Report from the Artist-Researchers in Residence V3
A Discussion with Bioartists Josh Archer, Chris Copeland, Iman Person & Virocode (Peter D’Auria and Andrea Mancuso)
Hear from Spring 2019 artists-in-residence at the Coalesce Center for Biological Art. Each of these artists will present their residency visions and artworks-in-progress, which include scavenged-automotivemachines propelled by petroleum eating microbes, artistic explorations into chemical and microbial membranes and engineered skins, and yogurt cultures designed to devour their own containers and contaminant plastic in the human gut. Coalesce, part of the UB Genome, Environment and Microbiome Community of Excellence, is a hybrid studio-laboratory facility located on UB’s North Campus dedicated to enabling hands-on creative engagement with the tools and technologies of the life sciences. Each academic year, six to eight artists-in-residence are selected following an international call for proposals.
This event is part of the world-wide LASER Talks series sponsored by Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST), a non-profit organization that serves the global network of distinguished scholars, artists, scientists, researchers and thinkers through programs focused on interdisciplinary work, creative output and innovation.
Through the use of simple technologies, organic materials, as well as living organisms, my sculptures and images reinterpret the ways that humans and non-humans interact on a daily basis. Industrial systems, most notably the food system, have a habit of disconnecting humans from the biological world. I raise questions about this problem to find ways that humans, non-humans, and lands can coexist. Through images, I investigate histories between humans and animals to understand how co-evolution has shaped human cultures. Crude machines in my work critique the absurd and destructive tendencies of modern technologies, while also suggesting the possibility of their positive and creative use. By working with biological materials, I challenge and complicate the assumptions of technological progress.
I am an aspiring eco artist, sculptor, remediator and reverse alchemist. In Connecticut where I was born and raised, I was intensely fascinated with living organisms. My sister once showed me how to sing to snails, slowly enticing them out of their shells. I believe in the intelligence of living systems, interconnected ecologies, and biodiversity as more than a measure of environmental sustainability, but as the excitement of life. I create artworks that expand and explore our connection to the environment, whether urban, rural, agricultural, or industrial. I reject the ideological separation of humanity from nature. I believe they are not distinct but one and the same, in near infinite complexity. I am currently working to invigorate mycoremediation strategies in industrial areas in ways that reinterpret narratives and practices of industrial production. Only through coming into commonality and understanding with all the living organisms that sustain life on this planet can we appropriately address the severity of the issues that face us.
Iman Person is a multidisciplinary artist, and curator currently residing in Atlanta, GA. Through her work, she embeds qualities of memory, ritual and the dichotomies of identity through metaphysical consciousness in relation to nature. Through drawing, installation, and performance, she aims to connect the logical and mystical body and create a space for viewers to experience a time travel of sorts. By inciting exploration of these forgotten spaces, and by forming new narratives focused on the unseen potentials of the physical form, Person believes a resurrection of the contemporary divine-body can be made and in turn positively affect our current concepts of nature.
In 2010 she received her B.F.A from Georgia State University and has exhibited her work throughout the United States, including The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, Allcott Gallery at The University of North Carolina, and The Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis. Internationally, she has exhibited at Ionion Center for Art in Kefalonia, Greece and has performed at SoMA Art House in Berlin, Germany. She is a member of the Atlanta based collective, Dashboard Co-Op, is a 2011 Hambidge fellow and was a 2013-2014 Hughley fellow.
Virocode is a collaborative effort of Peter D'Auria and Andrea Mancuso which has been exhibiting work in photography, video, installation and the digital arts throughout the United States and in Europe including: The Museum of Modern Art and The Kitchen in New York City; Artist Television Access, Artspace, Southern Exposure Gallery, and the Emanuel Walter and Etholl McBean Galleries in San Francisco; The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California, Diverseworks Art Space in Houston, Texas, The University of Arizona Art Gallery, in Tucson, Arizona, Impakt Festival in The Netherlands, the European Media Art Festival in Osnabruck, Germany and at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Burch - field-Penney Art Center, CEPA gallery, Squeaky Wheel and Hallwalls in Buffalo, New York. Virocode began working together while completing undergraduate studies in Art and the Social Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo, studying with Marion Faller, Paul Sharits and Tony Conrad. Andrea Mancuso received her PhD in Visual Studies in 2016 and her BA in 1989 from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and she received her MFA in Performance/New Genre from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1993 studying and working closely with Doug Hall, Margaret Crane, John Winet, Kathy Acker and Tony Labat. Andrea teaches photography and video at Nichols School in Buffalo, New York and is the current President of the Board of Directors of Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center. Peter D'Auria received a BA in Art in 1989 and MA in Pathology in 1998 from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, and a Physician Assistant Degree from Daemen College in 2003. Peter currently works in clinical practice in the Buffalo area, and is an adjunct instructor in the Physician Assistant Studies Department at Daemen College.
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