2008/2009 Synapse Residency Program

Synapse, an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts and ANAT, supports collaborations between artists and scientists

The following Australian artists were awarded Synapse residencies for 2008/2009:

Nicky Forster & Willoh Weiland + Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University

voidSwinburne’s Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing (CAS) continues its strong commitment to inter-disciplinary research, having previously hosted ANAT residencies in 2004 and 2007. In this project, Forster and Weiland resume their successful partnership investigating issues in contemporary astronomy by drawing upon the research obsessions and cosmological programs resulting from the Centre’s involvement in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a new-generation radio telescope. For the duration of the residency (which, aptly, continues into 2009 – the International Year of Astronomy), the duo will podcast a soap opera in fortnightly instalments organised around the key project areas of the SKA, invigorating existing models of scientific outreach in the process.

Image: Void Love by Nicky Forster & Willoh Weiland.  Photograph: Davina Adamson

Dr Peter Morse + Australian Antarctic Division, Tasmania + Western Australian Supercomputer Project, University of Western Australia

Morse2009Morse draws on his substantial experience in digital media production to create work engaging with the Antarctic region. His more recent works have utilised 3D, stereoscopic and 360° immersive technologies, leading to a continuing interest in the visualisation of complex datasets. Working with data provided by the AAD and using the computer resources and expertise at WASP, Morse and his collaborators will create volumetric visualisations for the full-dome (planetarium) format representing both empirical and aesthetic features of the data and eliciting an understanding of complex connections between parameters that would not have been revealed or communicated in any other way.

Image: Ocean, 2009. Photograph: Peter Morse

Lynette Wallworth + Confocal Bio-Imaging Facility, University of Western Sydney

wallworthWallworth and Dr Anya Salih of Confocal BioSalih worked together in 2001 and again in 2007 on Hold: Vessels 1 & 2. Their current project draws on Salih’s ground-breaking research into the photoprotective function of GFP (green fluorescent protein) in corals and Wallworth brings this together with a study into a luminescent bacteria (Photorhabdus luminescens) thought to be responsible for the increased efficacy of wound-healing in humans in extreme temperatures. The combination of these disparate research fields is made possible by the CBIF’s capacity to analyse changes in living cells over time, with the resulting datasets forming the basis of an interactive installation utilising Wallworth’s experiments with luminescent glass carried out in 2006.

Image: Lynette Wallworth, Hold Vessel 2001. Photograph: (detail) Colin Davison

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