Experimental Art Practice: Art and Biological research combined with Marta de Menezes

Functional Portraits - Marta De Menezes (2002-2003)

Functional Portraits – Marta De Menezes (2002-2003)

Join us for Marta de Menezes’ artist presentation.

When: February 23, 6pm

Where 300-100 Arthur Street

Cost: free

Marta’s talk explores the multiple possibilities of artistic approaches that can be developed in relation to Art and Biology in contemporary art practice and research. A special emphasis will be placed on the development of collaborative art and biology projects where the artist has to learn some biological research skills in order to create the artwork. To situate the inquiry, she will draw upon her own work (Nature?, Decon and Immortality for Two) to question how our conception of identity and self awareness is built on with the recent advances in the biological sciences. She will ask how the artistic manipulation of life shifts our sense of identity to give rise to new forms of (un)indentities.

Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist with a degree in Fine Arts by the University in Lisbon, a MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture by the University of Oxford, and a PhD candidacy at the University of Leiden.

She has been exploring the intersection between Art and Biology, working in research laboratories demonstrating that new biological technologies can be used as new art medium. In 1999 de Menezes created her first biological artwork (Nature?) by modifying the wing patterns of live butterflies. Since then, she has used diverse biological techniques including functional MRI of the brain to create portraits where the mind can be visualised (Functional Portraits, 2002); fluorescent DNA probes to create micro-sculptures in human cell nuclei (nucleArt, 2002); sculptures made of proteins (Proteic Portrait, 2002-2007), DNA (Innercloud, 2003; The Family, 2004) or incorporating live neurons (Tree of Knowledge, 2005) or bacteria (Decon, 2007).

She is currently the artistic director of Ectopia, an experimental art laboratory in Lisbon, and Director of Cultivamos Cultura in the South of Portugal.

The event is wheelcahir accessible.

Biology as a New Art Medium: Workshop with Marta De Menezes

Functional Portraits - Marta De Menezes (2002-2003)

Functional Portraits – Marta De Menezes (2002-2003)

Dates: February 22, 23 & 24 / 10AM – 4PM
Cost: $100
Location: Video Pool Studio (3rd Floor, 100 Arthur St.)
To Sign Up: Please email an expression of interest including a short bio and the reason for your interest in the workshop (max. 1 page) to bioart@videopool.org Deadline to apply February 3, 2016 Deadline extended to Monday, February 8. 

This workshop aims to explore the multiple possibilities of artistic approaches that can be developed in relation to Art and Microbiology in a DIY situation. A special emphasis will be placed on the development of collaborative art and microbiology projects where the artist has to learn some biological research skills in order to create the artwork. The course will consist of a series of intense experimental sessions that will give raise to discussions on the artistic, aesthetic and ethical issues raised by the art and the science involved. Handling these materials and organisms will provoke a reflection on the theoretical issues involved and the course will provide background information on the current diversity of artistic discourses centred on biological sciences, as well a forum for debate.

About Marta De Menezes
Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist (b. Lisbon, 1975) with a degree in Fine Arts by the University in Lisbon, a MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture by the University of Oxford, and a PhD candidate at the University of Leiden.
She has been exploring the intersection between Art and Biology, working in research laboratories demonstrating that new biological technologies can be used as new art medium.
In 1999 de Menezes created her first biological artwork (Nature?) by modifying the wing patterns of live butterflies. Since then, she has used diverse biological techniques including functional MRI of the brain to create portraits where the mind can be visualised (Functional Portraits, 2002); fluorescent DNA probes to create micro-sculptures in human cell nuclei (nucleArt, 2002); sculptures made of proteins (Proteic Portrait, 2002-2007), DNA (Innercloud, 2003; The Family, 2004) or incorporating live neurons (Tree of Knowledge, 2005) or bacteria (Decon, 2007). Her work has been presented internationally in exhibitions, articles and lectures.

She is currently the artistic director of Ectopia, an experimental art laboratory in Lisbon, and Director of Cultivamos Cultura in the South of Portugal.

Dry Media: A Herbarium Exhibit Round Two

Opening reception – Friday AugustDry Media 21st, 2015
August 21st – September 4th

 Video Pool Media Arts Centre
300-100 Arthur St

Opening reception – Friday August 21st, 2015
7:00 Doors Open

Tuesday – Friday, 10:30 – 5:30 & Saturday 11:00 – 5:00

This July a second round of Dry Media was organized for a group of Winnipeg artists who gained access to the University of Manitoba Herbarium – a biorepository of dried, preserved plant specimens for scientific study. After exploring themes of bioart and botanical illustration through the ages, they dove into the plant collection. These artists viewed botanical specimens under microscopes, captured images with a microscope camera or camera lucida.

