[ISEA2018] Artists Statement: Cesar Baio & Lucy HG Solomon — The [ECO]Nomic Revolution: when microbiological logic determines everything

Artists Statement

Also Artist Talk, via Skype

[ECO]nomy. This is a rejection of the one-directional sovereignty of globalized humanity over nature, with adverse environmental conditions as the byproduct of profit-driven decisions. The [ECO]Nomic Revolution shifts the logic of economic decisions from individualized choice to reflect the logic of nature on a microbiological level. The installation documents the artists’ scientific and socioeconomic experimentation as they reflect on how values are assigned. The  artists encode economic indicators and area demographics into the microbiological terrain overlaid on a map of Durban. As the microorganism, Physarum polycephalum, charts the territory with its own growth algorithm, Cesar & Lois reference the growth dynamics of this nature-based culture to ponder a city’s dynamics. Cesar & Lois respond to the algorithmic growth of the organism with a log of observations, interspersed with community members’ reflections on societal dynamics and growth. By referencing nature’s networking and the organism’s system of sharing resources, alternative logic models for growth may emerge. By  reorienting the logic of a city to the smallest entities within nature, the project hierarchizes the biological culture’s logic over human design.

Contributors include biologist Scott Morgans at California State University San Marcos and CSUSM undergraduate researchers Kiana Ajir, Kodie Gerritsen, Mei-Ling Mirow, and Derick Northington. Special thanks to Marc Ronald Kalina of the Urban Futures Centre, Durban University of Technology, for his contributions.

  • Cesar Baio (Brazil) & Lois Solomon (USA) ponder autonomous systems that integrate natural and technological networks. In their various bodies of work, Cesar Baio subverts the algorithms of autonomous systems, while LOIS infuses art with nature’s data. Together they create fungal systems that tweet and posit nature-based economies.   cesarbaio.net

Cesar Baio is funded by Capes Scholarship Program / Post-Doctoral Research / Process 88881.120168/2016-01. Support from i-DAT at University of Plymouth, U.K. and Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil; Lucy HG Solomon / The League of Imaginary Scientists and California State University, San Marcos.