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February 3, 2016



Cosmopolitical Futures, The Anthropocenic Human series reflects my long time interest and research in foundational studies in theories of quantum physics and the nature of nature and the properties of living matter. In recent projects – Black Lace and the Stem Cell work in particular, I alluded to methodological approaches based on Barad’s theories and the counterintuitive interpretation of quantum physics; that an object of investigation cannot be accessed outside of human conceptual frameworks to address and provide insights into the nature of causality, identity and nature. Barad forms an emergent zeitgeist in cultural theory/philosophy (Stengers, Bennett, Braidotti, Latour,Haraway) making connections between vitalist materialism, science and politics and ethics. As environmental changes force themselves into our physical consciousness we find ourselves re-thinking connections between politics, nature and humanity. Stengers, term, Cosmopolitics, stresses the relationship between the political order and scientific models of reality. Barad proposes that agency does not originate in human intention but resides in all of matter, suggesting that matter bears the mark of human agency in ways that release human intention. Her radical ontology proposes the collapse of partitions between mind and matter; wanting us to re-consider ethics, sentience and values within the new diffractive methodology she calls “Agential Realism”. AR accounts for how we iteratively rework the ‘objects” that we study. Fixed notion of “humanness’ have been dramatically transformed by posthumanist theory and the advanced sciences of transgenics biomedicine and biomimesis. The philosopher, and founding quantum physicist Niels Bohr made account of ways in which words and worlds are inextricably linked as discursive and material practices. He understood the intentional state of mind as arising from complex networks of human and non-human agents and ecologies of material conditions that exceed an individual and he saw how the paradoxical challenge for humankind was to make meaning and intelligibility in the light of unintelligibility and in doing so he endorsed, trans disciplinary creative processes and practices of poetry and the visual arts.



Recent on-going artworks are based on an EPRSC funded, Pathways to Impact (PiA) residency at the University of Southampton in the School of Medicine on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine exploring the use of stem cells in the area of Bone and Joint research. My research engages with contemporary debates in biotechnology and stem cell research and I have developed numerous works through art and science collaboration that contribute to public critical understanding and discussion of these domains. Engendering public engagement with biotechnological, stem cell and regenerative medicine research, my work engages with the impact of these life sciences on human identity, culture and society. I have harnessed elements regenerative medicine space to create a new body of research, developing this most recent artworks on an EPRSC funded, Pathways to Impact (PiA) residency in the School of Medicine on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine exploring the use of stem cells in the area of Bone and Joint research.


The PiA (Pathways to Impact) residency was uniquely devised as a visual arts research project. The site-specific research was produced in association with Professor Richard OC Oreffo and the Bone and Joint Research Group at the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine.

I co-ordinated regular visits to the department, thoroughly familiarizing herself with bone and joint, stem cell regenerative medicine. The research residency enabled close observation and artistic reflection on the science of osteo-specific differentiation, function and signaling pathways in stem cell populations. The aim is that my creative practice can contribute to a public understanding of the regenerative medicine space through art and science collaboration.

The work hints at ways in which transformative biological processes associated with evolutionary symbiosis can be harnessed as metaphors to interpret regenerative medicine. Exploring the different ways people might come to experience regenerative medicine, the work also reflects on how visual arts led research can improve public understanding of stem cell research.


Regenerative phenomena associated with stem cells touch on the deepest aspects of human identity. Stem cell transfer treatments replace non-functioning and dead cells at tissue sites within the body with healthy donor cells. The hope of medicine is that collections of induced pluripotent stem cells might one day come to form a biological resource for regenerative treatments and general medical use.

Kathleen is interested in how stem cell research can offer new generative metaphors for health and healing and how therapies suggest ways to extend the human lifespan and alter ourselves genetically. Her initial research looked at how stem cell utilization might delay and disguise the physical impact of ageing.

“Buckminster Fuller described the occurrence of structure in chemical elements not as things but as ‘patterns of inherently regenerative constellar associations of energy events’. The dynamic metabolism of each of our cells determines its growth or demise and the sustained presence of stem cells within the porosity of both the embryonic and adult brain, suggests holistic connections between periodicity, cell re-newel, cell death and the nature of mind itself.”

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), can differentiate differentiate in vitro or in vivo into adipocytes, chondrocytes and osteoblasts the progenitors cells of human cartilage and bone. Kathleen began looking at the shape principles governing the structuring of bone, its emergent mathematics and the geometry of its growth. The structuring of cellular growth is beautifully exemplified in the emergent architecture of bone.


During the residency I was granted access to biological donor materials associated with embryonic, fetal and adult stem cell research. I produced over 2000 photographic studies of human donor derived tissue as the conceptual basis of a multi-screen video installation. Her visual research demonstrates how embodied, sensory encounters with digital media are intrinsic to the visual literacy of medical research. The resulting multi-screen, six-channel video and sound installation, Intra-actions and re-configurings, consists of horizontally aligned screens designed as a panoramic, landscape. Viewed in partial darkness, the work provides an audience with a reflective space and the work offers an emotional engagement with both the clinical and ethical dimensions of stem cell research.

The independently titled episodes dramatize biological procedures: Screen 1 Matter, Screen 2 Vascular, Screen 3 Viscera, Screen 4 Ossify, Screen 5 Primordial, Screen 6 Lacunae.

I applied poetics, moving image and sound to draw every day audiences to the science and art of stem cell research.

“The structural grammar of my work was inspired by the theoretical work of the Philosopher of Science, Karen Barad. Inspired by her concepts I applied graphic and text layering methods to examine how time based, visual and linguistic systems can regulate and dictate interior and exterior perspectives of objects. Dual streams of words composed from descriptive notations, poetry and genetic science are used to suggest parallel images, like labyrinths and mirrors. The work exploits the visual aspects of language and I use imagistic repetitions, tonal variants, scale and magnification to create a contemplative space. Virtual shadows and the sound track, composed of visceral heart pulses are used to invoke the infinite levels of reproduction of living cells in the human body. “

In addition to the installation I produced 15 photographic e-sketchbooks containing hundreds of images drawn from her visual research. These digital sketchbooks presented in landscape format echo the conceptual methods of the moving image installation. Thematic titles are conceptually re-versioned and the form is fluidic: pages may carry a single image or mirror pages found elsewhere; a text frame may directly relate to an adjacent image or may be repeated or carry references to a later image.

Barad, Karen, Meeting the Universe Halfway – Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning,
Duke University Press

February 2, 2016

Black Lace


Produced as part of an international contemporary art and craft exhibition, Black Lace is a site-sensitive video and sound installation commissioned for the UK Crafts Council 50/50 funded international lace textile exhibition, Lost in Lace, for the Birmingham City Art Gallery and Museum. Museum lace archive conservator support enabled an off-site destructive micro-visual analysis of silk lace from a unique sample of antique Chantilly lace. The donor sample is beautiful virtuoso piece of 20th century lace, bought from Steinman’s in Piccadilly London forming part of Lady Cadbury’s archive collection. Hundreds of hugely magnified studies were produced using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) in collaboration with scientific imaging specialists from the Biomedical Imaging Unit, School of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Using complex, digital methods these were post produced and re-composed to create a continuous, slow panning shot of lace montages arranged along the Z axis in virtual 3D screen space. The resulting continuous scrolling lace landscape is set against a multilayered, stochastic sound composition of larval silk moths devouring the mulberry leaves that fuel the production of the silk protein fibers.

