[ISEA2023] Paper: Jill Scott — Jellyeyes: Symbiosis, Evolution, Vision


Short Paper. Theme Immersion(s) Sub theme Symbiotic Imaginaries

Jellyeye allows the audience to explore the evolution of our camera-based eyes and the effects of climate change on symbiont behaviour in and artwork about the Barrier Reef environment. Jellyeye is a tribute to Lynn Margulis and her research into a symbiotic theory of evolution (Margulis 1970) and her critical reactions to Neo-Darwinist theories that are based on population genetics. (See Film 2018)

It is an augmented reality artwork based on the idea that all of life is deeply interconnected and collaborative has radical implications for how we look at ourselves, evolution, and the environment. Through this augmented reality platform, the audience can explore the more controversial evolution of chloroplasts in both our photoreceptors that help us to monitor light and in coral blue green algae which perform photosynthesis. According to Margulis and due to chloroplasts evolved from early interactions with cyanobacteria. The audience uses an embedded iPad to follow stories based on two characters and three evolutionary theories: structural evolution, co-evolution, and comparative evolution. How might climate change influence the evolution of species in the Coral Reef in the future? How can we “see” this environment differently?

  • Dr. Jill Scott (AU/CH) is a media artist, a writer and art and science researcher. She is professor emerita at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZhdK) in Zürich and founded their Artists-in-Labs Program in 2000. Her own artwork spans 44 years of production about the human body and body politics. In the last 20 years she has focused human health based on research into symbiosis, molecular biology, neuroscience, botany, and ecology. She has had many international exhibitions in both art and science venues. She also directs LASER Salon in Zurich for the Leonardo Society USA and writes books on art and science (Springer and de Gruyter).