Post Pandemic Provocation no 7: B.C. Before and A.C. After the Coronacene

Let us Give the Bacteria and Viruses a Voice- Artists can already hear them, can you?

or : The Anthropocene has become the “Coronacene”, with poetic sound incense transforming  us, thanks to the work of artscientists described below.

This blog post on behalf of one of many small emerging post pandemic Leonardo villages:  seaded by Nina Czegledy, Joel Slayton, Diana Ayton Shenker, Alyce Santoro, and 296 others named below.

We live in strange times when the desirable unexpected may need to be provoked.

Provocation 1:

In times like this, we need more un-necessary research,

Not Provocative: less un-necessary travel, email and texting and un-necessary consumption

Provocation 2: but above all we must re-define the un-necessary.

 (I learned these new-old ideas at the STARTS village reunion at IRCAM in Paris ( https://vertigo.starts.eu/ ) just two weeks before the world started having a panic attack.

So here we go:

Nina Czegledy, Joel Slayton and I were tasked by the new Leonardo CEO Diana Ayton-Shenker (https://www.leonardo.info/led/19253 ) to think aloud about how the Leonardo art,science,technology ( https://www.leonardo.info/welink-ten-easy-pieces ) villages of villages could have an impact in these chaotic and turbulent times of COVID 19.

We are slowly stewing a Provençale Bouillabaisse that could become a Leonardo Post Pandemic Provocation Soup.

Alyce Santoro in the Yasmin village (http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/2020/ )  proposed three types of provocations:

  1. I suggest that in the post-pandemic world, creative practices (ones
    that arouse the imagination, senses, and emotions??
  2. . The objective stance we are obliged to take as good scientists in
    fact reinforces the notion that humans are autonomous entities/outside observers, separate from one another and the biosphere?
  3. An Intricate Ensemble: The Art-Science of An Ecological Imaginary for the Anthropocene Epoch” is available for download in its entirety at RISD Digital Commons:
    https://digitalcommons.risd.edu/masterstheses/415/
    <https://digitalcommons.risd.edu/masterstheses/415/>.
     
  • No doubt members of our villages can come up with others ? Rap them out !

The good news is that a team of artscience researchers have already developed the methods to hear the sounds of bacteria, but also viruses (ask Scot Gresham Lancaster, Gagan Wig and Sharath Chandra Ram who have pioneered techniques through our Data Stethoscope projects: )

Watch the YouTube video led by Ritwik Kaikini that shows the simple techniques that artists, working with scientists, developed to listen to the sound of bacteria colonies growing, expanding and also dying.

If only we could hear the Corona Virus COVID 19, then humans could adapt their behaviors to co-exist. Oops we do not want to destroy viruses and bacteria, we need them for us to exist at all, we need to be all in the microbiome happy together.

So below, is the illustration of one technique for hearing bacteria, there are many, by the UTD Dallas ArtSciLab ( https://artscilab.atec.io/ ) with the Gassensmith  Bio Chemistry Lab

Here below , in turn, in detail:

 A) Alyce Santoro’s Threefold Provocation

 Followed by the

B) BioLux Chants project that allowed humans to hear the sound of bacteria singing for the first time. Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-pmmKRMT9w

C) Ayen Deng and her team or artistphysicists have been giving voice to carbon nanotubes that could be useful to help us co exist with Covid 19.

read more at: https://artscilab.atec.io/blog/the-voices-of-science

Yes science-rap can help us co exist with Covid 19

YES: the poets are ideal provocateurs among others  in the Leonardo Villages.

D: Proposal for funding Biosphere 3 to test out all these provocations and more.

E: see the worldwide COVID 19 exhibit led from

https://www.leonardo.info/welink-ten-easy-pieces

 Chronus Art Center (CAC) is pleased to announce the presentation of a special online exhibition “We=Link: The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Art Center Nabi (Seoul); Rhizome of the New Museum (New York); and the concerted efforts by 12 institutions around the world. The exhibition is available online starting on 30 March 2020.

Please propose your own provocations.

So lets get into all these provocations in a bit more depth !

Roger Malina, one of the voices in the Leonardo Post Pandemic Village with Nina Czegledy, Joel Slayton, Alycia Santoro, Diana Ayton Shenker,   Ritwik Brian Merlo Victoria Nguyen Nhan T Khuu ,Anna Lynn Edwards,  Ashton Brillante Jeremiah J Gassensmith (ArtSciLab) Frank Dufour , https://artscilab.atec.io/chanting-th… , Aahlad Madireddy, Oskar Olsson, Scot Gresham Lancaster, Sharath Chandra Ram and  245 others.