The Black Lace project breaks customary patterns of approaches to the material culture of lace, re-framing it as a complex biomaterial with bio-economic and bioethical dimensions. Black Lace alludes to the lurking fault lines between nature and culture and the work follows on from my wider research themes that also make cultural and artistic connections to the practices and narratives of contemporary biosciences.

The dramatic acceleration of scientific fabrication techniques in the life sciences, wherein the structure and function of biological systems are designed and engineered into biomaterials and molecular machines is culturally pervasive. The fixed notion of “humanness’ has already been subtly transformed by advancements in transgenic technologies and medicine but most of us are not able to realize the fullness, meaning and impact of these scientific practices that reconfigure life

The decisive factor in using SEM was to visually evidence the underlying mathematics and structural torsions and twisting of Chantilly lace in close conjunction with the theoretically unfathomable and unimaginable complexity of the silk fibers. The human Chantilly net maker mimics polygonal networks found in nature but in the film, immensely magnified details reveal the lace’s intrinsic “otherness” and silkworm origins. The atoms, molecules and ecosystems deployed by the silk worms appear to operate like forces swelling out into shattered spirals. Each layered image in each scrolling scene of the film was technically drawn line by line by the deflections of a scanning electron beam operating in a vacuum. Each scene is intrinsically an image of lifelessness and the film is like a fossil. Human vision involves the register of light in the retinal nervous system and brain. The non-optical electron materialization of the Chantilly net in the installation alludes to processes of biophysical metamorphosis and other lurking frontier narratives drawn from the contemporary biosciences and synthetic biology. In the biotech context, the chemical co-alliance of humans and the insect species is spectacular in its imagination but in many ways can be seen to follow on from the 5000-year scientific techniques of Sericulture industry in Asian countries. Sericulture refers to the production of silk from the larval cocoon of the silkworm Bombyx mori. The silkworm has biosocial significance and vast economies and whole communities depend on the molecular proteins of its cast off capillary structure. The industrial killing and utilization of the silkworm can make us lose sight of the intrinsic mystery around its morphological developmental stages from egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon) to adult moth and the fact that these intricate developmental mechanisms of metamorphosis are little understood by modern life science. Black Lace alludes to the lurking fault lines between nature and culture and the work follows on from my wider research themes that also make cultural and artistic connections to the practices and narratives of contemporary biosciences. The research outcomes represent a unique artistic, experimental approach to scientific imaging methods using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and fluorescing CLSM (Con-focal Laser Scanning Microscopy) building on paradoxical optical and quantum principles of image processing to forge a synthesis of hidden forms, wavelengths, signals and the instrumentation of matter. The project has resulted in transferable knowledge by extending the experimental use of non-optical microscopy as a “plastic” technical media for the production of art. The project extends the presentation of scientific imaging to encourage public engagement with the physics of non-optical bioimaging concepts and synthetic biology. The research engages in novel imaging production that extends the use of scientific imaging in the production of high-resolution HD video quality moving image display.

The work aims to provides an accessible public engagement platform for public debate and awareness of ethical and cultural issues arising from the biosciences.

Media:Video Projection and Sound Art
Duration: 8 minute - HD Video 16:9

Sound Z'ev
Editor Simon Allmark

International conference presentation for Crafts Council UK- Framing Dark Space.

January 8, 2016

Bite Size - Dark Space


Produced for Bite Size, Miniature Textiles an International group-touring exhibition devised by Prof Lesley Millar. Black Lace, Dark Space, is a miniature textile work. A fragment of 19th Century black silk Chantilly lace embedded on metal disk and thinly coated with ionized gold particles is presented meticulously prepared as if for a Scanning Electron Microscopy imaging system. Conceived and displayed as a scientific relic, the fixed Chantilly lace sample represents the enduring residue of the Black Lace film installation project. The composite lace object alludes to the procedural methods of the non-optical, dark space imaging process, the unusual characteristics of silk and visualisation methods common to art and science. The work engages audiences with the creative, transformative methods of art and science. How matter is transformed from one substance to another and the importance of listening to materials to gain a greater understanding of the world.

Japan House Gallery, Daiwa Foundation, London
Gallery Gallery, Kyoto, Japan
Nagoya University of the Arts and Science

Gold coated Chantilly lace and palladium scanning electron micro-disc

January 8, 2010



The INSIDE [art and science] international group exhibition gathered 22 artists that, in different ways and through a variety of media, interact with science, from biology to artificial intelligence or robotics. Curated by artist Leonel Moura ,European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation 2009, at Cordoaria Nacional, Rua da Junqueira 342, Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal.

Exhibition of dual screen installation Cocoon.


Featuring the work of artists: Bill Vorn, Carl Pisaturo, Catherine Chalmers, Driessens & Verstappen, Eduardo Kac, Ken Goldberg, Marta de Menezes, Miguel Chevalier, Oron Catts, Philip Ross, Roman Kirschner, Stelarc, Suzanne Anker, Orlan.

INSIDE – ARTE E CIENCA (ART AND SCIENCE) – Chapter and photo documentation in book published: Cienca Viva, National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture and Municipality of Lisbon. Hard-back, photo illustrated 330p edition.
ISBN978 972 8615 07 9

October 2, 2009

Crossing Over

Cocoon is a dual video projection installation developed for the context and architectural setting of the glass atrium as part of Crossing Over at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. A series of exhibitions were installed throughout the newly refurbished building, located at Albemarle Street.

Also featuring the work of Material Beliefs, Anne Brodie, Alex Bunn, Eggebert-and-Gould and Phoebe Von Held. Curated by Caterina Albano and Rowan Drury of ARTAKT exploring exchanges in art & biotechnologies.



The Londonist

August 14, 2009

Evolution Haute Couture

Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age
The National Centre for Contemporary Arts
Kaliningrad, Russia.


Video document as part of an international project

Curated by Dmitry Bulatov on themes associated with technologies of the XXI Century as a medium of implementation in the field of artificial life, robotics and bioengineering.

Special Art Project of the Third Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art
LABORATORIA Art&Science Space (3, Obukha per., Moscow)
Organizers of the project: Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, LABORATORIA Art&Science Space

In 2009 the Evolution Haute Couture project won the National Innovation Prize (Russia), awarded annually for achievements in contemporary visual arts.

Project curator: Dmitry Bulatov
Featuring: Paula Gaetano Adi (AR), James Auger & Jimmy Loizeau (GB), Brandon Ballengee (US), Laura Beloff (FI), BioKino Group: Tanya Visosevic and Guy Ben-Ary (AU), David Bowen (US), Adrian David Cheok (SG), Carlos Corpa & Ana García-Serrano (ES), Critical Art Ensemble (US), Joe Davis (US), Marta de Menezes (PT), Louis-Philippe Demers (CA), Erwin Driessens & Maria Verstappen (NL), Tagny Duff (CA), Arthur Elsenaar & Remko Scha (NL), Julie Freeman (GB), George Gessert (US), Ken Goldberg (US), Isa Gordon (US), Andy Gracie (GB), Paul Granjon (FR), Mateusz Herczka (SE), Floris Kaayk (NL), Verena Kaminiarz (CA), Leonel Moura (PT), Orlan (FR), Plancton Art Studio: Mauro Annunziato & Piero Pierucci (IT), Nicolas Reeves (CA), Julia Reodica (US), Ken Rinaldo (US), Marcel·lí Antúnez Roca (ES), Kathleen Rogers (GB), Philip Ross (US), SymbioticA Research Group (AU) & The Potter Lab (US), Stelarc (AU), The Tissue Culture & Art Project (TC&A): Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr (AU), Paul Thomas (AU), Bill Vorn, Emma Howes & Jonathan Villeneuve (CA), Natasha Vita-More (US), Adam Zaretsky (US)

Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age. Edited by Dmitry Bulatov. With a foreword by Dmitry Bulatov and essays by Roy Ascott, Dmitry Bulatov. Russian-English edition, and extensive glossary, color and black-and-white illustrations, 196 pages, catalogue + 2 DVD-ROM, KB NCCA, Kaliningrad, 2009. Web site: www.videodoc.ncca-kaliningrad.ru/
Supported by
The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, The Ford Foundation (The Moscow Office, Russia), The Dynasty Foundation (Moscow), Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry (Moscow)

Further exhibition in the framework of the IX MediaForum 2008 as part of the XXX Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF).

