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Art/Science/Technology. Methodological Approaches and Sensitive Experiences Based on Nature Immersions, Field Trips and Rural Residencies

Art/Science/Technology. Methodological Approaches and Sensitive Experiences Based on Nature Immersions, Field Trips and Rural Residencies

Maria Luiza Fragoso, Guto Nobrega, Karla Brunet, Laura Beloff, Luciana Fleisch and Bartaku Bartaku / Brazil – Finland – Argentina
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, UFBA – Federal Unversity of Bahia, IT University in Copenhagen, Platohedro Community Lab, Aalto University (FIN)

This panel discusses practical and theoretical investigations in art and technology related to nature immersions, the construction of hybrid ecologies and transcultural connectedness. We will approach these subjects from the sand point of artists that question and propose the understanding of emerging hybrid organic structures as aesthetic organisms. Working within the immaterial, invisible, dynamical flow that intercommunicates biological (living systems) and artificial (machine/electronic/digital) organisms in the process of invention, we propose the idea of artworks as transducers, interconnecting artist, nature, and the audience into an integrated dynamical whole. Specific methodological approaches create a flow of informative and sensitive experiences based on nature immersions, field trips, rural residencies, among others.

Processes in which performances, actions, meetings, and interactive platforms are not only spaces for experimentation, but also environments in which the art practice reflects the concepts applied in the artistic work. Artworks created are related to a field of experimentations where the blend between artificial systems (digital or analogue) and living organisms is explored creatively. Investigation is driven towards promoting experiences, which may propitiate sensorial and intuitive integration between species, beings, and organisms. Artistic processes are conceived in order to foster possible states of awareness that are provided by the expression of phenomenon in coherent poetic systems. Immersions in natural environments are usually stimulating our senses and perceptions, bringing about the sense of being enhanced by technology and connected to nature.

Four short papers are presented by five artists/researchers from the following perspectives.

Bart Vandeput (Bartaku) proposes an artistic research practice to broaden the field of embodied cognition bringing about discussions that belong to the realm of the skill of the transversal (non-expert) artist exploring “ideas on perception and (un)reflective action in a setting of affordances.” Examples of works are given from a succession of enactions through examples of this artistic practice which implies the acceptance of a view on cognition that includes plant life.

Laura Bellof questions typical binaries western society division such as natural and artificial, biological and technological when in contemporary times “it is increasingly difficult to tell the difference between natural- biological entities from artificially constructed ones with human cognitive abilities (…) due to the development of biotechnological methods to manipulate or construct new kinds of living organisms that are purposely designed by humans.” From the uncanny valley concept (Mori 1970) Bellof presents on-going artistic experiments from an intertwining of biology, nature, technology in relation to general understanding of natural, artificial and real.

Guto Nóbrega and Malu Fragoso, as coordinators of NANO Lab, where a team of researchers, artists and designers works intensively on the subjects of biotelematics, hybridization and transcultural experimentation propose to discuss these concepts by presenting some on-going works and methodological approaches for these art based processes. Among these methodological propositions are immersions, situations of displacements that create a flow of informative and sensitive experiences. They understand the lab’s involvement with the artistic research as an environment in which the practice reflects the concepts applied in the artistic work, therefore, the engagement in field trips, rural artistic residencies and field relocate the lab environment into a “wild”, “unexplored”, unknown natural condition.

Karla Brunet contributes to the above experiences while describing different immersive field trips in nature, more specifically related to aquatic environments, which result artworks and environmental appreciation. These experiences involve “Cartographies of everyday life on the sea” in Norway, Sweden and Lithuania and an art residency on a sailing boat in Brazil, with the theme “Experience the Sea.” These examples bring about various approaches such as the process and intentions of ‘being’ on a specific location, or the experience itself as main trigger for perception and cognition, but mainly, all experiences bring about the urge – as an artist – to be in nature and produce directly with and from nature.