D) Let me note that the Biosphererians have already tested many of the techniques for successful co existence with viruses and bacteria; lets fund them to test out these provocations for the Coronacene: https://www.synergeticpress.com/upcoming-titles/life-under-glass/  

Read my review at: https://www.leonardo.info/review/2020/04/life-under-glass-crucial-lessons-in-planetary-stewardship-from-two-years-in-biosphere

Oh yes: a final provocation:

e) What would Leonardo Da Vinci be doing today to help us with COVID19 and subsequent collapse of human civilization ?

 NOTHING  

As I have previously pontificated. We do NOT need any more geniuses, especially male ones.  

Universities are badly designed; they only give diplomas and degrees to individuals not teams.  

In the Coronacene we need teams that behave with genius like inspiration and innovation- lets restructure post pandemic education to teach in teams and give diplomas to teams.

Roger Malina

  1. Here is Alice’s manifesto 1.0

Dear Roger and All,

I would like to offer to the group a recently-completed project that,
I believe, specifically addresses your questions regarding catalysts
for alternative imaginaries? Romantic Naturalists, Dadaists,
Surrealists, anarchists, radical biologists, social ecologists, and
improvising musicians provide the clues. In a nutshell, I suggest
practices and frameworks that emphasize and enhance collaboration,
spontaneity, care, the ludic, and the dialectical, in defying
convention, contain the potential to subvert it.


Provocations:

1. I suggest that in the post-pandemic world, creative practices (ones
that arouse the imagination, senses, and emotions? the marvelous? as
sought by both the Romantic Naturalists and the Surrealists) must be
embraced as essential forms of knowledge production in and of
themselves. These can be constructively applied. Not simply as
embellishment or in a support capacity? But in concert with science’s

rigorous and dispassionate methods.

2. The objective stance we are obliged to take as good scientists in
fact reinforces the notion that humans are autonomous entities/outside
observers, separate from one another and the Biosphere?  The virus,
however, powerfully demonstrates the ways in which humanity is

interwoven with and inseparable from the vast milieu of planetary
systems and forces. Can dualism be applied when due, while undue
dualism is undone?

3. An Intricate Ensemble: The Art-Science of An Ecological Imaginary for
the Anthropocene Epoch” is available for download in its entirety at
RISD Digital Commons:

https://digitalcommons.risd.edu/masterstheses/415/
<https://digitalcommons.risd.edu/masterstheses/415/>. Feedback,
comments, and critique welcome.

I am grateful to you, Nina, and Joel for bringing this topic to the
list, and look forward to the ensuing discussion!

With best regards,
Alyce Santoro

alycesantoro.com <http://www.alycesantoro.com/>

  • Here is the Micro Lux Chant sound of victory or hopefully rather co-existence:


Ritwik Kaikini
:

Sound can be used in innovative ways in data interpretation.

Micro Lux Chants is a multi-disciplinary art-science project where we seek to understand the life cycle of bioluminescent bacterium – Aliivibrio Fischeri through the medium of sound.  

The bacterial life cycle consists of four phases, namely: lag phase, log phase, stationary phase and the death phase.  

The team at the ArtSciLab and the Gassensmith Lab, has conducted significant studies through time lapse photography of these bacteria over two years, to understand the growth and decay of these bacteria through visualization.

 We now traverse into a new form of data interpretation called sonification.   

The ability to detect what phase the bacteria is in during its life cycle, by listening, instead of seeing the growth and decay of these bacteria. To achieve this goal, principles of Frequency Modulation and multiple blob tracking have been used in PureData and Max/msp, an open source visual programming language for multimedia.

When there is a large number of batches of bioluminescent bacteria being grown, the researcher has to diagnose the stage of the life cycle of these bacteria through visual observation, which can be a time-consuming process, as it requires constant supervision of these batches.

This project proposes to solve this problem by using a software-based visual code to track the areas of growth in the bacterial colonies and obtain a sound output to detect which phase of the life cycle the bacteria is in.

The significance of these findings is twofold. Firstly, the biotechnological applications of bioluminescent bacteria extend to cell tracking in cancer research, gene control using quorum sensing and to test the effectiveness of antibiotics.

 Secondly, this research has applications in art-science communication, phenomenological studies of bioluminescence and data translation.

 The project was presented as a poetic sound-art installation with a screen showing the process of making bioluminescent bacteria, two posters speaking about the concepts and phases of the project and a listening activity where people are invited to listen to bacteria singing or “Chanting”. 

