[ISEA2022] Artist Talk: Laura Splan — Syndemic Sublime: rematerializing the expanded biotechnological apparatus in the age of remote intimacy and immediate precarity

Artist Statement 

June 13, MACBA – Convent dels Àngels. Session: Time and Space: Zooming in/out

Keywords: sciart, bioart, embodiment, interspecies relations, tactility

Syndemic Sublime is an illustrated artist talk by transdisciplinary artist Laura Splan. Her research-based studio practice connects artifacts of science and technology to everyday lives through embodied interactions, tactile experiences, and sensory encounters. She will present recent projects and works in progress exploring complex systems and hidden labor in the contemporary biomedical landscape. Her Syndemic Sublime seriesexplores the interconnectedness of cultural and biological systems during the pandemic with data-driven animations, installations & videos created with molecular visualization software and coronavirus models. Precarious Structures explores liminal states of perception and interspecies entanglements with videos, animations & prints. Remote Disruptions explores invisible systems and poetic subjectivities of biotechnology with networked sculptures, Twitter activated laboratory devices, and recorded Zoom performances with scientists. Metanarratives engages viewers with unseen materialities of biotechnology with tactile sculptures created from the fiber of laboratory llamas who produce antibodies for human vaccines. Anticipatory Acts monumentalizes interstitial moments in cellular biology with neon and kinetic sculptures. Using both traditional and experimental media, Splan reconsiders representations of the body to interrogate cultural constructions of “self “and “other”. She uses uncanny combinations of materials and processes to invite an investigation of detail, calling into question how things are made and what they are made of while eliciting narrative interpretation and speculation. Her artworks and exhibitions attempt to reframe complex biomedical issues with provocations of curiosity and wonder that inspire audiences to think critically about the role of biotechnology in our daily lives.

  • Laura Splan (USA) is a transdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of science, technology, and culture. Her artworks have been commissioned by The Centers for Disease Control Foundation and Triënnale Brugge, exhibited at the Museum of Arts & Design and the Beall Center for Art + Technology, and are represented in the collections of the Thoma Art Foundation and The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Articles including her work have appeared in The New York Times, Discover, designboom, CLOT, and Frieze. Publications featuring her artwork include The Routledge Companion To Biology In Art & Architecture. Splan has received research funding from The Jerome Foundation and her residencies have been supported by The Knight Foundation and The Institute for Electronic Arts. She has been a lecturer at Stanford University and her research as a member of the New Museum’s NEW INC Creative Science incubator has included collaborations with scientists to explore interspecies entanglements. http://laurasplan.com