Georg Tremmel (BCL)

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BCL

BCLは福原志保とGeorg Tremmelによって2001年ロンドンで結成されたアーティスティック・リサーチ・フレームワーク。主にバイオテクノロジーや水をテーマに,自然・社会・文化環境と人々の意識との関係を探索している。活動拠点を東京とし,ICC(東京),アルスエレクトロニカ(オーストリア)を始めとする国内外の国際展での作品の制作,発表を続けている。

 福原志保は,ロンドンのセントラル・セント・マーチンズにてファインアートで学士,ロイヤル・カレッジ・オブ・アート(RCA)にてインタラクションデザインの修士号を卒業,フランス外務省特別給費生としてパリのパレ・ド・トーキョーに滞在し, アーティスト・イン・レジデンスとして岐阜県のIAMASにて滞在し制作活動を行う.

 トレメルは,ウィーンの応用美術大学(アンゲバンテ)にて, Media Artと,RCAにてインタラクションデザインの修士号を取得した後, オーストリア文化庁からの助成を受け,神奈川県藤野町「オーストリア芸術家の家」でアーティスト・イン・レジデンスとして来日し,それ以降日本を拠点に活動を続けている。

 福原とトレメルは, Biopresence BCLというアーティスティック・リサーチ・フレームワークを共にたち上げ, 主にバイオテクノロジーの発展と水問題による社会へのインパクトと,私達の意識が,自然・社会・文化それぞれの環境においていかに映し出されているのかを探索し 科学, アート, デザインの領域を超えた活動を続けている. また「共同ハッキング」などのプロジェクトを通じて「閉じられた」テクノロジーや独占市場に介入し, それらを人々に開いていくことをミッションとしている.

作品

CULTIGEN 9

(Winogradsky columns, Microorganisms, Storage Media Artefacts) 

Microorganisms are the dominant form of life on this planet. But despite their abundance and commonplaceness, a vast amount of bacterial life-forms and their living conditions are still unknown. In order examine, investigate and research bacteria, it is necessary to grow and cultivate them. For this, two approaches are possible.

The first is the ‘Isolation’ or ‘Pure Culture’ method in which only the desired organism is cultivated on a special, tailor-made growth medium; any other organism growing in this bacterial mono-culture is considered a contamination. The opposite of this singular approach is the ‘Co-habitation’ or ‘Mixed Culture’ method, also known after one its first practitioner as the ‘Winogradsky Column’. In this method, a diverse bacterial ecosystem is created, that allows for the nutritional interaction between different organisms. In the Winogradsky column a range of ecological environments are available and inhabited by different organisms to form a cohabitative, collaborative, cooperative culture. This tight coupling of microbial communities in an enclosed ecosystem can serve as a complex model of cooperative life.

In this work, we investigate the connections and interfaces between Nature and Culture by exposing microscopic cultures to significant examples of human media-cultural artefacts. These artefacts represent the historical range of storage media technologies. Each Winogradsky column is seeded with one specific type of storage media:

                – Paper (Books, Newspaper) : Text

                – Photograph                            : Image

                – Film                                      : Moving Image, Sound

                – Vinyl Record                           : Sound

                – Magnetic Tape                       : Video, Sound, Data

                – Hard disk                              : Data

                – Optical Disk (CD, DVD)         : Video, Sound, Data

                – Flash RAM, SSD    : Data

                – DNA, GM Organisms             : Data, Life 

As each microorganism has different nutritional needs and produces different chemical byproducts, each column will develop an unique ecosystem that fits to the ecological niches in the Winogradsky column. Physical properties of the column – light, oxygen, sulfur, carbon, etc – occur stratified in the column, therefore creating a range of possible conditions for the bacteria. The addition of the media-cultural artefacts adds another, unique nutrition source to the bacterial ecosystem.

Our interest is in creating an observation opportunity for the confrontation between ‘Nature’ (as represented by the microorganisms) and ‘Culture’ (as represented by the cultural artefact of human storage media). The physical properties of each storage medium (Cellulose, Carbon, Metals, etc) can be absorbed by certain microorganisms, incorporated into the bacterial ecosystem and thus the human culture can be translated back into nature.

Books, Photographs, Film, Records, Tapes, Hard-disks, optical disks and RAM represent the historical evolution of storage media and are a reflection of human cultural development. The last columns does contains a forward-looking storage media: Genetically modified cyanobacteria carrying data in their DNA. Current technology shows some cautious attempts in using DNA as a storage medium, but any practical uses have not yet been developed. We are curious to find out what happens, when culture – the storage media in the shape of DNA – becomes indistinguishable from nature itself.