June 14, 2008

Sensual Technologies

Artist presenter at the interdisciplinary conference Sensual Technologies at the ICA, London. The event was a one-day international symposium from The Brunel School of Arts, Sensual Technologies. It explored alternate and aesthetic uses of technology that extend artistic practice beyond the expected, into realms of unusual and heightened experience.

The conference was led by Stelarc, Johannes Birringer and Susan Broadhurst, and featured presentations from theorists and practitioners of performance, dance, music and electronic media arts. The contributors to this event were leading practitioners and theorists offering diverse perspectives to the debate. They included Roy Ascott, Roger Malina, Jill Scott, Gary Hall, Rachel Armstrong, Paul Brown, Louis-Philippe Demers, Marta De Menezes, Kira O’Reilly, Kathleen Rogers, Paul Sermon, Theodore Spyropoulos, Atau Tanaka and Andrea Zapp.
Brunel's School of Arts on-line Journal: Body, Space & Technology

May 14, 2008


Hybrid - Reflections on Art and Science
Museo Nacional de Soares Dos Reis
Porto, Portugal.

Exhibition of Tremor video document as part of an international exhibition of art and science collaborations. Curated by Marta de Menezes in co-operation with the Associate Laboratory IBMC/INEB and ECTOPIA

Joining an international group exhibition featuring, Symbiotica, Marta de Menezes, Jill Scott, George Gessert.

October 14, 2007

Confronting Mortality

Confronting Mortality with Art and Science
Antwerp, Belgium.

Opening doors between the worlds of art and science.
Curated photographs presented as part of on-line gallery in association with conference and gallery exhibition.

AEIMS (EU) MAA (UK) AMI (USA) Vesalius Trust (USA)
The joint Annual Meeting of the Association Européenne des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques (AEIMS) and the Medical Artists’ Association of Great Britain (MAA) held 18-20 October in Antwerp, Belgium, on the theme “Confronting Mortality with Art and Science”

Organisors: Pascale Pollier-Green, Medical Artist Chantal Pollier, Sculptor/psychologist Ann Van de Velde, Haematologist

May 5, 2007


Video projection and aquariums containing classically mutated zebrafish based on themes drawn from developmental biology and genetics. Commissioned by Dr Emilie Gomart, guest curator for the Centraal Museum, Utrecht as part of Genesis (Life at the end of the information age), an international exhibition featuring work from artists and scientists and describing parallels between art, the life sciences, computer technology and genetics and presenting key historical models of life systems such as the Crick and Watson DNA model, early computer films, cybernetic art, genetic artefacts and live organisms.



Still from video installation, Tremor, Genesis 2007


Still from video installation, Tremor, Genesis 2007

Zebrafish are part of a pantheon of model organisms deliberately bred to study vertabrate development. The fish are small and breed quickly and inexpensive to maintain in large numbers and they are used to search for mutations randomly and then selectively bred. Several genes that control the expression of the human body plan have nucleotide sequences found in a common pattern in zebrafish. These patterns are exposed in the zebrafish genome using Mendelian forward genetics.

Microscopic evaluations capture the essence of the life force as movement, but paradoxically, making and umaking the gene requires a pathological trespass into the mystery it seeks to reveal. In the microscopic study of fetal growth in living mutations, physical contact and looking create tremors and palpitations that are tactile and reactive and invariably fatal. Visual distortions, physical vibrations, reflections, shadows, scratches, detritus and microbial parasites randomly appear. In Tremor, the difficult co-ordination of the eye and hand, the limitations of a fixed viewpoint and narrow field of view, the optical ambiguities, crude movements, anticipated touch and sensory detail are used to engage the viewer in a visceral and psychological reading of a mediated life form.


Still from video installation, Tremor, Genesis 2007




Photo, Aquariums of mutant zebrafish from installation, Tremor, Genesis 2007

Tremor was made with the scientific facilities and support in the Netherlands and the UK. Video microscopy facilities and collaboration were generously provided by Jonathan Clarke and David Becker at the Centre for Cell and Molecular Dynamics, University College, London and Carole Wilson, manager of UCL Zebrafish Facility. Zebrafish were donated by Bas Defize and Dr. S. Schulte-Merker from the Hubrecht Laboratory. Audio design made in collaboration with David Strang.

January 8, 2007

GENESIS - The Art of Creation

Exhibition of installation, Tremor within international group exhibition, Genesis - The Art of Creation, Zentrum Paul Klee, Berne, Switzerland.

Genesis – The Art of Creation was an international exhibition located at the PAUL KLEE MUSEUM in Bern, Switzerland and curated in the ethos of interdisciplinary artistic expression. The exhibition theme described historical parallel developments and interactions in artistic and scientific methodologies.

The exhibition featured artworks by, Jean Arp, Aziz & Cucher, Joseph Beuys, Christine Borland, Jaq Chartier, Agnes Denes, Mark Dion, Charles & Ray Eames, Mark Francis, Herbert W. Franke, David Fried, Fritz Glarner, Antony Gormley, Thomas Grünfeld, Mona Hatoum, Georg Herold, Floris Kaayk, Eduardo Kac, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee , Thomas Kovachevich, Sol LeWitt, Aaron Marcus, Larry Miller, Vera Molnar, Piet Mondrian, Frieder Nake, Bruce Nauman, Georg Nees, Michel Paysant, Marc Quinn, Dieter Roth, Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, Tomas Schmit, Lillian Schwartz, Karl Sims, Rudolf Steiner, Koen Vanmechelen, Woody & Steina Vasulka

Genesis, Analysis, Code, Playing Games and Chaos – these are the five dramatic focal points of this exhibition. They connect and combine scientific and artistic aspects of genetics and creation in a dramatically designed presentation of paintings, interactive installations, light installations, video projections, cartoons, photographs and sculptures by international artists.

Curator, Fabienne Eggelhöfer proposed that these heterogeneous exhibits were designed to convey the most significant research results of the 20th and 21st centuries, placing them in an artistic context that confirms this issue's relevance to society, its wide emotional spectrum and its decade-long, unchanging political importance.

September 30, 2006


Multi projection screen video and surround sound installation with table top dioramas and multiple sculptural elements for the Lab Gallery Space, San Francisco, USA. Commissioned for The Gateway Project, an international collaboration between artists and scientists.