This collective experience has led to a second body of botanical artwork by the following:
Bev Pike
Heather Komus
Aldo Rios
Carley Friesen
Adele Sinclair
Catherine Macdonald
Dawn Wood
Sharen Ritterman

Dry Media: A Herbarium Art Workshop – Summer Edition

dryMedia2-poster-web

Video Pool is pleased to partner with the University of Manitoba Herbarium to present this popular Dry Media workshop for the second time.

A herbarium is a biorepository of dried, preserved plant specimens for scientific study. The University of Manitoba Herbarium houses the largest collection of vascular plants in Manitoba, with over 76,000 records. Artists will gain access to this plant collection, and have the opportunity to draw from pressed plant specimens, microscopes, and microphotography.

To Apply:

Space is limited. Please submit your name and contact information, with 250 words expressing your interest in this workshop to Diana.Sawatzky@umanitoba.ca by June 25th 2015.

Workshop Dates:

  • Saturday, July 4  / 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday, July 5 / 12pm – 3pm

Workshop Location:

  • University of Manitoba’s Herbarium / Rm. 426 Buller Building

Workshop Cost:

  • $50.00

Workshop Facilitators:

  • Helga Jakobson, visual artist
  • Diana Sawatzky, botanist, hebarium assistant curator

What to Bring:

  • memory stick for storing photos
  • your choice of “dry media” (please do not bring paint, uncontained ink, watercolors, etc.)
  • a bagged lunch

A review of Dry Media – A Herbarium Exhibit by Haley Isaak

Video Pool was lucky to have Art History student Haley Isaak write a review of Dry Media – A Herbarium Exhibit that was on display at The Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre February 20 to March 5, 2015.

 

Dry Media

 

Something lovely-delicious-secret that just wafted in on a scant breeze

The works presented at the Dry Media exhibition are something like this. The most striking is how these carefully arranged works can make you feel as though you are running, chasing something, that moment when your animal identity comes rushing back into your lungs and not even the dreariest assortment of concrete catastrophes could take that breath away. Each one of these enchanting items brings to the surface a thought of familiarity and wonder. A contemplation on both science and ritual, the show presents an idea of merging. As botanists and chemists methodically and lovingly search out answers, so too did their intellectual forbearers in the fields of magic and herbal infusions. The people who for centuries past have kept the secrets of the flora of the earth are not so different in nature than these modern academics. The subtle knitting and embroidery by Nakonechy and Sawatzky and the analytical catalogue drawings of Dupas and Woodyard move together to solidify these notions of ritual and agency in the face of the viewer’s present existence. One becomes acutely aware of the discoveries and actions of the host of humanity and their staggering accomplishment in the fields of plant science. Present throughout the works is a notion of that ancient skill in the utilization of plants and the great debt owed to them. Tracing that long and noble time line from that first recognition, through rites and mystic murmurings all the way to the vast accumulation of the Herbarium. All these collected curiosities not only mourn the loss of this connectedness but humbly offers a restorative option by comparing scientific processes to the ritual processes of the past. This concept, offered through all of the works collectively, can be explored more closely through comparing works on a one to one basis as well. Chantal Dupas’ work N49°_W97°1_6 depicts a fairly straightforward rendering of a charming prairie shrub. Lovingly painted in delicate watercolour, the work rendered is indeed fine and in this way is a clear harkening to scientific cataloging and transcriptions of flora for use in research, or stored this way in the Herbarium, forever suspended in semiprecious-life. The crux of the matter lies in the title. It evokes a place, an extremely exact place where perhaps this plant is or was. This moment of life captured in the title brings a senses of individuality to the otherwise innocuous plant growth that is so often viewed as a coating for the earth beneath it, as though a tiny spotlight appeared on this particular stem and all the importance in the world was given to it. This subtle blending of the equivocal severity of the scientific method and the precise elevation of one exact instant in time and space draw the concept of this work into both the sorrow and the joy of all works presented. On the other hand a work that sways to a more mournful tune can be found in Portrait of Portage Place by Toby Gilles. This pressing of several wide, slightly scruffy leaves arranged anthropomorphically in a Spartan silver frame certainly resonates with the visuals and processes of a plant collection, but what the artist has done with the plants that we can’t see and where they have been collected brings this work into sharp contrast with Dupas’.

