[ISEA2020] Artist Statement: Joel Ong — Terra Et Venti

Artist Statement

“Terra Et Venti” (“between the ground and the wind”) is a speculative research project that explores the role that synthetic biology may play in planetary-scale geoengineering and weather modification practices in the future. This artwork builds on the tradition of treating the genetic sequences as a medium for artistic expression through a multi-modal installation. In Terra Et Venti, the ice-nucleation activity of the aerial bacterium Pseudomonas Syringae is simulated with parametric speakers tracing lines across the space as a digital version of a cloud is created in real time. The computational system presented in the gallery generates text for insertion into the genome of a specific bacteria. In addition the project features artistic renderings of the biological processes of the P. syringae.

  • Joel Ong is a media artist whose works explore emergent ways of interfacing with the environment through hybrid discourses of art and science. His works involve a triangulation of field work, wet lab and computational arts and are often presented as on-site lab experiments. Ong is an Assistant Professor in Computational Arts at York University, Toronto, Canada, and Director of Sensorium: the Centre for Digital Arts and Technology. arkfrequencies.com