Photos from the gallery exhibition, DNA.CORN at the Lab, San Francisco

Butterfly Chromosomes
DNA.CORN is a furnace of infinite randomness based on the sounds of popcorn, video projections, ultra-violet dioramas and mock chromosomes in the shape of black butterflies. DNA.CORN utilises the sound and image of popcorn as an anthropological and biological microsystem. A darkly lit ambient space with table top dioramas is used to produce an emotionally arresting scene. Several large video projections and a thousand black silhouetted butterflies inhabit the space accompanied by loud, violently stochastic sounds of popping corn. Sound design in collaboration with digital composer, Carl Stone.

View the DNA.CORN Gallery

The project was produced as a result of a ten week artist's residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin County and extended the work, The Imagination of Matter presented at NOISE in Cambridge.

The work was made in collaboration with the Lab and was supported by The British Council and NEA. The Gateway Project was curated by Laura Brun.

Presentation and Publications

Subtle Technologies Conference, University of Toronto, Canada.

Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science and Technology by Stephen Wilson

August 29, 2006

The Imagination of Matter

Video and sound installation for NOISE at the Kettles Yard Gallery Cambridge.

Installation based on plant biology and DNA made as part of an series of exhibitions put together by the artist Adam Lowe and Simon Schaffer, Professor in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, concerned with universal language, information and transformation as part of an arts and science series presented at Kettles Yard Gallery in Cambridge UK and the Whipple Museum of the History of Science and venues in London as part of NOISE.

The Imagination of Matter explores the maize genome and draws together the themes of ancient Mayan mythology, archaeology and molecular genetics. The archaeological maize genome is examined in the context of scientific consciousness studies that suggest that matter at an atomic level, carries more complex information at the level of DNA.




Photos from the scientific and visual research process, The Imagination of Matter exhibition, Kettles Yard.

The cultivation and hybridisation of ancient maize was the basis of a cultural technology linking ancient cosmology, calendrical science and social interactions. Standing behind the planting, harvesting and storing of maize was a highly sophisticated understanding and ordering of the world. The Maize plant is an ancestor of wild Teosinte grass and was domesticated in western Mexico at around 8000 years ago. There is a continuity in maize iconography from past to present as evidenced in GM maize technology. Early Mayan cultivators connected the dynamic complexity of the world to the evolution and diversity of maize types.

To a gene scientist their experimental subject of choice is something like a simple string of beads strung together in a necklace of causal effects. Using enzymes, viruses and invasive bacteria geneticists snip or bind a gene from the DNA, copy it, reverse it so that it cancels out its own instructions and then put it back to where it was. Although this process requires an intuitive sensitivity and dexterity, DNA is more highly charged, fluid and dynamic than a simple alphabet. DNA is pervasive, highly evolved and illusive and encompasses four billion years of biological evolution. This relational order stretches from the humble torn to pieces drosophilia in a genetics lab to the perfect symmetry of an embryonic seed kernel raised from 8000 years of dormancy.


Photo of wild primitive maize cobs

In the metaphorical domain, maize was a link between the mundane and the magical. A symbolic host of a ressurectable and self-producing body. The hardened cob was likened to bone, shell, the phallus, rain and semen and maize was understood as a complete living and transforming organism. The spiralling and twisting language of DNA and mythologised narratives concerning it's genesis in the Popol Vuh provide links with the complexity of the world being mapped by molecular genetics.

Maize was symbolically conceived as linking soil to sky. It was a technological expression of a relational order that extended from the underworld to the heavens. It was as central to Mayan cosmology as the ceremonial cities were. As in many ancient cultures, the relation between religion and astronomy was very close and maize had an astro-biological parallels. The religious symbolism of maize was integrated into a form of natural magic and it was considered to be a dramatised vehicle for communication between the natural and supernatural realms.

The human characteristics of maize in ancient Mayan iconography and the physical evidence of maize in ethnography as an alive, conscious and responsive entity make maize symbolically potent. Early cultivators connected the dynamic complexity of the world to maize hybridisation much in the same way as modern day biotechnologists connect and alter species boundaries in genomic research.

Maya cosmology scored and made visible process charting systems of life in systems of images. In their art they mathematically projected dates and events forward into our own time and beyond to commemorate future rituals in anticipation that they would be remembered. They also invented the concept of zero and placed numbers to correlate with astronomical events that happened millions of years in a fictional past. This work is in invocation of the first moment of creation and mediated through traditional knowledge, shamanic technology, artistic invention and scientific inquiry.

This human reflection on Maize enabled symbolic and linguistic classifications to take shape. By observing the shapes and features of the developmental processes of Maize collective representations in the form of mythical narratives took shape.

In the spiral/vortex of the female maize ear. The paired symmetries of proteins and water were displayed like a digital abacus and thousands of varieties of maize, cross pollinated by the moist breath of wind, formed a complete colour coded information system. Maize was considered to be kin, a gift from the gods and each colour, yellow, red, blue black was part of a directional scheme.

The survival and growing of Maize depends upon servicing this odd human creation using technological tools. The fact that cultivation fertilisation and harvesting are achieved by specialised equipment and technology reinforces the theme suggests Maize has symbolically always belonged to humans rather than nature.

I approached the scientific process in non-reductive ways that suggested the structural resonances to the origins of maize in pre-history and used archeological DNA analysis to resurrect the cultural message of the original Mayan cultivators.



I argue that a simple theory of consciousness can be advanced by accepting that the mental is a property of matter. I argue that we can reconstruct how consciousness developed (evolved) from unconscious organisms. I argue that, rather than studying the evolution of the brain or the evolution of language or the evolution of tools, we need to study the "co-evolution" of memes, language, tools, emotions, brains. They influenced each other. Mind "is" the result of that co-evolution.

Piero Scaruffi
Towards a Science of Consciousness 2001

To carry out the work I went to meet Professor Martin Jones at the Archaeology Department, Cambridge University with a proposal based on the destructive analysis of a prehistoric maize plant sample and my key philosophical themes. At my request he was able to arrange for the DNA analysis of an ancient sample of maize in the museum collection from El Reigo caves in Puebla Mexico to be carried out at The Archaeobotany facility at the Biomolecular Sciences department at the University of Manchester. I delivered the dessicated sample to a visiting researcher from Brazil Fabio de Oliveira, a microbiologist making genetic comparisons between ancient and modern maize in the Amazon regions of South America. It was arranged through his supervisor Terry Brown, for me to observe and video document his work on the Cambirdge museum maize sample. I spent a week in Manchester following and recording each step of the DNA isolation process.

In the world of scientific research, we are getting increasingly used to interacting with the display and communication side of our work. More often than not, it is in the context of some rather heavy handed message, along the ones of 'science is fun', or 'science is good for you'. Recurrent images eare of shiny equipment and earnest folks in lab-coats or computer read out. What Kathleen Rogers came up with was rather different. A close-up of Fabio's fingers delicately manipulating a sample of his precious extract. It was less reminiscent of the laboratory than of the greenhouse. At the visual level, the analogy rests in the care expressed in the movment of the hands. At the molecular level, the analogy draws closer - the fingers of Fabio and the gardener are coaxing a very similar atomic choreography into action.

Professor Martin Jones
Department of Archaeology
Cambridge University



Photos from background research, The Imagination of Matter.

Video stills from the Imagination of Matter, Kettles Yard

Kathleen Rogers’ 'The Imagination of Matter, Pre-Columbian Cultural DNA and Maize Cultivation' manages to open up important ethical (ecological) issues.