Shawn Olin Jordan

Shawn Olin Jordan

Unlike the wild and distinct plants represented in her work, these have been collected from a mall, specifically the somewhat melancholy downtown Winnipeg edition. Consider malls, a product of the postwar Suburban boom, an emblem of a life built around the automobile. The poignantly depressing notion of collecting samples in one of these environments not only signifies the (hopefully) impending downfall of Suburbs and megamalls, but also the impact of that lifestyle had and has on the natural world. The automastic tendencies of this mode of living is intensified by the added knowledge that the artists has microwaved the leaves used, paralleling the way in with this way of life has been felt by the planet.

In each age there are movements in art that bring the most pressing issues resting on the minds of the generations living them. The struggle to understand how to change and begin again to live with the knowledge that the earth is constant and pervasive in the age we now dwell in. Dry Media: A Herbarium Exhibition presents a future where we can live in the present by knowing the past.

 

Haley Isaak is a student of art history at the University of Manitoba and intern with aceartinc. She is particularly interested in new media, design, stories and installation.

Watch – Helga Jakobson – Artist Talk

With work that often incorporates detritus from her immediate environment, whether components of the natural landscape or relics from her great grandparents’ homestead, Helga Jakobson’s practice is a responsive and reflective attempt to quantify experience.

Exploring and wandering throughout rural landscapes inspires work which tends to revolve around themes of philosophy, mortality, and the human experience. Her interests are in craft aesthetic and the hand-made, and she often finds herself considering metaphysics, pseudoscience, and the role of the creative producer as responder, explorer and critical engager of the current cultural climates within which they exist.

As a natural extension of her explorations into the human experience and philosophy her practice has moved into the realm of Bio Art. Her practice is now shifting to include participant interaction, performance, natural healing treatments, scientific research, and dissemination of research.

November 26, 2014
Presented by Video Pool Media Arts Center at ace art inc.

Dry Media – A Herbarium Group Art Exhibition

drymediawebDuring a cold weekend in November, a group of Winnipeg artists gained access to the University of Manitoba Herbarium – a biorepository of dried, preserved plant specimens for scientific study. After exploring themes of bioart and botanical illustration through the ages, they dove into the plant collection. These artists viewed botanical specimens under microscopes, captured images with a microscope camera or camera lucida. In time, they fell under the plants’ spell… This collective experience has led to a body of botanical artwork by the following:
Becky Thiessen, Toby Gillies, Melody Morissette, Ken Gregory, Shawn Jordan, hannah g, Seth Woodyard, Jessica McKague, Julia Wake, and Lesley Nakonechny, as well as work by facilitators: Helga Jakobson, Chantal Dupas, Dawn Wood, and Diana Sawatzky.

Exhibition:
February 20 – March 4, 2015
The Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre
611 Main St.

Opening reception:
Friday, February 20
7pm – Doors Open
8:30 – Reading by Dry Media Artist hannah g

History of Bioart Talk with Dr. Melentie Pandilovski
Saturday, February 21
1pm

This project is a collaboration between The Edge Gallery and Urban Art Centre, Video Pool Media Arts Centre & The University of Manitoba

Artist Talk: Cyborg Plants with Michael Lucenkiw

cbrgpntweb“In the age of the internet of things, a wide spread sensory enhanced landscape is a highly plausible occurrence. How can a designer interact with technology to create place in this new environment? What will this environment be like? What does this mean for plant life? To tackle these questions, a cyborg plant was created that integrates with sensors and is capable of detecting several environmental conditions as well as the bio-electrical inside the plant. Part performance, part experiment, this cyborg plant became a tool used to help understand the potential benefits of a sensory enhanced landscape as well as the potential negative consequences. This cyborg plant is also a living thing, and leaves many ethical questions to be answered. Learn how the cyborg plant was created, what technology is used to operate it and the artists and projects that inspired it.”

Date: Saturday, January 31st.
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: Video Pool Media Arts Centre Studio : 300 – 100 Arthur St. (Artspace Building)
Cost: Free!

An Evening of Wanderings

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Video Pool Media Arts Centre will be hosting a fun filled evening at aceartinc. November 26th, 2014

Come around 6:30pm for snacks, drinks and mingling.

7:00pm Artlink Magazine Launch

Video Pool Director Dr. Melentie Pandilovski and Dr. Praba Pilar will launch the most recent issue of the Australian magazine Artlink. This issue features articles about Video Pool’s Toxicity exhibit held in December 2013/January 2014.

