experiential potential of art forms. Experimenta presents art that can not be experienced elsewhere, imagining the future of art and exploring unchartered pathways towards it.
Jonathan Parsons, Director and curator
Jonathan Parsons has over twenty five years of experience working as a curator, artistic director and creative producer in Australia and internationally. He initiated and was the Creative Director of Robotronica (2013 - 2019), a biennial festival of robotics and interactive design at QUT in Brisbane. He was the Director of ISEA2013 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) an international festival of art, technology and ideas in partnership with Vivid Sydney. He has artistically led and collaborated on a broad range of cultural programs and events across all art forms including for the State Library of Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Riverfestival, Byron Bay Writers Festival, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, Pacific Wave Festival, Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Awesome Festival and the London International Festival of Theatre.
Lubi Thomas , Curator
Lubi Thomas is an experienced curator working in the field of digital/new media arts and associate practice areas. In the past decade, she has developed and delivered an extensive range of exhibitions, projects, festivals, events, residencies and mentoring programs, as well as, public and education-focused programming. Lubi takes a networked and site-responsive approach to programme structures, audience engagement, and partnership development. She has developed cultural programming frameworks for The Cube Brisbane, Creative Industries Precinct QUT, and Qld State Library. Lubi has developed key partnerships with LEGO Education, Ars Electronica, FACT Liverpool, EMARE, and the Australia Council for the Arts to support these programming sites. Lubi wears many hats with her key activities being as an Independent Curator and Artist, Experimenta’s Curator @ Large and curatorial advisor to Digital Placemaking Institute. Lubi works and consults locally, nationally and internationally.
Image credit: Soul Shift (2018) by Justine Emard. Video still. Image courtesy of the artist
Experimenta Life Forms - Family day
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Join us for the Experimenta Life Forms Family Day activities
Visit Experimenta Life Forms at Plimsoll gallery for a fun day of art and family activities. You will be able to take part in exploratory, self-guided learning activities designed for children and families by the Experimenta Life Forms curators.
The exhibition explores our changing understanding of life by 20 contemporary artists and features a diversity of artforms including robotics, bio-art, screen-based works, installations, participatory and generative art.
Image credit: You, Me, Things (2020) by Uyen Nguyen, Max Piantoni and Matthew Riley. Image courtesy of the artist.
Experimenta Life Forms explores the changing understandings of life in unexpected, playful and challenging ways.
Philosophers have wrestled with defining life for thousands of years. Experimenta Life Forms reveals how contemporary artists are approaching this perennial question, at a time when technological change and new research findings are making definitions of ‘life’ increasingly difficult to pin down. What new life forms are emerging through technological and biological adaptation and invention? Are our definitions of life shifting because of new scientific discoveries? How do First Nation’s epistemologies influence our ways of thinking and understanding life? How are notions of our place in the web of life changing now that research is identifying sentience in animals, plant-life, and maybe soon to be found in our machines?
Experimenta Life Forms is a timely exhibition featuring a diversity of artforms including robotics, bio-art, screen-based works, installations, participatory and generative art. The exhibition showcases 26 leading Australian and international artists whose work makes significant contribution to current dialogues about the changing landscape of life as we know it.
Curators: Jonathan Parsons and Lubi Thomas
Associate Curator: Jessica Clark
Experimenta Life Forms: International Triennial of Media Art, presenting at Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, 19 March - 8 May 2021
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