Gérard Mermoz
Research Training Initiative


Additional Research
The research work for this project was made with scientists and anthropologists in the maize growing areas of Chiapas, Mexico and in consultation with Arturo Arnelas Lizardi from the Universidad Autonoma del Edo de Morelos.

This project was a new commission for Noise, part funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation. The initial research was sponsored by the Arts Catalyst, Art and Science Agency, London.

Publications and Presentations

Full artist's text published in the book: Biomediale, Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture edited by Dmtri Bulatov, an international anthology of artists and theorists using biological and genetic technologies in the context of contemporary art.

Art, Technology, Consciousness, edited by Professor Roy Ascott.

Subtle Technologies Conference, University of Toronto, Canada.

NOISE catalogue, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge.

National Science Week at the Faculty of Divinity. Cambridge University.

Towards the Science of Consciousness Symposium, University of Arizona, USA

Documenta X, Roundtable on Art and Genetics as part of the Hybrid Workspace project for Mute.

The Anthropology of Consciousness Berkley University, USA ,

Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science and Technology by Stephen Wilson

The Third International Conference of Art, Culture and Nature, invited panelist for The Green Museum.

The Green Museum, California, USA

Experiments in the Moving Image, London.

August 28, 2006

Venomous Transformation

Video and sound installation commissioned by the Millais Gallery, Southampton for Ingenious Transformations.

Venom Compound
Video work exploring the relationship between humans and snakes in the context of venom extraction and the DNA of anti-venom compounds.



Video stills from Venomous Transformation

Cobra Venom
This installation presents a dramatic film of the late Jack Corney, an extraordinary world snake expert and owner of Sandown Zoo, a World Health Centre for Venom Collection on the Isle of Wight. The film follows his skill and actions in extracting venom from a deadly Cobra. Jack Corney worked closely with David Theakston, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, to supply venom to the World Health Organisation for the production of anti-venom. As a result of his close encounters with some of the world's most dangerous snakes, Corney ended up in intensive care on three occasions. Once, after being bitten by a rattlesnake, he was pronounced clinically dead - at the time he had an "out-of-body experience", and reported being fully aware of the doctors' attempts to revive him.

The video works on a psychological and mythic level to convey an intimate shamanic understanding and intuitive handling of the snake on a biological and biomolecular level. During the close process of filming the Cobra escapes, creating a dangerous situation. Since filming it was discovered that over time he had become immune to the powerful neurotoxins in Cobra venom.

View the VENOMOUS Gallery

Publication and Presentation

Experiments in the Moving Image, London.
DNET, Lux centre, London

August 27, 2006


Video and sound installation developed for The Contemporary Arts Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania as part of Twilight. Presented at Onufri, The National Gallery of Art, Tirana, Albania 2003



Video stills from the Parable of Raudonavaris

Installation featuring Palina Panamarcuk, originally from Belarus, filmed in the caves and forest in Raudondvaris near Vilnius.

The Feminine Principle
Lithuania was one of the last countries in Europe to convert to Christianity, and pagan beliefs and nature religion is strongly evident. The feminine principle is characterized by the close relation with water, earth and the moon. In this work, body, soul, mind and land overlap in a mythic portrayal of Palina Panamarcuk as the 'anima telluris', carrying out a ritualistic journey to a hidden and sacred place in the forest. The work was made in response to the history of the Soviet occupation in Lithuania and the history of the forests around Vilnius. Forests were the sites of killings and concealments. They were also the first places to be associated with Pagan beliefs in Lithuania. Palina Panamarcuk had been a nurse in the Russian army. She maintains a healing spring within an ancient cave in the forest of Raudondvaris and uses the water for healing.

View the PARABLE Gallery

Twilight UK was curated by Tracey Warr, author of the Artist's Body

Twilight is an international project of contemporary art which flourishes and functions in the dark: an exhibition of art created on the basis of new technologies which require darkened premises. complex computing, sound and image devices and an uninterupted supply of energy. It is a reflection of the political, social and cultural twilight. An attempt to perceive another side of culture, which is mostly unseen or ignored in daylight. The state of uncertainty and doubt.

Twilight Catalogue

The work was made possible by consultations with Vygintas Vaitkevicius, a photographer and archivist of sacred sites and Dr. Nijole Laurinkiene, from the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore.

Publications and Presentations

Twilight Catalogue.

Onufri, National Gallery Tirana, Albania

August 26, 2006

The Water Projects

Various site specific projects made for The Incident, in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland as part of the Belluard- Bollwerk International festival.


Dowsing of remotely viewed map of Fribourg showing underground water pools, lakes and springs

Water Vortex
The water projects consisted of installation and performance work made in response to the water courses and medieval fountains of the city. All the projects were based on site specific research and the anomalous properties of water. The themes were inspired by the scientific work on vortex currents in water carried out by the engineer Viktor Schauberger


Installation detail showing collected water sample and light reflections

Everything emerged from the water. Water therefore is the raw material of every culture and the basis of every bodily and spiritual development

Viktor Schauberger


Installation view showing bottled local water samples and video projections

Without the perception of anomalies there would be no science and no art, there would be no religion either.

Jacques Vallee
speaking at the Incident


Visible and invisible water courses in Fribourg

The projects engaged with research into the possible electromagnetic, molecular memory of water as proposed in a hypothesis by the bio-molecular chemist Jacques Beneveniste. Beneveniste carried out experiments akin to homeopathic methods to suggest that water had a recordable molecular memory. My interest was to extend these biomolecular methods and metaphors into artworks. The basis of this work was to re-imagine Fribourg as a fluid databank using the analogy of the telephone system and linking mind, body, earth.

Water Consciousness Databank
Installation work was presented in the upper gallery of the Bollwerk fortress. This consisted of a dual screen video projection and sound, a floor installation of several hundred bottles of water, a small diorama and graphic artworks. The installation represented a vast fluidic data bank using water samples from Fribourg. The installation was conceived as a metaphorical computer in the form of hundreds of glass bottles filled with water, placed into patterns. A projected video image composed by mathematical algorithm generated a moving image of a wave train ripple of water played a pattern of light across the glass. The simple wire frame image refracted through water and filled the darkened space with ambient patterns and waves of light. These kinetic currents were reinforced by recordings of heart beat, rushing water and white noise.


Vortex water divining tool used in Fribourg

Remote Viewing of Water Vortex Energy Map
Remote viewing and the mapping of the invisible through dowsing. In map dowsing for water the dowser can use a series of passes over the map to plot and locate underground springs and streams. The project employed the skills of a remote viewer and water diviner, Elisabeth Sulivan from Wales to create maps of unseen forces and water course energy systems in the city of Fribourg and to develop a physical map. I collected water samples from the fountains and the Sarine River. This water was analyzed in various ways. Elisabeth Sulivan, a member of the British Dowsing Association agreed to work with me to divine the routes and quality of underground springs and water systems in Fribourg using maps. She did this remotely from Benton Castle, her home in Wales. After several months a map arrived of the spiraling energy lines of water which were drawn and superimposed over the city plan. I took this unique map to Fribourg and recorded the re-reading and testing of the marked spiralling lines by two local water diviners using different techniques.



