Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age

The Tremor document film was commissioned in Russia by the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad Branch, together with Laboratoria Art & Science Space in Moscow. I was invited to produce an experimental documentary about my recent research, to be included in international screenings and exhibitions, and the DVD Anthology Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age. The anthology was the first comprehensive overview of contemporary techno-biological art, and screened at the 3rd Moscow Biennale, winning the Russian National Innovation Prize for Contemporary Visuals Arts. It forms part of the permanent International Video Documentation Archive at Kalingrad.

The commission enabled me to develop a new approach in my practice, using non-scientific, poetic language to explore the metaphors, potentialities and anxieties of the biotechnological era. My ongoing project is to research ways in which themes of life and death, the fragile interdependency of all biological life, and new epistemologies brought about by biotechnology, might be emotively conveyed to audiences. In this commission I explored new aesthetic strategies and broader themes. Central to Tremor – the Document is the notion of life as a living clock – a microenvironment with limits compliant with the life span of cellular, organic matter. I intended the verse-like script and the visual sequences to work together in conveying the message that life, human thoughts and language itself all operate within cellular microenvironments. The editing is constructed to heighten dramatic cues, making the themes of evolution and biology more vivid. Using non-narrative strategies enabled me to draw on various evolutionary theories simultaneously: for example, the Panspermia theory, which proposes the interplanetary migration of life’s chemistry across the solar system, along with other theories that suggest reversals in the mitotic limits of life and death, and those which explore the artificial creation of new symbiotic environments on other planets.


Video compilation featuring: Paula Gaetano Adi (AR), James Auger & Jimmy Loizeau (GB), Brandon Ballengee (US), Laura Beloff (FI), BioKino Group: Tanya Visosevic and Guy Ben-Ary (AU), David Bowen (US), Adrian David Cheok (SG), Carlos Corpa & Ana García-Serrano (ES), Critical Art Ensemble (US), Joe Davis (US), Marta de Menezes (PT), Louis-Philippe Demers (CA), Erwin Driessens & Maria Verstappen (NL), Tagny Duff (CA), Arthur Elsenaar & Remko Scha (NL), Julie Freeman (GB), George Gessert (US), Ken Goldberg (US), Isa Gordon (US), Andy Gracie (GB), Paul Granjon (FR), Mateusz Herczka (SE), Floris Kaayk (NL), Verena Kaminiarz (CA), Leonel Moura (PT), Orlan (FR), Plancton Art Studio: Mauro Annunziato & Piero Pierucci (IT), Nicolas Reeves (CA), Julia Reodica (US), Ken Rinaldo (US), Marcel·lí Antúnez Roca (ES), Kathleen Rogers (GB), Philip Ross (US), SymbioticA Research Group (AU) & The Potter Lab (US), Stelarc (AU), The Tissue Culture & Art Project (TC&A): Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr (AU), Paul Thomas (AU), Bill Vorn, Emma Howes & Jonathan Villeneuve (CA), Natasha Vita-More (US), Adam Zaretsky (US)