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Arts Catalyst and the Schering Foundation present a new exhibition of work by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, centred on a major new commission Sterile / Sensei Ichi-gō


Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen translate our times of rapid progress in the biosciences, and of automated and standardized production technologies, into life-manipulating performative installations, provocative objects, and subtly aestheticised documentary films. While the biological sciences shift their focus from analysis to synthesis, adopting a language of engineering that focuses less on living beings than on components, circuits and systems, the artists examine our changing values.

Their new work Sterile / Sensei Ichi-gōdraws attention to the ambiguous identity of animals designed as products. It centers on albino goldfish specifically designed to be born without reproductive organs, presented alongside a machine - put in stand-by mode - that is capable of reproducing such sterile fish to demand from pre-extracted sperm and eggs.

Other works by the artists showing in this exhibition are the short film Kingyo Kingdom which explores the unique culture of breeders, collectors and connoisseurs at the Japanese national goldfish competition, giving a cultural context to the design and commodification of this species, further explored in Sterile / Sensei Ichi-gō. In Pigeon d’Or and 75 Watt, human and animal organisms are being used in highly controlled (dys)functional processes.

 

The exhibition is curated by Jens Hauser with Nicola Triscott (Arts Catalyst).
Sterile / Sensei Ichi-gō is commissioned by Arts Catalyst and Schering Foundation. 
Kingyo Kingdom is commissioned by Arts Catalyst.
 

Partnership

An exhibition in cooperation with The Ernst Schering Foundation and transmediale 2015 CAPTURE ALL.

Funded

Sterile / Sensei Ichi-gō also supported by the Daiwa Foundation, and forms part of the European Commission FP7 funded project KiiCS

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SEFT-1, Art Moves at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

SEFT-1, Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe took part in Art Moves, an event showcasing mobile art from across Europe at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park during Open House London weekend.

Los Ferronautas' dazzling research probe was one of twenty-five ingenious art vehicles, that travel on land and sea being brought together by Art Moves curators Adriana Marques, Head of Arts and Culture, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Fiona Boundy, Curator and Project Director for ELMO.

In addition to showing the SEFT-1 vehicle, the film of Los Ferronautas brothers will be screened and Andrés Domene gave a talk as part of the Art Moves event programme.

The weekend event was part of the arts and culture strategy for the Park following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Art Moves featured work by Adam Chodzco, Nicole Mollett, Mark Dion, Public Works, Aberrant Architecture, Lone Twin, Tim Meacham, Avant Gardening and Lisa Cheung, Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale, ELMO, Walker and Bromwich, Richard Brown, Bureau of Silly Ideas, Francis Thorburn, Up Projects, Albion Kids Show and Jane Watt.

 

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Bower Birds at ZSL

Bower Birds was an exhibition by Sally Hampson.

Around London Zoo, apparently created by visiting bower birds (found in Australasia), could be found a number of fascinating 'bowers', love nests woven and furnished by small birds for the purpose of attracting mates.

Sally's research into these birds took her to Australia, and to the collections and library of the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum in Tring.

Alongside the exhibition, Sally ran education projects with Fairleigh House School, Pimlico, London, and Year 2 of Sevenoaks County Primary School, Kent, looking at the entrancing behaviour of the bower birds.

Supported by:

COPUS

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The Garden Shed Lab

A 2011 installation associated with the exhibition, Laboratory Life, at Lighthouse in Brighton, and toured at Microwave Festival in Hong Kong later that year (2011).

This group, led by artist Kira O'Reilly and in collaboration with Valerie Furnham, Columba Quigley and Genevieve Maxwell, exhibited work-in-progress featuring a garden shed lab containing a self-made sterile hood incubator, lab equipment and photographs and video made on site. The goal, using 100 years-old tissue culture technology, was to create cell cultures from incubated chick embryos and to re-create Thomas Strangeways' 1926 tissue culture experimentation.

Laboratory Life the result of nine days in a collaborative open laboratory, was an exhibition of five bioscience-themed projects created by twenty one international artists, scientists and doctors conceived and led by Andy Gracie (based upon Media Lab Prado's model), and organised by The Arts Catalyst and Lighthouse Arts.

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The Quest for Drosophila Titanus

A 2011 installation associated with the exhibition, Laboratory Life (2011) at Lighthouse in Brighton, and toured at Microwave Festival in Hong Kong later that year.