Water divining workshop in Fribourg

Water Divining Workshop
The map provided the basis of a public workshop on the theme of intuitive modelling. With the help of the Belluard Festival organisers I set up a small workshop with local people and a well known local dowser taught them how to dowse. Dowsing has been used as a means of divination and for seeking out the invisible and unknown for many thousands of years. It is based on the analysis of intuitive knowledge. By the use of a pendulum one learns to take note of certain reflex. There is an established relationship between the location of churches and underground water. In the general index of Jung’s collective works there are many symbolic meanings attached to water. With the mythological, astrological and psychological aspects of water a link is made between living water, redemption and the wholeness which is the aim of all psychological work. Jung established the existence of the collective unconscious which he described as the vast ocean in which we find the archetypes. The built-in shapes and patterns which come to life when a conscious experience lends them power.



The Tinguley fountain recordings with Jeremy Narby

The Tinguley Fountain Recordings
People from Fribourg were invited to write anonymous poems in dedication to the Sarine river and figurative, allegorical fountains. These dedications written in German, French and English were chanted aloud by Jeremy Narby as part of a public performance to the noise of the crazy Tinguley fountain (Tinguley was born in Fribourg) a portable radio on the wall of the fountain was also playing white noise that sounded like water. The poems were repeatably read in several languages into a portable tape recorder against the crazy rhythms of the spluttering fountain. The multi- recorded tape was then played back loudly as a public sound performance.

View the WATER PROJECTS Gallery

At the Belluard, Rogers created an installation in a gloomy corner loft high inside the fortress. On the creaky wooden floor of the loft stand elaborate patterns of glass bottles each filled with water. Candles flicker on the bottle glass, making the water shine and sparkle. Video monitors around the edges of the room reflect the scene and put it into fluid motion. The theme of Roger's The Memory of Water is the elemental energy pattern inherent in water. The power of the water element that usually goes unnoticed now hovers ghost like through the room. The phenomena can be literally true yet keeps its essential mystery.

Kathleen Roger's The Memory of Water fuses thick darkness with an array of light patterns - computerised and elemental - to coax the viewer into peripheral vision. She also uses sound patterns to gradually widen the edges of experience. The end effect on the viewer resembles James Turrell's luminosity. Both affect the feeling of the space/time dimension. Peripheral awareness renders the present spacious and non-temporal. Relaxing into our physical centre and letting attention sink into the gut, the eyes soften and the attention spreads throughout the entire field of view. The awareness lives in open space as opposed to the brain's linear time sequence. A wide-angle view slows down the frantic race of the logical chains of thought. We find ourselves visited by those cosmologically primal elements in which we live: water and light. They manifest themselves under artfully prepared conditions.

Virtual design stands at the crossroads of interactivity. Two models of world-building beckon: the tunnel and the spiral. The tunnel sucks us further into technology. The tunnel molds human perception to push forward, to ignore peripheral awareness, to fixate. The spiral, on the contrary, rotates us in virtual worlds that return us to ourselves, that deepen the wide-angle awareness of ourselves as primary bodies. The tunnel teaches us to maintain first-person perspective while the spiral attunes us to others from whom we learn about ourselves. The tunnel feeds us more information. The spiral aspires to wisdom.

Michael Heim, Philosopher
Virtual Realism

Publications and Presentations

Virtual Realism by Michael Heim

The Incident, Symposium, Fribourg, Switzerland as part of the Belluard- Bollwerk International festival.

The Incident
For several years I worked alongside curator Rob la Frenais contributing to both the intellectual and artistic concept of the Incident in Switzerland and London. The Incident exhibition and symposia themes were concerned with art, technology and phenomena. In Fribourg, the event was composed of exhibitions by major visual artists, performances by theatre companies and music groups and a two week series of talks and debates and a three day symposium of art and phenomena. The conference was addressed by figures such as Jacques Vallee, the noted astronomer and computer scientist, James Turrell, the visual artist, HR Giger, the film designer, Kristine Stiles, the art historian, Terence McKenna and Jeremy Narby. Artists included; Linda Montano, Ulrike Rosenbach.

The Incident, London I.S.E.A. archive
The Incident, Switzerland Leonardo almanac archive

August 25, 2006


Interactive triggered sound and video installation concerned with physiological consciousness and imagistic aspects of the snake as encoded knowledge for the Incident at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London based on the work of the late Jose Diaz Bolio.an anthropologist concerned with the world view and science of earlier Mayan cultures in Mexico.


Photos from The Ruins of Uxmal, Jose Diaz Bolio

Viperscience and the Feathered Serpent
Installation based on the detailed work of the unorthodox anthropologist Jose Diaz Bolio from Yucatan, Mexico, an expert on Mayan culture and author of The Feathered Serpent Axis of Cultures. According to Bolio all representations of the feathered serpent derive from a particular indigenous rattlesnake. His work sets out to prove that the snake has a euclidian projection like a bio-abacus in its skin pattern. He proposes that this pattern provided the ancient mayans with a biomathematics to calculate time and apply to their architectural and ritual systems. The author Doris Lessing uses science fiction and ancient mythologies to grapple with theoretical science and in a similar way, Bolio uses hundreds of photographs and pamphlets to set out to prove his thesis with visual evidence. The narrative of his work stretches over five decades. These documents inspired me to visit the Mayan ruins in Uxmal, Yucatan, a pyramid complex and tangible serpent universe described in his books and to meet and collaborate with him on a technological extension of his work using his title Viperscience.

Rattlesnake Cage
Installation in upper gallery, using ultra sonic triggered rattlesnake recordings as live mix with deep bass audio and random signal noise. High contrast black and white video projection, presenting optical illusion of side winder snake appearing to make a three dimensional spiral path as it moves along a flat landscape. The imagery and triggered audio patterns operated on the senses to re-create a physiological and mythological counterpart to the Mayan snake temples at Uxmal. In the context of the Incident, the unpredictability of the snake with its archetypal and universal symbolism referenced the artificial control systems in robotics that mimic some of the primordial sensory locomotion of the snake. These machine augmented serpents are consistent with Jung's definition of an archetype that persists through technological reinvention and time. In the case of the viperscience the unconscious destructive and creative potential in human beings, described by Jung also invoked the iconic image of the spiraling vortex of DNA driven biotechnology.






Photos from The Feathered Serpent Axis of Cultures, Jose Diaz Bolio

View the Viperscience Gallery

A nest of Mayan rattlesnakes hiss and writhe in greeting to people entering Kathleen Rogers' installation, Viperscience. Human movements in the room are detected by ultrasonic beams, unleashing a battery of fizzling rattler recordings and animating a twisting and flickery video serpent. The Mayans used the plumed serpent as a sort of mystic abacus, counting the scales to compute their sacred calendar.

Judith Palmer, The Independent

Lost Knowledge
In the context of the work a panel was put together called Lost Knowledge with Robert Bauval, an expert in Egyptian archeo-astronomy looking at the origins and function of the pyramids and the sphinx, David Peat, working on dialogues between western scientists and Native American Elders and Beata Bishop, a Jungian psychotherapist, working on European Shamanism and healing.

