25. August 2018
Left: Juan Duarte, Photo: Andrew Gryf Paterson; Sarah Hermanutz
& Nenad Popov, Live Decomposition, Photo courtesy of the artists;
Laura Beloff, Photo: Andrew Gryf Paterson
BioSignals is a series of site-specific sound art, narrations
and nature-based data streams by human and nonhuman cultural producers
during Summer-Autumn 2018, culminating with a contribution to the
next Pixelache Festival in Helsinki in Spring 2019. The artistic
content of the project will focus on creative and actual interpretations
of biosemiotics, energy as media and communication. Biosemiotics
is an increasingly influential paradigm of thinking which brings
together biology and communication, signs and signals of life in
its myriad forms. In particular it offers conceptual tools to consider
communications and environmental meaning-making from a non-human
perspective, including plant and lichens, animal, bacterial, elemental
interactors, via tactile, aural and signal-based biochemical means.
artists will include Sarah Hermanutz and Nenad Popov
who will perform their audiovisual work Live Decomposition
as well as contributions by Andrew Gryf Paterson,
Duarte, Krisjanis Rijnieks, Krista Dintere, Laura
Beloff, Lilli Tölp and
Foto links von Lilli Tölp,
14.00 BioSignals curators Andrew Gryf Paterson and Mikko
Lipiäinen present BioSignals and results from previous
meetings to the public.
Walk along the Panke river - ALB curators Regine Rapp and Christian
present the project 'DIY Hack the Panke' along with Nenad Popov
and Eliot Morrison.
17.00-19.00 BioSignals Seminar: Internet of Entities
1. Mikko Lipiäinen - Introducing 'Internet of Entities'
In their work Forest Law Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares
rendered an image of the Amazon rainforest as an entity connected
to the global flow of information partly via a mesh of sensors built
by human activity (scientists etc.). While it is clear that via
this mesh the human species receives data that is relevant to its
perspective, it is important to ask how does the forest itself sense
the world via this new media? If we are going towards a paradigm
in which non-human entities are treated as legal persons we need
to also develop an understanding how to interact with these persons
in a sophisticated dialogue that legal procedures among subjects
necessitate. We need to develop and learn languages, semiotic structures
and strategies that ensure mutual understandings between human and
non-human. What is hybrid art´s role in this endeavour? Including
a remote connection with Pedro Soler (in Ecuador) - Reflections
on the Forest Law project. (https://www.geobodies.org/art-and-videos/forest-law)
2. Lilli Tölp - Toortuumik nature and media art festival
Context of Maalabor Toortuumik festival (as a site for interventions)
3. Remote connection with Antye Greie-Ripatti
- Sonic Wilderness workshop
Laura Beloff - Context of bioacoustic research in Virtsu
Juan Duarte - Aeolian Artefacts
von Lilli Tölp
Krista Dintere - Swamp Radio
Involvement with Swamp Radio ('mixing of factual and interpretative
audio' - http://smitesmits.com/SwampRadio.html)
Krijanis Rijnieks - Radical Projection Mapping
Context of Radical projection mapping & data visualisation of
biodata (situated/mediated 'feedback' element)
20.00 Performance: Live Decomposition by Sarah Hermanutz
and Nenad Popov.
An ongoing collaboration between Hermanutz and Popov, Live
performed last year in Lisbon and Berlin. Video documents Hermanutz's
hands as they work through an aquarium, filled with mud, sand, living
and dead wetland organisms, and other collected material, representing
the (im)possibility of miniature ecosystems controlled by the human
hands. A layering of living, nonliving, natural and human pervades
the performance, as Popov works with auditory material caught by
hydrophones in aquarium and reworked through asynthesizer.
Foto von Eliot Morrison
Foto von Lilii Tölp
Foto von Lilii Tölp
Foto von Lilii Tölp
von Lilii Tölp
Fotos von Lilli Tölp
Duarte - Aeolian Artefacts (2018)
Ongoing research in Environmental Media
A sound device that enables an experience of Augmented Listening
of wind forces, in which subtle changes in an outdoor environment
drive generative soundscapes. The use of wind-sensitive systems,
are used to detect orientation and speed of the wind, and acoustic
events, that are registered and processed as a generative sound
piece by a network of sensor networks. The work takes as a reference
an ancient instrument that is known as the Aeolian Harp (cf. Kircher,
A ca 1650.), that was used as an object that enabled holy spaces,
such as mountains and temples, to "speak" with human beings,
according to a mechanism that self-played through strings and resonators
by the aleatoric forces of wind.