 – Artist Statement

Recent developments in biotechnology, genetic engineering and synthetic biology have started to undermine our concepts of nature, of life, of death and of ourselves.

Biology and its emerging technologies are creating a range of possible applications and reconfigurations of society in general and human nature in particular.

We are not interested in art about science and technology, but in art with science and technology. We are interested in envisioning and creating possible futures and for this it is necessary to understand, learn and being able to apply cutting-edge technologies. The coming convergence of biological-, nano- and cognitive sciences will be in the need of ethical perspectives, and artists will no longer have the function of creating artworks but of creating future scenarios and possibilities for mankind.

Our specific interests have been surrounded by the central question: “Can we own Nature or is Nature owning us?” What does this ownership mean, can we even think ourselves distinct from nature?

“Common Flower / Flower Commons” was concerned with genetically-modified blue carnations, which are the first genetically-modified commercially available products, which are neither animal feed nor human food, but serve a purely aesthetic purpose. The commercial introduction prompted us to created procedures for legally copying and releasing the flowers. By doing this we were questioning the ownership of the plant and what kind of control the consumer can have.

“Biopresence” created a future scenario in which the complete DNA of a human being is stored with the DNA of tree, but without affecting the tree’s biological functions. The resulting tree would serve as an ‘transgenic tombstone’ and a ‘living memorial’.

Our series of work, entitled ‘The Source’ has been dealing with the dichotomy between science and mysticism of water. We were exploring the geopolitical importance of water as a commodity in Singapore and investigating the different meanings water can accumulated through culture (‘powerspots’, ‘spiritual water’, ‘homeopathy’, etc).

The themes ‘DNA’ and ‘Water’ have in common that they appear both in the real and in the symbolic space.

COMMON FLOWERS / FLOWER COMMONS

展示・ワークショップ歴

2005

‘光州デザインビエンナーレ’ 光州, 韓国

‘open nature’, NTT InterCommunication Center, 東京

キッズ・ワークショップ’DNA Cooking!-DNAを見て,触って,食べてみよう!’, NTTICC, 東京

‘POP Noire’, Israel Museum of Jerusalem, エルサレム, イスラエル

‘Today In Paradise: Mobileart 05’, Göteborg New Media Art Festival’, Röda Sten, ヨーテボリ, スウェーデン

‘Science Festival, エディンバラ, スコットランド

2006

‘Design Biennale’, Saint-Etitienne, フランス

‘テクノコード遊民の縁側 (Flaneurs on the Edge of Technocodes)’, 大垣

‘はじまりの水(Source of Life)’, Bankart 1929 NYK, 横浜

2007

‘BIOS 4’, Sevilla, スペイン

2008

‘The Beautiful Children’ , Wharf Road Project, ロンドン, 英国

‘Nam June Paik Award Exhibition’, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, ケルン, ドイツ

‘ISEA 2008 Juried Exhibition’, 国立シンガポール博物館, シンガポール

‘Evolution Haute Couture’, サンクト・ペテルブルク, ロシア

2009

‘Coded Cultures’, ウィーン, オーストリア

‘CyberArts 2009’, OK Center, Ars Electronica Festival, リンツ, オーストリア

2010

文化庁メディア芸術祭’, 国立新美術館, 東京

‘Interferenze Seeds Tokyo 2010’, Vacant, 東京

‘International Symposium for Electronic Arts (ISEA) 2010’, ルール, ドイツ

‘Alter Nature: We Can’, Z33, ハセルト, ベルギー

2011

‘公開講座「バイオメディアアート・ワークショップ」’ 東京芸術大学, 東京

‘芳流庵展2011’, 山口県山口市, 展示とワークショップ

2012

‘INTIMATE SCIENCE’, カーネギーメロン大学 Miller Gallery, ピッツバーグ, アメリカ

ワークショップ, ‘DNAを触って,食べよう‘, アート・シンクロ展, Creative Hub131, 東京

‘The Fourth State of Water: From Micro to Marcro’, Center of Contemporary Art, トルン, ポーランド

‘INTIMATE SCIENCE’, Southern Exposure, サンフランシスコ, アメリカ

‘Possible Water’, 東京ドイツ文化センター, 東京

連絡先

http://bcl.biopresence.com/

経歴

2003 – 2005 Pioneer, NESTA (英国科学技術芸術基金)

2004 – 現在 Biopresence Ltd. 共同設立者

2008 アーティスト・イン・レジデンス, 国立シンガポール大学

2010 – 現在 GCOE研究員, 東京大学医科学研究所 ヒトゲノム解析センター DNA情報解析分野