This paper reviews the first "Consciousness Reframed" conference. A number of artists' works in media such as virtual reality and interactive installations are discussed, and various issues relating to "technoetic" artworks are raised. These issues include questions such as the potentially dehumanizing nature of technology, the transcendent states claimed for cyberspace, the nature of immersion, and aspects of the problem of consciousness. The author offers some suggestions regarding how technoetic art might tackle such issues

Beyond dreaming one comes to the trance states of the shaman. Kathleen Rogers in her paper "Viperscience" explores Mayan shamanism in the mythology of the snake, She "draws on the work of the unorthodox anthropologist Jose Diaz Bolio from Yucatan, Mexico...author of The Feathered Serpent - Axis of Cultures" to explore the role of the rattlesnake in Mayan art and religion. Bolio has proposed "that the plumed serpent in the image of the rattlesnake embodied the essential physical resonance, energisation states and vortex mechanics to become a living psychic software." That is that the priests of the Mayan culture use the "harmonic geometry of the snake skin as mask for scrying" and similar shamanic activities. Rogers' intention "is to re-activate this complex model of Mayan consciousness" as a kind of cognitive archeology of the snake in its, perhaps universal, representation of spiritual energy as well as the cyclical notion of time held by the Maya.

Stephen Jones
Project review in a philosophy of Virtual Reality and issues implicit in "Consciousness Reframed" published in Leonardo Journal.

Publications and Presentations

The Incident, Lost Knowledge, ICA london.
Further details

Towards a Science of Consciousness III, University of Arizona, USA

American Association of Anthropology, SAC, Berkeley University, USA

CAII, Consciousness Reframed I, University of Wales

Digital Dreams 4, Accross two Cultures, Millenial Fever or Emergent Culture? Newcastle.
Distributed by the British Film Institute.

European Snake Society - Litteratura Serpentium
Journal Article in issue concerned with the biological, cultural and symbolic aspects of serpents. Viperscience. Ode to the Unorthodox Anthropologist Jose Diaz Bolio. ISSN 0926-3586

August 24, 2006

Psi Net





Photos, video stills, background research and thermographic images from Psi Net

Extended Reach, Telephony and Telematics

Psi net was a of series of three hour long live, on-site, remote viewing and mediumship experiments made over three nights at a ruined ironstone mine in East Cleveland applying highly sensitive thermographic optical scanning, bio-feed back heart recording and voice recordings transmitted live locally via a microwave link. The work was made in response to the landscape and history of the post industrial mining landscape of the area as part of Earthwire and was developed over a several month period by gathering sources on the history of the local industrial, and ironstone mining communities from collections and museums.

Psi net featured spiritualist mediums Audrey, Darren, Sharon and Margaret from Norton spiritualist church. As spiritualists they believe in the continuation of life after death and that this can be proved through mediumship. I arranged that them to take part in mediumship experiments and seances at Skelton Park ironstone mine, an arrangement of ruined buildings preserved over a hundred years in the landscape above the old ironstone mine workings.

It was agreed to make an open seance circle above the exposed drift mine workings over three nights after dark for one hour at which times we would meditate and respond to the presence of spirits. The maps of the underground mining tunnels which were now disintegrated through subsidence still extended miles in all directions like roots or mutilated arteries. The warren of flooded pit shafts were routes that at one time had been filled with miners bound to working underground in darkness.

This psychic and subjective accounting and relating to the invisible world brought with it a rich narrative account of the place and its history. These experiments and the unfolding stories were the improvised means to create a living virtual museum.

The work was designed as a public performance to be displayed on two sites simultaneously. The sites were one mile apart and linked using micro wave broadcasting system. Powerful lights and generators were installed to illuminate a church in the foreground and the ruined mine along a sight line. Tents were made from found materials in a field beyond the church and live video and sound broadcast was received locally on a monitors and several speakers within these make-shift tents. Both the church and mine were clearly visible in their night illumination by spectators in the field
The thermographic optical scanning, bio-feed back heart recording and voice recordings were transmitted via microwave to spectators occupying the field and the tents.

The results were recorded and kept

The curatorial themes of the EarthWire proposed radical uses of art and technology in a rural context and events took place at outdoor sites in East Cleveland around the villages of Loftus, Upleatham, Boulby, Lingdale and Kilton Thorpe. The project was curated by Tracey Warr and Rob la Frenais.

View the PSI NET Gallery

Publications and Presentations

Information Arts, Intersections of Art, Science and Technology by Stephen Wilson 2002

Information Arts Link

Virtual Realism by Michael Heim

I.S.E.A., Spacescapes/The Body, Helsinki, Finland

COIL Journal of Experimental Media, Vol.1

Exposure Journal, Power and Control: Imagin(in)g Technology, The Society of Photographic Education, vol 30

Mute Magazine, Earthwire, Taking the Alien Exam by Rob la Frenais

The End of Reality, Art and Technology Symposium, Bratislava

January 29, 2006

Sleepless Dreaming

A series of Interactive VR works for use with headset and data glove and the multi screen installation, The Still Room, were shown at The State of the Image as part of Eldorado and the cultural capital of Europe, Koninklijk Palais, Antwerp, Belgium.



Video stills from Sleepless Dreaming in the Cybernetic Cabinet

The Electronic Void
Sleepless Dreaming composed of computer model houses and interiors that a participant could navigate through to experience the gravitational paradox and the heart of VR . In this work a participant was in effect in two spaces simultaneously. In the real world of the gallery, and moving along a recurrent corridor of rooms navigating through doorways, along walls and into a void.

Haunted House
A participant was represented by an avatar in the form of basic three dimensional cursor and navigated using a data glove and hand gestures. The interior spaces were rendered with images of early spirit photography collections. The reading of the infinite space suggested by VR and these reversioned images provided a nostalgic vision of the technological VR apparatus.

Spirit photographs date back to the very beginning of photographic history and continue to be an important part of spiritualist practise. Ghostly images resembling dead family members appearing alongside a sitter became known as extras and the photographers claimed to be psychics.In a VR space, the marionettes we encounter might be automatic projections from our own consciousness, or they might have their centers elsewhere. They might be the dead dreaming of the dead or the dead dreaming of the living.


Video still from Sleepless Dreaming in the Cybernetic Cabinet

The multi-sensory model of VR at the time suggested an infinite number of possibilites for transducing the senses and body. The project research led to a participation in laboratory experiments within the Department of Parapsychology at Edinburgh University where I explored anomalous phenomena associated with ESP. This research was acheived within an electronically controlled telepathy experiment with the late Koestler Professor Robert Morris under the direction of parapsychology researcher, Kathy Dalton who was exploring out-of-body experiences, dissociation, absorption, and alterations of consciousness with a creative population in the Ganzfeld . The perceptual psychology department, were using immersive VR in experimental work. The themes of intuitive modelling and ESP are developed in later projects.


Publications and Presentations

The State of the Image, Antwerp, as part of the cultural capital of Europe
Eldorado, Koninklijk Paleis, Antwerp, Belgium.

Variant Magazine, Virtual Real Estate.

Fotofeis International, Virtual Reality, Scotland.

Seduced and Abandoned in the Virtual World, The Body as Metaphor, Institute of Contemporary Art, London. Video distribution by ICA publications.

A.S.T.A.R.T.I. , Mutations de l'image, Deuxièmes Rencontres Internationales Art cinéma, Paris

The Rites of Reclamation

Single screen video


Video stills from the Rites of Reclamation

Interior Space and Memory
Single screen video in distribution through LUX. This work is a reversioning of virtual space experimental narrative work and psi net with sound composition by Steve Parr. Virtual camera navigation was used to create narrative inside a computer model of a ghostly interior.

Publications and Presentations

Prix Ars Electronica, Linz.

Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Champs Libre, Montreal.

Chronologie, Poland.

