[ISEA2020] Panel: Joel Ong, Roberta Buiani, Stephanie Rothenberg & Jennifer Willet — Boundary Crossing(s): Multi-scalar Entanglements in Art, Science and Technology

Panel Statement

The panel proposed aims to investigate the notion of boundary-crossing interdisciplinary, that is, by simultane-ously considering this notion in the arts and the humanities, the biological and the mathematical sciences, as well as human geography and political economy. The artists and theorists represented will engage in a cross disciplinary dialogue that considers this notion across disparate con-tents and contexts: boundaries are used to establish delimi-tation among disciplines; to discriminate between the hu-man and the non-human (body and technologies, body and bacteria); and to indicate physical and/or artificial bounda-ries, separating geographical areas and nation states. The project Boundary-crossing(s), with the plural in paren-thesis, is a SSHRC funded multi-site project that comprises series of traditional panels and roundtables, participatory performances, art installations and demonstrations over the course of 6 months that will explore different practices and aspects of boundary-crossing. At ISEA, we will include reflections on activities that have transpired, and revive discussions around the relationships between virtual/data and natural environments (or the hybridization thereof); investigations on the (human or more-than-human) body and the self, its perceived or imposed boundaries, as well as by DNA surveillance, algorithmic data and data analyt-ics. The series will also be itinerant, literally crossing the boundaries of different spaces (the gallery, the theatre, the lab, the lecture hall) and institutions (York University, the University of Toronto, the Fields Institute, and University of Windsor), and between academia and public space. Through these processes, we ask “What is the significance of boundaries, and the value of boundary-crossing today, a time when old-fashioned ideas of boundaries appear to have been transcended in favor of more fluid conceptions, while geopolitical and institutional powers seem to rein-force and build new ones?” The panel at ISEA2020 presents the culmination of this multi-site project and will also present new perspectives and documentation of work arising from this engagement.
Discussion with Session Chair Andres Burbano

  • Dr. Jennifer Willet is the Director of INCUBATOR art lab and a Canada Research Chair in Art, Science and Ecology at the University of Windsor. In 2017, Willet was inducted into the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. Willet is an internationally recognized artist and curator in the emerging field of BioArt. Her research resides at the intersection of art and science, and explores notions of representation, the body, ecologies, and interspecies interrelations in the biotechnological field. She engages in performance, installation, photography and sculpture based artistic practices, community arts and social practice, and philosophy of science, media studies, science and technology studies, combined with protocols and life forms from the biological sciences. incubatorartlab.com/team
  • Joel Ong is a media artist whose works explore emergent ways of interfacing with the environment through hybrid discourse of art and science. His works involve a triangulation of field work, wet lab and computational art and are often presented as on-site experiments. Ong is an alumni of SymbioticA, the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts and DXARTS at UW (Seattle, USA), and is an affiliate artist with the UCLA Art|Sci Collective. He is currently Assistant Professor in Computational Arts at York University in Toronto, Canada, and Director of Sensorium: the Centre for Digtial Arts and Technology.
  • Roberta Buiani is an interdisciplinary artist and media scholar, and the artistic director of the ArtSci Salon at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Toronto, Canada). Her recent research creation project draws on collaborative encounters across the sciences and the arts to investigate emerging life forms exceeding the categories defined by traditional methods of classification. Her artistic work has travelled to art festivals (Myseum, Transmediale; Hemispheric Institute Encuentro), community centres and galleries (the Free Gallery Toronto; Immigrant Movement International, Queens, Cocker Architecture Gallery), and science institutions (RPI; the Fields Institute, Ryerson University). Her writing has appeared on Space and Culture, Antennae and The Canadian Journal of Communication among others. With the ArtSci Salon she has launched a series of experiments in “squatting academia”, by re-populating abandoned spaces and cabinets across university campuses with SciArt installations. She holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from York University (CAN). ArtSci Salon website: https://artscisalon.com Personal atomarborea.net
  • Stephanie Rothenberg’s interdisciplinary art draws from digital culture, science and economics to explore relationships between human designed systems and biological ecosystems. She has exhibited throughout the US and internationally in venues including Eyebeam (US), Sundance Film Festival (US), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art / MASS MoCA (US), House of Electronic Arts / HeK (CH), LABoral (ES), Transmediale (DE), and ZKM Center for Art & Media (DE). She is a recipient of numerous awards, most recently from the Harpo Foundation and Creative Capital. Residencies include ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik in Berlin, TOKAS / Tokyo Art and Space, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, Eyebeam Art and Technology and the Santa Fe Art Institute. She is Associate Professor at SUNY Buffalo, NY, USA. stephanierothenberg.com