Over the weekend of 6 June, The Arts Catalyst invited artists, designers, scientists, writers, technologists, academics, and activists to join a hands-on workshop led by designer and researcher Veronica Ranner at Furtherfield.
Living Assemblies was an opportunity for participants to investigate the coupling of the biological material silk with digital technologies, to think about future applications.
On the first day Clemens Winkler and Luke Franzke, along with the participants experimented with a range of materials including silk-fibres, glucose, agar-agar and various other things that they had in their pockets.
On the second day inspiration came in the form of Croatian bio-hacker, Gjino Sutic who introduced his wild inventions, experiments and his concept of ‘bio-tweaking’. He also alluded to his early training – watching laboratories and experiments bubbling away in Disney movies.
Science writer Frank Swain gave the room an opportunity to listen to the underbelly of wifi networks through his hearing aid, as conversation turned to security, ownership and the future of prosthetics and 'life enhancers'. Questions such as how to express emotion and intimacy through mechanical and digital aides allowed the group to evolve their understanding of restriction and benefits to biological and digital coupling.
As the workshop wound up it was evident that this will not be the last workshop of its kind, getting people to leave was difficult!
Images from the event can be found on our Facebook page.
If you are interested in this area of research Veronica Ranner hosts regular events called London LASER which bring together eclectic guest speakers working at the intersections of art, science, technology and society.