Manchester Cornerhouse, Video Festival, Best of British Category

Experiments in the Moving Image, London

The British Film and Video Directory

SeaFair Festival

January 28, 2006


Technology and Body
VR produced at the Banff Centre for the Arts Canada during a residency conceived by Catherine Richards and Nell Tenhaff who introduced the themes of the technological apparatus, the technological body, and the new biology. This was one of the first public arts events to examine virtual realities and the interfaces between technology and the human body



Video stills from Bioapparatus

The 10 week residency involved 21 artists, writers, philosophers and scientists and centered around the notion of the bioapparatus, a term used to cover a wide range of issues concerning the technologised body and the cultural and political manifestations of virtual reality.

A number of works were developed from theories of perceptual psychologist Rudolph Arnheim. In his book, The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts, he gives importance to the whole sensorium of the body, including gravity on the reading of an artwork. I applied his observations of gravity and visual perception to simple Euclidian points, lines and planes projected into the black void of the VR world. In VR, the sensations of locomotion and position are paradoxes that require careful observation and experiment. I made a number of exercises to capture a moment of consciousness between stillness and movement. Creating primitive wire frame models and rendering them with images from a previous artwork, the Still Room in order to experience them in this new context. For instance in VR, falling through the surface of images produces a cut, similar to an film edit. Hopscotch, provided a metaphor for the nature of VR gravity because of the impulse it provided to jump or fall through the virtual model and the navigational path it provided.

Given today's 'hyper-real' environment of image saturation on the one hand, leaving art and artists in what has been called a crisis of representation, and the development of highly sophisticated representational technologies on the other hand, it has become crucial to open up and expand the discourse on art and new technologies. The territory has been interpreted most often through the lens of technology itself, disconnected from the broad range of art practises and cultural discourses circulating today. The artists, composers and writers in the residency have been brought together principally to advance their own art production. In addition, we have built a parallel objective into the residency - namely to map significant shifts in philosophical and representational issues that are coextensive with technological change

Catherine Richards, Nell Tenhaff
The Bioapparatus Catalogue

Publication and Presentation

Human, Machine and Animal Cognition, Aix en Provence

Assemblage, Edinburgh Film Festival

The French Ministry of Culture, Paris - Delegation of the Arts Plastiques - Digital Salon
Participant with Anne Marie Duquet and artist Louis Bec to introduce VR themes and the Bioapparatus. The aim of the panel was to present future technological research and invent new initiatives to integrate the methodologies of science and art into educational culture.

January 27, 2006


Experimental VR applied as multiple screen video installation


Video stills from Alkhemia

Surface Light and Noise
A series of computer generated, primitive black vases slowly turning against black backgrounds in clockwise and counter-clockwise directions are partially visible through virtual reflections on their surface. The work explores the theme of the electronic void as an echo using granular techniques to provide a four dimensional acoustic landscape. The research was carried out at Banff Centre for the Arts. The models were produced at the virtual studio London and an immersive model was designed to experiment with acoustic and visual paradoxes.

January 22, 2006

The Art of Losing Memory

Single screen video


Video stills from the Art of Losing Memory

The Poetics and Patterns of Memory
A montage of image and text on screen make connections between
the human being and merciless aspects of technology. The work has a sound composition by Stephen Warbeck

Kathleen Rogers works in "The Art of Losing Memory" with the analogy computer memory / personal memory. In black / white images Rogers shows a woman doing handwork, a seamstress engrossed in her work and following a certain pattern until it finally becomes a textile product of the memory. The images are atmospheric, the movements of the performer are graceful: everything is somewhat poetic, undecided. In contrast to this, the computer asks simple questions, gives possibilities for decision: "Your choice. Yes / No." Rogers distrusts the simplicity of the binary 1 / 0 system. The coded matrix is a "veil of delusion". The computer has no memory. Its capacity is limited to the duplication of data, it lacks the complexity of memory experience, "The Computer Has No Memory. I See My Eyes Open".

Gerald Harringer
Ars Electronica

Selected Presentations

Ars Electronica, Linz
A.S.T.A.R.T.I. , Mutations de l'image, Deuxièmes Rencontres Internationales Art cinéma, Paris
ICA, London
European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck
The British Film and Video Directory
Femme Totalle, Dortmund

January 21, 2006

The Still Room

Multiple screen video wall and sound installation developed for Exeter Memorial Museum and screened The State of the Image as part of Eldorado for the cultural capital of Europe festival, Koninklijk Paleis, Antwerp, Belgium.


Video stills from the Still Room

The Art and History of Lacemaking
Based on the art and history of lacemaking linking post industrial and pre industrial technology and labour. The work suggests analogies between aesthetically seductive lace pattern and visual computation. The work has a sound composition by Stephen Warbeck.

A Jacquard loom in which a succession of punched cards controlled as many as 1200 needles and wove patterns of silk inspired the Babbage engine. The Jacquardtronic lace machine developed in Germany and first introduced into lace manufacture in 1983, brought lace making into the computer age. A pattern manufactured at rapid speed has the insidious effect of erasing from memory and colonising as data, important aspects of labour and industry that dominated the lives of women and children in the 19th century.

Across many screens the knots, loops, twists and turns involved in pattern making are translated into high contrast black and white imagery and rolling text. The soundtrack of a whispering female voice draws the viewer into the momentum and repetition of work.

In the video a female actor is depicted like a set of mechanical forces. Her limbs and joints reduced to senseless action and long scrolls of words recall the lace tells that children vocalised.

View the STILL ROOM Gallery

Publications and Presentations

The State of the Image, Antwerp, as part of the cultural capital of Europe
Eldorado, Koninklijk Paleis, Antwerp, Belgium.

The Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Canada

Womens Art Journal (Make) 43 (Nov/Dec 91) and Womens Art Library

January 20, 2006


Multiple screen video installation developed for Central Space Gallery London


Video stills from Conversazione

Loss of Freedom
Installation using montage of multi-layered sound, developed around an oral history account of an elderly woman traveller living under the Westway flyover in Hammersmith with a sound design by Ray Beckett. The visual material was filmed at the traveller site and at other events in collaboration with local community organisations these included filmed material from a production of Frankenstein by the Co-sign deaf and hearing theatre company. The work expressed the continual pressure for institutionalisation and conformity at odds with the utopian view of technological networks at the time. In the gallery I erected a barricade of 19th century neo-gothic church pews into a long pile to suggest an atmosphere of institutional hush.

View the CONVERSAZIONE Gallery

'A zig-zag of church pews processes with chaotic angularity down the gallery. A video showing simultaneously on three monitors begins with a white horse, archetypal symbol of the free spirit, rolling in the dust then galloping languorously, its coat gleaming in the sunlight. Seen in slow motion, the image dwells unashamedly on its own beauty. But on the soundtrack the submergence of Faure's Requiem in insistent traffic noise alerts one to the likely disruption of this romantic idyll. The camera pulls back to reveal that the horse, worried by a snapping black dog, is running freely but circling on a patch of concrete beneath the Westway. A woman's voice complains of appalling conditions in sites such as the Westway intersection, remembers when travellers were free to roam, accuses Thatcher of wanting to round up and gas all gypsies and insists they will fight for their lifestyles since 'if they put us in a house they might as well put us in prison'. A subsidary theme to the loss of freedom is the inability to be heard - a performance by deaf and mute theatre company is followed by a drum marathon in aid of the homeless.

Sarah Kent
Time Out