Ethology I is an ongoing collaborative project based on the location of the self and the non self. It is grounded in the functioning of the Immune system exploring it at a symbolic level. The project explores the capacity of the immune system for learning and memory and the levels of distinct boundaries of the “fields of self” – it explores notions of specificity and location as complex systems relying on four premises:
Recognition – Presentation – Action (attack/integration) – Archive (memory).
The installation – a semi living organism – is an interactive ground controlled by artificial intelligent software that interprets the sensing of movement/positions of the viewers/participants as ‘others’ in the context of the work. Ethology I explores the social relations of the collaborative team and the nature of their location in the group.
All images shown are microscopy videos of on going scientific research of different fields within immunology: auto immunity, infection, virus, bacteria, acquired ‘in vivo’ and in cultured cells, with my presence. The phenomenological experience of being on location allowed us to engage with the research and the boundaries of scientific research and art exploration.
Location of ethological relations are explored in this project that envisages to demonstrate how external social relations mimics biological systems – the physical construct of the prototype is based on the diversity, fluidity and dynamics of the immune system. The attention is directed to understanding how the biological process might contribute to clarify nature/culture and dislocation/location dialectic relations we find symbolically in the immune system.
By co-localizing participants, including them on the system, it brings to surface ideas of how a older Cartesian perspective of a mechanism based on control, hierarchy and specificity, allows space for a neuro-phenomenological approach grounded on ideas of autonomy, co influence and assimilation, that leads to a newer possible of “fields of self”.
- Maria Lopes