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Artists are likely to develop visions for technology that are different from researchers or engineers. Through co-creation, they can inspire new ways of thinking for tech projects developing new technologies.
STARTS Residencies encourage Tech Projects to host artists to boost the innovation potential of any technology. By thinking “out of the box”, artists can expand technological boundaries, develop unexpected use-cases, produce new prototypes, provide additional knowledge and stimulate groundbreaking processes. A Residency lasts between 3 and 9 months and the artists are funded by the STARTS Residencies programme.

A Tech Project is a collaborative project between institutions or an internal project in a research centre or company. Each Tech Project applying for a STARTS Residency may be funded through public European or national programmes or through private funds. It is compulsory that the Tech Project applying for a STARTS Residency is running during the period of the residency (which may occur between March 2019 and March 2020).
It is also expected that Tech Projects:

  • Are developing an innovative technology at a state-of-the-art level in an emerging field (e.g. smart cities, wearables, open data, internet of things, cloud computing, eHealth, virtual reality, etc.).
  • Are located in one or several countries of the European Union.
  • Are prepared to give the artist access to technologies developed by the project.
  • Aim at positive change and advancement for society or economy.
  • Are fully committed to integrate the artist into the project and the team through a co-creation process.

Hybrid Forms Lab

The hybrid forms lab demonstrates science outside the laboratory or academy into the public domain via events, exhibitions and workshops. The aim is to show the synergy between scientists and artists/designers for developing novel technology and works of beauty and inspiration. The laboratory functions as a meeting and developing space where research and design go hand in hand, allowing constant feedback between artists and scientists.

Applied photosynthesis
bio art, design and application of photosynthesis for renewable energy and sustainable technology
From Jan. 1, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2022
Keywords: bioenergy bacteria photosynthesis

Description of the challenges faced by the Tech Project
project technology include microbial fuel cells, living photosynthetic colonies that produce electricity and can power small devices. challenges will be to increase the power output per area, stability of systems besides technology include biosolar cells, solar panels constructed of biological, photosynthetic enzymes, operating on electrodes to produce electricity, challenge is to create power, or to store electrons in a capacitor prior power delivery. Devices that are either speculative design, or proof of principle may be completely independent from human needs and aid other organisms, or simply exist. Such devices may be used as exemplary of the techniques feasibility, or, to reflect on what technology is, or any other issue relating to human hubris in saving the world after (almost) destroying it.

Brief description of technology
photosynthetic organisms and their molecular machinery are being probed for solar fuels and solar electricity generation in a sustainable, and circular technology. A plethora of techniques, from biochemistry, light spectroscopy to electrochemistry is being applied to elucidate the possibilities and to construct devices

What the project is looking to gain from the collaboration and what kind of artist would be suitable
objectives are to investigate speculative designs or proof of principle designs of biosolar cells, microbial fuel cells, or applied photosynthesis in general. These futuristic machines take the science of bioelectronics, artificial intelligence, quantum biology and solar energy to a far extreme allowing speculations on newest scientific insights, the interactions between fundamental science and society, the role of humans as biological species in preserving other species, or any other intellectual drive artists may have.

Resources available to the artist
artists will get an official guest status of the university which include access to the university building and labs, internet and email connections. resources are access to a bio art wet lab, makers lab which include lasercutter, 3d printer and a range of smaller tools, assistance by electrical and mechanical engineering workshop of the physics dept, chemicals and equipment provided by the laboratory availability of the lab and office space will exceed the residency, allowing continuation or deeper investigations following up the project.

Proposal: bacteria as a reflecting shield, source of energy

The Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive is a bio-art project researching green energy and biosensors made by symbiotic bacteria. The results of the ongoing research are applied to the Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive and tested with living bee colonies in urban settings.

The Intelligent Guerilla Beehive is a research project on the edge of art and science. It evokes issues of sustainability and biodiversity, giving viewers an artistic experience of my ongoing research related to the disappearance of the honeybee. The goal of the Intelligent Beehive is a double one. At one hand it offers a safe refuge for city honeybees, and at the other hand is is a biosensor that interacts with the environment and that measures the pollution of the foraging fields around the beehive. Honeybees and bacteria become interfaces to inform us on the health status of our environment. Bees and bacteria become living monitoring technology.

R&D to be conducted at the Hybrid Forms lab:
Research the bacterial biofilm on the outer shell of the beehive as a source of energy that can power small devices as T° and humidity sensors in the beehive. Therefore, I want to study different strains of bacteria. The work in the Hybrid Forms lab can be combined with the research (on pigmented bacteria) I conduct at the Open BioLab of Erasmushogeschool in Brussels.

A biofilm is an association of micro-organisms in which microbial cells adhere to each other on living or non-living surfaces within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance.
 Biofilm formation is a cooperative group behaviour that involves bacterial populations living embedded in a self-produced extracellular matrix. In biology, quorum sensing is a system of stimuli and response correlated to population density. … Many species of bacteria use quorum sensing to coordinate gene expression according to the density of their local population.
Genes encode proteins and proteins dictate cell function. Therefore, the thousands of genes expressed in a particular cell determine what that cell can do. (wikipedia)

The sensory dimension of materials

Transmutation of the characteristics and properties of materials, due to -among other things- bacteria (biofilms).
Material qualities = the qualities that influence the way we experience a material and collect sensory information from it, e.g. warm or cold, heavy or light, and visual qualities as transparancy, translucense, shininess… The expressive-sensory dimension can be inherent to a material, or can be designed into the material.
The material communicates ideas and approaches, it forces us to think, feel and act in certain ways; it facilitates and improves functionality and use. (cfr. Domus 1027, Sept.2018 - p119)

Research - to start with:

  • the plated cells of the coccolith Emiliana huxleyi ('life at the Edge of Sight', Scott Chimileski / Roberto Kolter)
  • … reflected light shows the exact size and location of the coccolithophore blooms and other phytoplankton blooms
  • the mitochondria that produce the energy in eurkaryotic cells were once free-living bacteria, idem dito the chloroplasts which harvest light energy in plants and algae cells were once free living photosynthetic bacteria, the cyanobacteria (L. Margulis)
  • research naar 'healing bacteria': biobrick (Sporosarcina pasteurii), bioconcrete (idem), sanddunes, … (cfr. book Biodesign, William Meyers)
  • Alien Agency (Chris Salter)
  • The Social behavior of the Bees (D. Michener - Belknap, Harvard)
hybrid_forms.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/06 14:27 by ami