2010 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 2010:

Robin Fox + Bionic Ear Institute (Melbourne, Australia)

Robin FoxWhilst cochlear implants have been remarkably successful in restoring speech perception, they present an issue in music appreciation for implant users. Robin Fox, one of Australia’s leading audio-visual, sound and computer music artists, worked with researchers from the Bionic Ear Institute’s Music and Pitch Project Team to create musical compositions tailored specifically for implant users. The collaboration allowed Fox to further his research into audio-visual equivalence by conducting a series of experiments investigating whether visual stimuli accompanying sound can increase the musical experience for the hearing impaired.

Image: Robin Fox at the Bionic Ear Institute 

Chris Henschke + Australian Synchrotron (Melbourne, Australia)

HenschkeIn 2007, artist Chris Henschke completed a residency at the Australian Synchrotron, supported by Arts Victoria’s Innovation Residency program and ANAT. Following this, he continued to build his understanding of the facility and strengthened his relationships with the resident scientists, a process that has informed this project. ‘Lightbridge’ aimed to create an audio-visual interface to explore the nature of the synchrotron’s ‘tune’ – what scientists call the complex frequency harmonics generated from the synchrotron’s beam status and position data – and to make this real-time data available to other artists and researchers.

Image: Still from Lightring animation 

Erica Seccombe + Department of Applied Mathematics, Australian National University (Canberra, Australia)

SeccombeVisual artist, Erica Seccombe worked with experimental and theoretical scientists from the Department of Applied Mathematics on a collaboration that will assist towards understanding the complex interrelationship of mechanical 3D components of physical objects and balancing visual density with information content. A complementary and concurrent focus on the visualisation and animation of complex datasets also contributed to Seccombe’s long-term research project looking at the influence of scientific technology on visual media and contemporary art, as well as producing a wealth of material for use in future artworks.

Image: A leaf imaged in the closed FluroCam 

Meredith Walsh + Pier Luigi Luisi Synthetic Biology Laboratory (Rome, Italy)

Meredith WalshThe primary research undertaken at the Pier Luigi Luisi Lab investigates the self-organisation and self-reproduction of chemical and biological systems within ‘origins of life’ and cell model frameworks; in particular, the Lab uses random DNA sequencing to modify protein structure and synthesise new proteins. UK-based artist Meredith Walsh wanted to take this a full step further: rather than relying on random selection, she experimented with modifying proteins using aesthetic criteria to question the ways in which the design and modification of proteins can alter their architecture and expression and to address the ethical implications of designing new biological systems.

Image: Viewing DNA structure under UV light

Ken & Julia Yonetani + Sunrise 21 + The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (Mildura, Australia)

Still Life: The Food BowlVisual artists, Ken and Julia Yonetani used their residency to further their practice of collaborating with scientists to produce outstanding works engaging with the fragility of the environment. Their recent collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine Science resulted in the work Sweet Barrier Reef, which represented Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale. The Water Memory project focused on water as life-force and carrier of the ‘memory’ of all living entities -past, present and future. Sunrise 21′s expertise in advanced digital mapping and the Freshwater Research Centre’s work on water quality and ecology enabled a research engagement ranging from the microscopic to the macroscopic ‘big picture’.

Image: Still Life: The Food Bowl


Comments are closed.