Hybrid Worlds: Nano_Biotech + Art
MFA DT 2011 Xian Zhang
Professor Victoria Vesna
Professor Siddharth Ramakrishnan
Net Intelligence is an interactive installation
visualizing the environment sensitivity of
mycelium. Mycelium is the vegetative state of
fungus spreading wide underground. It stays in
constant molecular communication with its
environment. This project takes inspiration
from the network pattern shared by the
internet, human nervous system and mycelium.
CONCEPT / TOPIC
The internet, the human nervous system and
fungal mycelium share the same network
pattern of information sharing. Benefit from
this pattern, all three systems react fast to
local changes and micro-climatic
conditions. Net Intelligence is a kinetic
installation that experiments with connecting
these three systems.
Intelligence has long been considered the central
property of humans. Recent developments in
computation and nano biological studies have raised
questions to this claim. What we considered as our
unique quality can be simulated by a machine and
be found in the behavior of microorganisms.
Are we pushing ourselves into an identity crisis?
"Hylozoic Soil" Philip Beesley
This immersive installation uses
sensors, interactive geotextile
and responsive membrane to
evoke emotional responses from
visitors. It raises questions of
the boundaries between nature
Net Intelligence uses self lighted strips of
responsive membrane, sensor and light projectors.
Dimly lite membrane forms a mycelium like network
pattern installed in a dark room. Center of the
network is hanging in the center of the ceiling. these
membrane spread out toward the edges of the
ceiling. When a visitor walk into the room, these
membrane reacts to the motion by moving its
branches. A projector projects light through the net
and the visitor's shadow can be seen with the
pattern on the floor.
Anker, Suzanne, 1946-. 2004. The molecular gaze : Art in the genetic age, ed.
Dorothy Nelkin. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. : Cold
Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Cooke, R. C. (R. 1977. Fungi, man, and his environment. London ; New York :
Gilder, George. Richards, J.W. 2002. Introduction: Are We Spiritual Machines?
The Beginning of a Debate; Discovery Institute.
Sylvie Parent, “Philip Beesley and Diane Willow: Reflexive Membranes” in The
Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology (2003):
Stamets, Paul. 2005. Mycelium running: How mushrooms can help save the
world; Berkeley, Calif. : Ten Speed Press.