For this presentation of Bio Signals, an ongoing documentation that
registers the interventions produced with the device and field recordings
to review the outcome from experiments between soundscapes, radio
signals, and live sonification of sonic events. Locations of recordings
include Virtsu - Estonia, and Soca - Slovenia, between June to August
Juan Duarte Regino, Mexico City (1985), media artist statement:
I work on interactions as a tool for generative art experiments
. The exploration of digital and analog platforms as agents to transform
that express sonically and visually materials. Meanwhile, a hybrid
engagement between environment, users with artefacts and interfaces
can work to explore new realities. The exploration of sonic experiences
put in public space may bring an opportunity for a ludic and cultural
approach on technological exploration. My work has been presented
in CTM Festival 2015, Spiral Gallery,, AAVE Festival, Bonniers Konsthall,
Rundum Showcase, ICLI 2014 , Ljudmila, Radio and TV Museum of Lahti,
Centre for Contemporary Art - Ujazdowski Castle, Mänttä
Art Festival. Since 2014 I am part of Pixelache - art and activist
group based in Helsinki. Bringing media art practices for social
engagement, and technological appropriation.
Listening station 2
Laura Beloff - Bioacoustic Experiments: Hearing Test
Work in progress, ongoing.. (2017-2018)
The Hearing Test is a part of a Longer artistic research project
that investigates plant intelligence. The Hearing Test ironically
asks: will humans ever be able of a reciprocal communication with
another species, or even capable of 'hearing' another species that
differs from us - such as a plant.
In the focus of the project is a detection of high frequency clicking
sounds emitted by the plants' roots. The project has been inspired
by scientists who have been researching acoustic emissions in plants
and their possible meaning and use as a communication by plants.
They claim that plant roots produce high frequency clicks between
20 and 300 kHz by bursting of air bubbles. This can be compared
to the general hearing range of young humans that is between 20
Hz and 20 kHz.
In my experiment the clicks are detected in real time with contact
microphones that are carefully attached to the roots of the plant.
The clicks are further down-sampled to a human hearing range. However
this does not mean that the plant will produce clicks on demand.
Laura Beloff (FIN/DNK) (PhD) is an internationally acclaimed
artist and a researcher. Her artistic research is located in the
cross section of art, technology, and science. The recent investigations
and art projects are focused on the merger of the technological
and biological matter and intelligence. Currently she is Associate
Professor and Head of the PhD-school at IT University in Copenhagen.
Interview with Laura Beloff at Puhtu, near Virtsu, W. Estonia
(2018) 25m:41s (looped)
In early June, Finnish artist-researcher Laura Beloff, associate
professor at IT University in Copenhagen was invited to join the
Toortuumik nature and media art festival initiated by Lilli Tölp
(Maalabor ) for a short week long residency to continue her bioacoustic
experiments. As one of the participants with the most knowledge
about biosemiotics in the group, she accompanied Andrew Paterson
to Puhtu peninsula nearby for a key interview in the BioSignals
project telling about her inspiration from biosemiotics in her projects.
Listening station 4 - Battery energy as communication
0 Interview with Martinka Bobrikova and Oscar de Carmen
Martinka Bobrikova & Oscar de Carmen have been working together
since 2005. Their practice, which is often community based, aims
at setting up new social ecosystems. By revolving around the mechanisms
and context by which power creates systems of value, they seek to
intervene on the border between art and current topics of contemporary
life in order to bring about the proposition of the transitory and
1 Bobrikova & Carmen - Afterlife Sound excerpt
Afterlife is the last installation that Bobrikova & Carmen
did with the organic batteries.
Afterlife, proof of life after death and other related critical
concepts, such as the purpose of life and reincarnation of overproduction
of food from supermarkets. The project offers the possibility to
use expired food in energy production. As part of our process, we
developed a pilot project where we observed that fruits and vegetables
produce small amounts of electricity through an electrochemical
reaction. This was achieved by inserting two different types of
metal, copper and zinc, in each of the fruits in the installation.
These fruits produce small amounts of electricity when they are
connected in series and operate a small screen. From this moment
our focus was aimed at finding ways of putting conservation of energy
into practice; this is first law of thermodynamics, which states
that energy can not be created or destroyed, only transferred from
one form to another. Thus, our installation is also a way to visualize
an analogue synthesis, where energy is transferred from fruit and
vegetables to small plasma screen, creating a symbiosis. The installation
is conceived as a social critique of the existing consumer society
and a proposal for an alternative and further use of fruit and vegetables,
which are regarded as superfluous and unsellable by supermarket
Exhibited at Carl Berner Projektrom in December 2015.
