Super Human: Revolution of the Species

A suite of events Inspired by the 150th publication anniversary of The Origin of Species, Darwin’s evolutionary treatise Super Human: Revolution of the Species turned the spotlight on collaborations between artists and scientists and the impact these have on what it means to be human, now and into the future. The full suite of events included:

Super Human Masterclass, 25 – 26 November 2009
Presented by ANAT in association with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), the masterclass provided a theoretical context for emerging practices within an international framework; identifying the key emerging artforms, artists and advocates; connecting curators, presenting organisations and resource networks; exploring the impact gallery space and exhibition design have on emerging artforms; and identifing audience development and marketing strategies. Held over two days in ACMI’s Cube building, the masterclass allowed for intensive exploration of curatorial themes. Presenters included:
Bio & Nano Art: Jens Hauser (France), Mike Stubbs (England), Paul Thomas (Australia)
Digital & Virtual Play
: Erich Berger (Finland), Angela Main (New Zealand), Kathy Cleland (Australia), Helen Stuckey (Australia)
Interactive Installations
: Christiane Paul (USA), George Poonkhin Khut (Australia), Tina Gonsalves (Australia), Lizzie Muller (Australia)
Research & Networks: Douglas Kahn (USA), Amanda McDonald Crowley (USA), Sarah Cook (England), Kim Machan (Australia)

Super Human Exhibition, 5 November – 5 December 2009, Artists’ Reception 22 November 2009
Presented by ANAT in association with the RMIT Gallery this Art Science exhibition showcased works by leading Australasian artists.  The works reframed the Cartesian body within contemporary culture, focusing on Cognition & Neurology (Mind), Augmentation & Biological Manipulation (Body) and Nanoscale Interventions (the Soul, the ‘not visible’).

Embracelet, by Jonathan Duckworth, provides tactility and augmented visual feedback based on grip strength

Embracelet, by Jonathan Duckworth, provides tactility and augmented visual feedback based on grip strength

The works exhibited were:
Alembic and Retort
George Poonkhin Khut
Chameleon – Tina Gonsalves
Drift – Leah Heiss
Embracelet and ElementsJonathan Duckworth
Fibre Reactive
– Donna Franklin
Justine Cooper
Machine Gun Walker –
Brad Nunn
Angela Main
Paul Thomas in collaboration with Kevin Raxworthy
NoArk II
Tissue Culture & Art Project
The Electric Retina
– Jill Scott
The Fish-Bird Series (2004-09)
Mari Velonaki in collaboration with David Rye & Steve Scheding.

Super Human Symposium, 23 – 24 November 2009
Presented in association with ANAT’s academic partner RMIT’s Second Nature Journal and taking place over two days at the BMW Edge Federation Square, the Super Human Symposium presented an invigorating and inspiring mix of keynote speakers and collaborative research projects engaging with one or more of the symposium themes: Augmentation, Cognition and Nanoscale Interventions.

Questions that the symposium addressed included, but were not limited to:

  • How do scientific and artistic bodies of knowledge intersect with human, social bodies?
  • Does art serve simply as a representational tool for the sciences or is there more to the picture than that?
  • Does research into bodies and their systems offer an insight into aesthetics, or is it confined to the purely functional?

Barbara Maria Stafford, USA
Ju Gosling, UK
Junichi Ushiba, Japan
Tami Spector, USA
Paul Brown, Australia/UK

Panel Presentations
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, UK
Danielle Wilde, Australia
Dolores Steinman, Canada
Jonathan Duckworth, Australia
Kathryn Hoffmann, USA
Kathy Cleland, Australia
Leah Heiss, Australia
Mari Velonaki, Australia
Michele Barker, Australia
Natasha Vita-More, USA
Reva Stone, Canada
Svenja Kratz, Australia
Tina Gonsalves, Australia

Read the Symposium papers as published in RMIT’s Second Nature Journal.
Listen to podcasts of the presentations.

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