[-empyre-] you always have such thoughtful answers Paul.... and lets welcome Tarsh, Antoinette, and Margherita.

Margherita Pevere mp at margheritapevere.com
Wed Mar 1 11:13:22 AEDT 2017

Hi Renate,

thanks for inviting. It's great that such amazing artists and thinkers
around the globe are tuned on the same conversation. I truly
appreciated all contributions in the last weeks.

I will shortly introduce my work for those who are little familiar
with it. I am a visual artist based in Berlin and  PhD candidate in
Artistic Research at the Aalto University in Helsinki. I write you
from Helsinki, where I have spent the last two months researching
microbial cellulose in Biofilia Laboratory. Microbial cellulose is a
key material in my project "Semina Aeternitatis", which features the
storage of stranger's memories encoded as synthetic DNA in bacterial

My approach stems from contemplation of organic matter and processes.
I think contemplation can tell us much about human species and other
inhabitants of the biosphere: it simultaneously reveals relationships,
disruption, violence, and regeneration. Similarly to Pauline Olivero's
"deep listening", such form of awareness allows perception of
otherness, hybridity, and coexhistence. That's why in my artistic
practice I am interested in materials and processes that defy univocal
definition. Take microbial cellulose: it's a material extruded in
fibrils through pores on the bacterial membrane, though it remarkably
resembles bodily matter. What metaphors does it allow?

Contemplation can also tell us something on how humans weave together
species through technology. IMHO this point might help think why
ethics in so-called-bioart are so relevant. Humans have interfered
with other living beings through a variety of activities including
art. Take, for instance, photographic gelatine: it's obtained from
bones and hides. Every time you go to the movies, you watch miles of
animal gelatine flickering on the screen (still today, not everyone
shoots digital). I mention this because I am very much with Paule
Vanouse's writing

--I want to be clear that bioat has primarily questioned and
highlighted existing boundary crossings, often of massive scale, that
are too often obfuscated. We tend to be those that make visible.--

-- However, again, I don’t find that traditional ethics are fully
capable of addressing contemporary issues and thus this toolkit needs
updating... --

It is exactly in this wondrous gap between traditional ethics (trans-
and intraspecies relationships) and contemporary issues (boundary
crossings). What's the lineage? What needs to be updated?

They might sound empty questions to some ears, however Western human
history builds up on such shifts. While medieval humans were
subjugated to nature and the divine, in the Renaissance they became
active subjects in the world. Modern humans vaporized into individuals
struggling for acknowledgment. What's next?

Looking forward to hearing from others about this.




On 28 February 2017 at 04:29, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thank you Paul for your incredibly thoughtful response which really helped me to understand specifically what your meant by ethics.  I’m going to let you also respond to Erin, but I hope you won’t mind that I introduce our last three guests just a bit early.  I thought it might be interesting to bring in Tarsh Bates, Antoinette LaFarge, and Margherita Pevere who will join you Paul and hopefully anyone else out there (Erin, Kathy, Byron) who also might want to join Paul on this thread of ethics.  Just a note that we will keep this discussion open through Sunday.  Welcome and thanks.
> Biographies:
> Tarsh Bates (AU) Tarsh Bates is an artist/researcher/educator interested in how knowledge and experience form and transfer through the relationships between material, bodies, environment and
> culture. She completed a Master of Science (Biological Arts) in 2012 and has worked variously as a pizza delivery driver, a fruit and vegetable stacker, a toilet paper packer, a researcher in compost science and waste management, a honeybee ejaculator, an art gallery invigilator, a raspberry picker, a lecturer/tutor in art/science, art history, gender & technology, posthumanism, counter realism and pop culture, an editor, a bookkeeper, a car detailer, and a life drawing model. She is currently a candidate for a PhD (Biological Arts) at SymbioticA UWA where her research is concerned the
> aesthetics of interspecies relationships and the human as a multispecies ecology. She is particularly enamoured with Candida albicans.
> Antoinette LaFarge is an artist and writer whose beat is virtuality and its discontents. She has a special interest in avatarism, expanded narrative, and feminist techno-arts. Recent publications include “Pseudo Space: Experiments with Avatarism and Telematic Performance in Social Media” (MIT Press, 2016) and “Social Proxies and Real-World Avatars: Impersonation as a Mode of Capitalist Production” (Art Journal, 2014. Recent new media performance and installation projects include Far-Flung follows function (2013), Galileo in America (2012), and Hangmen
> Also Die (2010). She is currently working on projects centered on resurfacing work by women innovators and botanical artists of the late 19th century. She is on the faculty of the Art Department at UC Irvine. Deeply fascinated by biological processes,
> Margherita Pevere (DE/FI) is a visual artist and researcher investigating decay and transformation as they are common destiny of human and non-human matter. Her practice features a unique combination of organic and technological materials: she grows bacterial cultures, manipulates paper and photographic film, collects organic relics and plans to store a digitized collection of memories on bacterial genome. Pevere holds a degree in Political Sciences and Arts and New Media and is PhD candidate at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design at Architecture in Helsinki. In Berlin she actively collaborates with the DIYbio group BioTinkering e.V. and Art Laboratory Berlin. Most recent exhibitions include the Article Biennial, Stavanger (NO), curated by Hege Tapio and Nora
> Vaage; the Dutch Design Week – BioArt Laboratories, Eindhoven (NL), curated by Jalila Essaidi; State – Festival for Open Science, Berlin, curated by Daniela
> Silvestrin.
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor
> Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Department of Art
> Tjaden Hall 306
> rferro at cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

More information about the empyre mailing list