COOP ~ Reality Settings: Art, Biology & Computation from Month to Month

Seminar 1: 1-4 December 2019

In the first week of our Reality Settings coop we will open up a broad dialogue on the subject of reality settings, take a deep dive into the field of synthetic biology and introduce our practices and interests to each other. 

Diakron will present our ongoing project Primer, and the numerous initiatives and collaborations that have grown out of it which straddle the intersection between science, technology development, the production of the future and art. Artist and co-tutor Jenna Sutela will call in with a presentation of her work with non-human organisms, sound, sculpture and algorithms. Each student will be tasked with introducing their practice, as well as particular areas of interest, experience or practical traction relating to Reality Settings. We will start a process of collective research and note-taking as well as set up research platform(s) for working together throughout the year.

Science writer and author Britt Wray will give a remote talk on the current state of synthetic biology and its recent history. She will introduce us to the science underlying these new developments and the diverse set of interests, practices and businesses that together define the field and its future impacts. Britt is a trained biologist, an expert on the field and is the author of Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction and a co-host of the BBC podcast Tomorrow's World. She is currently researching for a new book on the psychological impacts of climate change.

To start an exploration of the aesthetic potentials of altered states, reconfigured biology and human perception we will watch Andrei Tarkovskys seminal Stalker, based on the sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.

There will be no required readings for this first week. We will introduce a syllabus with seminal texts that can guide our readings throughout the year - one that will grow gradually for each month, and should be seen as an access to resources for independent research as well as collective readings.

Sunday, 1 Dec.

Evening

Meeting each other for the first time.

Presentation of the course plans.

Questions and conversation about the course.

Group conversation.

Presentation.

Monday, 2 Dec.

Morning

10-13

Jenna Sutela remote call

Presentation of Jenna’s practice and main interests.

Quick intro to Diakron / primer and the practices and main interests of Bjarke and Aslak.

Presentation / Conversation

Afternoon  

14-18.30



Student introductions. Their practices and interests / ideas for the COOP

We end with a walk in the area

Presentations

Dialogue

Evening

19-22

Film Screening: Stalker by Andriy Tarkovsky

Screening

Tuesday, 3 Dec.

Morning

10-13 

Student introductions. Their practices and interests / ideas for the COOP

Presentations

Dialogue

Afternoon   

13-18.30



We start with a walk in the area.

Student introductions. Their practices and interests / ideas for the COOP

Presentations

Dialogue

Evening

19.30-22

Call: Britt Wray.

Conversation

Wednesday, 4 Dec.

Morning  

10-13

Each student / or in groups write / draw reflections / organize notes from the past days.

We finish with a conversation about what came up.

 

Decompression and Planning

 

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