2 Bobrikova & Carmen - Kitchen Dialogues at Nida
Art Colony (2014). 3m:26s
A sound excerpt from a project called Kitchen Dialogues that was
a public event in which the food we served was fish croquettes.
The fishs were donated by the local fishermen. the event was part
of a series of public interventions in a Lithuanian town Nida. The
music featured in the excerpt was played via online platform with
the special collaboration of DJ dr. muusica ( Caracas, Venezuela)
and Cristiano Rosa (Medellin, Colombia)
Kitchen Dialogues has functioned as a nomadic platform for several
years, with a series of gastronomic events as the common thread
of the project. These events, that try to bring attention on the
negative consequences of surplus food, have adopted different formats,
from the creation of a temporary pop-up restaurant inside an apartment
to occasional events, like a mobile kitchen or a pop-up B&B.
Our goal is to create a platform where each participant can experience
and live inside this social ecosystem we have created outside the
consumeristic world, offering them services for free. A new economy
is proposed and make tangible where the negotiation and social rituals
revolving around food are given a face that speaks the language
of gift, respect and responsibility.
3 Swamp Radio - MpLab Contribution (2018). 6m:24s
Dintere - "This is my contribution to Swamp Radio project -
a collaborative sound composition exploring the relations between
factuality of field recording and the fictional soundscape created
by transmitting recordings through the circuitry of modular synthesizer.
Collaborators from MpLab (Art Research Lab at Liepaja University)
are: Krista Dintere, Ieva Viksne, Diana Mikanova, Paula Ostupe,
Kaspars Levalds. Created for Swamp Radio in 2018."
The Swamp Radio project is based on earlier Biotricity experiments
by artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits at RIXC and Kemeri bog near
Riga, Latvia. Biotricity sonifies and visualizes the fluctuation
of bacterial electricity generation, and artistically interprets
collected data from the environmental monitoring. This spring 2018
the artists expanded their Biotricity research into water reservoirs
and marshlands in the Boston area, and creating the Swamp Radio
monitoring and transmitting environment for the wetlands of Venice.
For more information see: http://smitesmits.com/SwampRadio.html
4 Samir Bhowmik - The Battery is the Message lecture
New media technologies are dependent on energy and material resources.
Especially for mobile and handheld devices, batteries today constitute
the primary backbone of portable energy storage and supply. Despite
over decades of research, they remain assemblages of messy chemicals,
hazardous, black-boxed and subject to thermal runaways. This talk
excavates the battery as a key component of media technologies,
that not by itself can be considered media for dataflows, but without
which media cannot operate nor exist. How is the batterys
obsolescence tied to modern media and its throwaway origins? Why
and how hardware design came to conceal it and how software today
merely provides a surface tweak? From mining to manufacturing to
toxic landfills, what are the materialities of the batterys
contemporary life-cycle in the so-called circular economy? By a
thorough excavation, Samir Bhowmik contends that a historical and
technological understanding of portable energy storage is critical
to shaping an environmentally-ethical future of new media.
Bhowmik also presents the Community Power Bank (CPB) workshops at
Pixelache Helsinki in 201516.The project recycled Lithium
18650 batteries with community participation and re- purposed them
to build power banks for handheld media devices. The workshops were
conducted at the Museum of Photography and at the OSCE (Open Source
Circular Economy) Days in Helsinki, Finland.
Keywords: communication, battery, energy, lithium, obsolescence,
portable computing, e-waste, environment, mining
The presentation was recorded at KuusiPaala project space in
Helsinki, 18th May 2018.
Samir Bhowmik (b. 1975) is an artist, architect and researcher.
He is currently engaged in art installations in Helsinki and Berlin
along with post-doctoral research at the Institute for Musicology
and Media Studies, Humboldt University-Berlin. Samir graduated as
a Doctor of Arts in New Media from the Media Lab of Aalto University,
Finland. His artistic and research practice focuses on media infrastructures,
ecological media and digital memory. He is supported by the Finnish
Cultural Foundation since 2017.
by Art Laboratory Berlin, unless otherwise noted.
in cooperation with
The BioSignals process is supported by Nordisk Kultur Kontakt
Culture and Art programme.