Led by artist, Andy Gracie, and collaborating with Kuai Shen Auson, Janine Fenton and Meredith Walsh, the group of artists and scientists exhibited their work-in-progress aimed at developing a new species derived from various phenotypes of Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) adaptable to environmental conditions found on the moon, Titan, via exposure to various simulated environmental conditions of this moon.

The apparatuses associated with this astrobiological experiment included the experimental chamber, video documentation of the experiments, a printed manual describing the experimental process, the breeding colony (formed by selecting the most vigorous flies from each experiment), and the memorial to failed individuals.

Laboratory Life, the result of nine days in a collaborative open laboratory, was an exhibition of five bioscience-themed projects created by twenty one international artists, scientists and doctors conceived and led by Andy Gracie (based upon Medialab Prado's model), and organised by The Arts Catalyst and Lighthouse Arts, Brighton.

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The Nightwatchman

Simon Hollington & Kypros Kyprianou's installation, The Nightwatchman (2008), featured in the exhibition Nuclear: Art and Radioactivity (2008).

The installation explored the intricacies and ambivalent legacy of nuclear power through two commissioned artistic works: Chris Oakley's Half-Life (2008), and Simon Hollington & Kypros Kyprianou's installation which traced 'changing perceptions of the nuclear power industry over its 50 year history through a single immersive narrative environment, blending fact and fiction into a darkly humorous journey through hard-nosed PR and spin to a logical hysteria.'

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Nuclear Reliquaries and Transmutation

James Acord created a series of Nuclear Reliquaries and Transmutation work from his residency at Imperial College London for the exhibition, Atomic

Self-styled 'nuclear sculpture', James Acord lived on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Washington, USA, where the plutonium for the first atomic bomb was processed. He moved there and lived there for 15 years to have easier access to radioactive materials produced at Hanford and in order to get to know the scientists and other workers employed on the site. 

Invited to undertake a residency in the Physics Department at Imperial College, London, in 1998 by The Arts Catalyst and Imperial College's then arts curator, Acord was inspired to create a series of nuclear reliquaries, in which symbolic items from the nuclear age were housed in boxes modelled after the medieval reliquaries used to preserve sacred Christian objects. As Acord told the Guardian in 1999, “I can’t help feeling that today’s nuclear industry is not unlike the church of the 12th and 13th centuries. We have a priesthood living in remote areas, interacting only with each other. Yet these are the people who make decisions for you and me.” He also created a blackboard piece, Transmutation, detailing the formulae of his proposed transmutation project for a nuclear experimental reactor.

The reliquaries were first shown in the Arts Catalyst exhibition Atomic, which also featured the work of artists Mark Aerial Waller, and Carey Young, exploring the economic and cultural legacy of atomic power, and were exhibited at Imperial College, Kluze Fortress, Bovec, Slovenia and Yard Gallery, NOW, Nottingham, UK.

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SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe Modern Ruins 1:220

The spectacular SEFT-1 is a road and rail vehicle created by Mexican artists and brothers Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene, known together as Los Ferronautas.

Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene (Los Ferronautas) built their striking silver road-rail SEFT-1 vehicle to explore the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico and Ecuador, capturing their journeys in videos, photographs and collected objects.

In their first London exhibition, SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe: Modern Ruins 1:220, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and presented in partnership with Furtherfield Gallery, in the heart of Finsbury Park, the artists explore how the ideology of progress is imprinted onto historic landscapes and reflect on the two poles of the social experience of technology - use and obsolescence.

Between 2010 and 2012, the artists travelled across Mexico and Ecuador in the SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada or Manned Railway Exploration Probe). In a transdisciplinary art project, they set out to explore disused railways as a starting point for reflection and research, recording the landscapes and infrastructure, stories and testimonials around and between cities. Interviewing people they met, often from communities isolated by Mexico’s passenger railway closures, they shared their findings online, http://www.seft1.com, where audiences could track the probe’s trajectory, view maps and images and listen to interviews.

The artists’ journeys led them to the notion of modern ruins: places and systems left behind quite recently, not because they weren’t functional, but for a range of political and economical reasons. In the second half of the 19th century, the Mexican government partnered with British companies to built the railway line that would connect Mexico City with the Atlantic Ocean – and beyond to Europe. This iconic railway infrastructure now lies in ruins, much of it abandoned due to the privatisation of the railway system in 1995, when many passenger trains were withdrawn, lines cut off and communities isolated.