7:15pm Artist Talk with Helga Jakobson

With work that often incorporates detritus from her immediate environment, whether components of the natural landscape or relics from her great grandparents’ homestead, Helga Jakobson’s practice is a responsive and reflective attempt to quantify experience.

Exploring and wandering throughout rural landscapes inspires work which tends to revolve around themes of philosophy, mortality, and the human experience. Her interests are in craft aesthetic and the hand-made, and she often finds herself considering metaphysics, pseudoscience, and the role of the creative producer as responder, explorer and critical engager of the current cultural climates within which they exist.

As a natural extension of her explorations into the human experience and philosophy her practice has moved into the realm of Bio Art. Her practice is now shifting to include participant interaction, performance, natural healing treatments, scientific research, and dissemination of research.

Helga’s artist talk will enlighten us on her practice and what she sees the future holding for her.

Helga and Melentie will be launching Video Pool’s new BioArt Chapter during this discussion.

8:00pm Canadian Premiere of Architecture of and Atom (62mins) and Winnipeg and the Infinite Whistle (short) directed by Juliacks

Throughout the non-linear narrative, we grow to love a group of grieving weirdos who meet at a swim class for immigrants. Following the wild and misinformed imagination of one member of the group, they all fall into a splintering fantasy world as they go on an adventure in the French Alps. There the group moves into and gets lost in an abandoned pool. In their creative escape from a dubious impending war around them, they find a syncretic object, an anthropomorphic ‘infinite’ whistle. They use the ‘infinite’ whistle to move into death worlds (parallel places of reconstructed repeating sonic memories of the group.) But the ‘infinite’ whistle also uses them. They grieve. One cannot venture into death worlds if there are no dead.

Architecture of an Atom is a transmedia art narrative written, directed and executive produced by JULIACKS in co-production with a number of North American and European art organizations including the Moderna museum, Néon, LA BOX, Atomic Center, Florian of the GrrrndZero collective, 360m3, ALT_CPH, the Crack and Helsinki comics festivals, and film producers Nattlek, Killer & SBKFilmaking, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom as well as many individuals, bands and communities without whom this film would not be possible.

JULIACKS is a transmedia artist, director, writer, producer, performer and event designer creating narrative universes using the mediums of filmmaking, multi-media performance installations, comics and theater in North America and Europe.

All revolving and connected by a unifying narrative, JULIACKS’ stories touch upon social-cultural issues such as the denial of death, the relativity of insanity, the plight of the immigrant, the ill and the elderly, and the construction of both conflict and memory. The audience interacts with the work on several levels—literal, symbolic, visual, aural—sometimes simultaneously, at times sequentially, referencing not only the contemporary context but also artistic predecessors and archetypal elements.

One half of the nucleus of the narrative universe, the medium length narrative fiction film, was shot in August 2013 in Lyon, France and the French Alps and in Dec 2012 in Winnipeg, Canada with clips from Sweden/Denmark/Italy/USA. Using video, 16 mm film, 8mm, & cell phone footage.

Dry Media – A Herbarium Art Workshop

Workshop Poster high re copyA herbarium is a biorepository of dried, preserved plant specimens for scientific study. The University of Manitoba Herbarium houses the largest collection of vascular plants in Manitoba, with over 76,000 records. Artists will gain access to this plant collection, view specimens beneath dissection microscopes, and capture images with a microscope camera. Projects resulting from the workshop (not limited to drawings) will be shown in a group exhibit at the Edge Gallery from February 20th-March 6th 2015.

Workshop Facilitators:

  • Helga Jakobson, visual artist
  • Chantal Dupas, visual artist
  • Dawn Wood, plant scientist
  • Diana Sawatzky, botanist, hebarium assistant curator

 

To Apply:

Space is limited. Please submit your name and contact information, with 250 words expressing your interest in this workshop to Diana.Sawatzky@umanitoba.ca by November 14th 2014.

What to Bring:

  • memory stick for storing photos
  • your choice of “dry media” (please do not bring paint, uncontained ink, watercolors, etc.)
  • a bagged lunch

Schedule:

Saturday, Nov.29

  • 10:00 – Introduction to Bio Art, Artist talks (Helga Jakobson, Chantal Dupas), History of Illustration in Botany (Dawn Wood)
  • 11:30 – Introduction to microscope use, camera
  • 12:30 – Lunch break
  • 1:30 – 4:00 – Drawing

 

Sunday, Nov.30

  • Noon – 3:00 – Drawing (optional)