Team includes :

Ritwik Kaikini (MA Arts and Technology ’18) (2016-present) Brian Merlo (BS Bioengineering ‘19) (2018- present) Undergraduate Student Team: Victoria Nguyen (BS Biochemistry ‘17) Nhan T Khuu (Health Studies Major) Anna Lynn Edwards (Biology Major) Ashton Brillante (BA Arts and Technology ’17) .Jeremiah J Gassensmith  (Gassensmith Lab) Roger Malina (ArtSciLab) Frank Dufour (LabSynthE) ArtSciLab: https://artscilab.atec.io/chanting-th… Written, Edited and Directed by Ritwik Kaikini Background Score by Ritwik Kaikini Videography by Aahlad Madireddy, Oskar Olsson, Brian Merlo, Ritwik Kaikini

Website: https://www.soundincense.com/ email: ritwikjk@gmail.com https://www.instagram.com/ritwik_kaik… #microluxchants #utdallas #bacteria #bioluminescence #artscience

 I(Ritwik) treated each colony of bacteria as a poet of a different language and the bacteria recite poetry as they light up. As the bacteria populate inside the petri dishes, the poetry gets chaotic to listen to, due to the simultaneous confluence of languages. As the bacteria begin to decay, the voices and the poetry fade out and the human voice lingers in the end.  

C , Rap-Covid 19

 Ayen Deng in the ArtSciLab is now leading spoken word and poetic research with physicists  https://soundcloud.com/ayen-deng-947652902/modern-science-spoken-word read more below)

Excerpt:

Before things were written, they were spoken. The Spoken Word has a rich historical basis, especially amongst traditional African societies where culture and knowledge was passed down in the form of riddles, proverbs, stories, poetry, music, and design. Today, spoken word remains a fundamental form of communication, though its limits in academia are rarely challenged. Spoken word poetry is a tool to communicate social issues. Today, it is increasingly popular among the youth with so-called ‘poetry slams’ happening all around the world. Spoken word is appealing as it is impactful and lawless. There are no literary restrictions that define what it is. Instead, it takes a more performative approach, aiming to reach — even interact with — its audience; it is centered on involvement and exchange.This is what makes spoken word, as a type of poetry, powerful: It surpasses communication and creates a participatory audience. Contrastly, scientific phenomena — especially with increasing reliance on technological tools — long ago left the realm of our physical experiences. Consequently, there expands a chasm in intellectual exchange across science and other disciplines that calls for the expertise of a poet. The poet’s role will be to create innovative, metaphorical models in words and to express the often abstract and intangible phenomena in science. The very nomenclature of science, which is often times misleading, could benefit greatly from the collaboration of a poet.

For more un heard voices of science : https://artscilab.atec.io/blog/the-voices-of-science

E)  And see artscientists around the world showing their artscience work

We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces

Chronus Art Center (CAC) in China is pleased to announce the presentation of a special online exhibition “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces,” featuring new commissions by the artists aaajiao, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne, JODI, LI Weiyi, Slime Engine and YE Funa in conjunction with works by Evan Roth, Helmut Smits, Yangachi and Raphaël Bastide. The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Art Center Nabi (Seoul); Rhizome of the New Museum (New York); and the concerted efforts by 12 institutions around the world. The exhibition is available online starting on 30 March 2020. : https://www.leonardo.info/welink-ten-easy-pieces

So please lets all provocate, not pontificate, or politicate.

Let us be careful with the Coronacene terminology, because another Coronacene will happen when the solar corona envelopes the earth in a billion years or sooner. Read up on your astronomy (in teams of collective intelligence, don’t just read alone ) and don’t confuse the politicians with referring to the wrong Coronacene.

Roger Malina et al. et al. et al.

LEONARDO Post Pandemic Working Group Mission

Date: april 2, 2020

Lead author: Joel Slayton

Participating authors: Nina Czegledy, Roger Malina, more to be infected:

Background

Rather than focus on yet another futurist attempt to predict what the world might look like, the LEONARDO Post Pandemic Procation Group  will look to provoke alternative approaches to the immediate challenges of the post-pandemic condition. 

 The ambition is to inform and inspire action that serves to shape the immediate future of the post-pandemic, and accentuate the positive consequences of the pandemic. 

 The Working Group will be designed as an enable  trans-generational mentoring/consulting initiative across the archipelago of Leonardo villages as a resource to re-think how to think about the post-pandemic reality.

The global struggle to respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic is evidenced across the disciplines of art/science.  Many of our colleagues have organized to enable  efforts to find a way to navigate the crises.  Simultaneously, there are substantial efforts underway oriented on speculative futures that may emerge post-pandemic. 

 The LEONARDO Working Group differentiates its goal by asking what kinds of ventures can be taken now that will serve to engage trans-generational knowledge sharing regarding how to provoke ideas regarding how to approach the post-pandemic condition.  What kinds of change is imminent and how will we embrace or mitigate the impact? What changes might be positive if encouraged ?

Principles embraced: 

·   Trans-lateral mentoring:

       (encouraging cross generational mentoring/consulting/sherpa-ing, Touareging)

·   Trans-national

       (enabling global participation across traditional boundaries, while respecting local wisdom)

·   Trans-disciplinary 

       (collaboration across art/design/science/humanities, enabling bridging methods)

·    Trans-geneous

        (inclusive re: age, gender, sexuality, religion, handicap…) and yes inclusive of the genes of bacteria and viruses

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