For this new exhibition, the artists are inviting British expert model railway constructors to collaborate by creating scale reproductions of specific Mexican railway ruins, originally built by British companies, exactly as they are now. One gallery becomes a space for the process of model ruin construction. The room’s walls will show the pictures, documents, plans and other materials used as reference for the meticulously elaborated ruin construction. With this action a dystopian time tunnel is created.

The SEFT-1 exploration probe will be on display next to the gallery 20–22 June, 11–13 July, 18–20 July and 25–27 July 2014.

The Artists

Ivan Puig (born 1977, Guadalajara, MX) has exhibited internationally in Mexico, Germany, Canada, Brazil and the United States. He is the recipient of a number of awards and residencies including the BBVA Bancomer Foundation Grant for the SEFT-1 project (2010-2011) and the Cisneros Fontanals Foundation (CIFO) Grant in 2010. Puig, a member of the collective TRiodO (with Marcela Armas and Gilberto Esparza), lives and works in Mexico City.

Andrés Padilla Domene (born 1986 in Guadalajara, MX) has exhibited work in various contexts including ISEA 2012 (Albuquerque, New Mexico), The National Museum of Art MUNAL (Mexico City, 2011), 04 Transitio_MX (Mexico, 2011), and EFRC, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (Qutio, Ecuador, 2012). His video work as director and producer with Camper Media includes documentaries, fiction films and TV shows.

Support

Presented in partnership with Furtherfield Gallery

With support from Embassy of Mexico, Arts Council England, Central de Maquetas

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Ice Diamond and Whistler

New commissions by Torsten Lauschmann for Ice Lab exhibition

Alongside five imaginative designs for Antarctic research stations, Arts Catalyst and British Council have commissioned artist Torsten Lauschmann to make new work for Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica an exhibition that will illustrate how innovative contemporary architecture is enabling scientists to live and work in one of the most extreme environments on our planet.

Torsten Lauschmann's artworks will envelope audiences in a bewitching immersive environment, playfully offering visitors sounds, sights and sensations evoking the disorientating Antarctic landscape. Taking as his inspiration the phenomena of 'whistlers', very low frequency electromagnetic waves recorded in Antarctica, Lauschmann introduces the startling sounds of the frozen continent into the gallery. He extends the experiential atmosphere with a simple yet mesmerising audiovisual journey, Ice Diamond, splicing footage from the British Atlantic Survey research ship James Clark Ross, a vessel that can steam at a steady two knots through sea ice one metre thick, to create a kaleidoscopic vision which he describes as eluding to “the incredible human ingenuity and difficulties in dealing with in this extreme environment.”

Born in Bad Soden, 1970 Lauschmann now lives and works in Glasgow. His idiosyncratic practice using photography, video, sound, drawing, performance and installation is both eccentric and eclectic. Lauschmann merrily experiments with the mathematical, technological and scientific fusing them with comic, fictional, sometimes absurd ideas revealing his boundless curiosity about the World and beyond. From his World Jump Day (2005) participatory performance leap proposed to shift the Earth's orbit, to the intergalactic visions of Father's Monocle and Coy Lover (2012), his art-making explores the real and illusory.

Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica is an international touring exhibition featuring work by Hugh Broughton Architects, bof Architekten, David Garcia, Space Group, International Polar Foundation. It will give visitors a unique view of the inspiration, ingenuity and creativity behind architecture in the coldest, windiest, driest and most isolated place on earth. It opens at Architecture and Design Scotland, The Lighthouse in Glasgow from 26 July-2 October 2013 before touring to Manchester Museum of Science & Industry (21 October-6 January 2014) as part of the Manchester Science Festival.

Events

There will be an associated events programme of talks, workshops and film screenings at both The Lighthouse and at MOSI (TBC)

Publication

Accompanying the exhibition will be a publication with essays written by Dr David Walton (British Antarctic Survey and author of the recent Antarctica: Global Science from a Frozen Continent) and Sam Jab (co-founder of FAT architects, lecturer and writer).

Partners and links

Commissioned and organised by the British Council and curated by Arts Catalyst

Torsten Lauschmann

The Lighthouse

Architecture and Design Scotland

Museum of Science and Industry

We Made That

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