Biomodd Presentation – Angelo Vermeulen

Results of Biomodd Philipines - a months long collaboration

In this artist talk Angelo Vermeulen will present his biology-inspired works. He will focus on Biomodd, a worldwide cross-cultural installation project in which ecology, community building, and case modding creatively converge. The first version was created at The Aesthetic Technologies Lab in Athens, Ohio between 2007 and 2008. In October 2009, the project’s second iteration in the Philippines was finalized after an 8-month long collaboration with a team of over 50 Filipino artists, scientists, engineers, gamers, craftsmen, volunteers and students. Future versions are planned in Singapore and Brazil. During the talk, Biomodd will be elaborated upon using video excerpts, photos, work sketches and participant testimonies. Vermeulen will also introduce Corrupted C#n#m#, his most recent art project set up in collaboration with FLUXspace in Philadelphia, FoAM and Sound Image Culture in Brussels. The work deals with biological infected electronics, glitch art, and the physicality of digital media.

Pecha Kucha Maastricht

Angelo Vermeulen is a visual artist, filmmaker, biologist, author, activist, and DJ. His research in ecology, environmental pollution and teratology informs his art, which includes bio installations, experimental setups incorporating living organisms and sci-fi references. His projects include ‘Blue Shift’, a Darwinian art project in collaboration with biologist Prof. Luc De Meester, and ‘Biomodd’, a worldwide series of cross-cultural, symbiotic installations fusing game culture, ecology and social interaction. Next to developing a new experimental cinema project based on biologically infected electronics, he currently also collaborates with the MELiSSA life support division of the European Space Agency. Vermeulen co-authored the book ‘Baudelaire in Cyberspace: Dialogues on Art, Science and Digital Culture’, with art philosopher Antoon Van den Braembussche, and lectures throughout Europe, Southeast Asia and North America.

Hui/Symposium Info

SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens — Hui/Symposium Information

How can we re-imagine our relationships with nature?

Dates: 14-16th of January, 2011
Location: Owae Marae, Waitara, Taranaki
Time: Public persons or registrants must arrive by 9am at Marae gates on Jan 14 in order to register and join. Powhiri is at 10am.
Topic Areas: See summary here
Registration: See costs & register here

Topical Statement

As one of the early generations of the anthropocene — we are only just becoming aware of the recent effects of our species on the biosphere. Yet we find ourselves needing to adapt — and fast. A re-invention of ourselves as a beneficial (or at least benign) part of local and global complex ecologies is now required in order to regenerate these systems on which we depend.

By bringing together ideas and interventions from a variety of disciplines and understandings, can we address these complex issues more effectively? And what are the creative, inventive and inspiring toolkits that might help assist such a large-scale re-imagining of our cultural narratives we have of ourselves as a species?

In this event we seek to explore the creative spaces between cultures, ecologies, sciences, creative practises, psychology and technologies. In sharing our understandings, explorations and discoveries we hope to inspire ourselves to momentary fluidities of perception that might prove useful in nudging our own hardened cultural paradigms and silos of specialisation.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru

Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru
Taranaki Kaumatua

Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru is a Taranaki kaumatua with a nationally significant record of contributions to the cultural life of Aotearoa including early work in developing Māori Television and ensuring a path for legislation of the Māori language to be held as a national taonga. He is Te kāhui kaumātua for the Tertiary Education Union Council, serves as a Guardian of Taranaki, and holds an Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to Māori submissions on the radio spectrum.

Dr Ruth Irwin

Dr Ruth Irwin
Ethics Philosopher focusing on Climate Change

Ruth Irwin is a Senior Lecturer in ethics with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Business Studies. Her research interests include Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze and Guattari, and ecofeminism, modernity, and climate change. She engages with globalization, philosophy of economics, philosophy of education, and philosophy of technology. She is the author of three books and she has published journal articles and book chapters on Nietzsche, Heidegger, the critique of neoliberalism, philosophy of subjectivity, philosophy of education, philosophy of science and technology, globalisation, and the philosophical and cultural implications of climate change. Ruth Irwin is a foundational member of the Sustainability Research Group at AUT.

Roger Malina

Roger Malina
Astrophysicist and proponent for art/science collaborations.

Roger Malina is an astronomer, with a speciality in space telescopes and observational cosmology. He is currently a researcher at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, and Acting Director for the Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence. For 25 years he has been the Editor of the Art-Science publication Leonardo at MIT Press and am Executive Editor of the Leonardo Book Series at MIT Press. He is the President of the Association Leonardo in Paris, and a member of the board of Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology in San Francisco. Malina is particularly interested in promoting the cultural appropriation on contemporary sciences and technology and new ways of creating conditions for art-science collaboration.

You are invited to an Interdisciplinary Event

The SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens symposium event invites individuals from a number of different worlds —such as scientists, artists, social activists and community change agents, cultural commentators, educators, and tangata whenua. In a sharing of intersecting explorations we aim to facilitate connections, and extend perspectives on ourselves and our ecologies. Allowing new ways of approaching the issues we are facing to emerge.

Accordingly, a mixture of presentations, discussions, informal exchanges and workshops are planned. Roger Malina will be presenting from France on the citizen science of ‘Open observatories’, and Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru will speak on Maori conceptions of environment. The symposium will inspire and inform the residency that follows, and also provide opportunities for people to collaborate on projects beyond SCANZ.

Symposium Format

Friday 14th — Saturday 15th
The SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens symposium will be initiated with a powhiri, or welcoming ceremony. After Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru speaks as our keynote, the main sessions of the symposium will be made up of short presentations of current or relevant explorations in participant’s work, with breakout discussions. Some shared session topics will be selected by the participants.

As a number of different disciplines will be present, we expect all participants to come with a respect for and willingness to engage with the differing viewpoints of other areas of specialisation. It will also be an all-pitch-in arrangement, where we will be organising and making our own meals together, and sleeping in the shared space of the wharenui (central meeting house) together, as is customary.

Sunday 16th — Open Workshop Day
As we wish for the event to feed inspiring ideas into the already existing local eco-energies, on the third day of the symposium/hui we plan to hold an open-to-all day of workshops and talks for which anyone can come and join. Please note that people joining us who have not already been on this marae, will need to arrive by 9am at the Marae Gates on the sunday, in order to be welcomed on for the day’s workshops.

See the Open Workshop Day page for more details.

For your networks

If you are interested in joining for the symposium, or know others who might be, please feel free to download this flyer and distribute.

Download Flyer

Solar Powered Art Workshops – Andrew Hornblow

A student experiments with moisture sensors

Andrew is a local electronics wizard who inspired kids all around the country with what they can do with electronics. Also a radio, and general technical wizard, Andrew will be running a series of workshops on solar powered art works for children, youth and adults.

A photolog of Andrew’s school workshops


Participate at the 2011 Festival of Lights:

Monday 17th 1-4 pm – Youth (age 13-19yrs) – Band Rotunda

Tuesday 18th 1-4 pm – Children (8-12 yrs) – Boat Shed Lawn

Thurday 27th 1-4 pm – Adults – Hatchery Lawn

Have a go at making some solar powered art – workshops for youth, children and adults.

Stories of Land and People – Jo Tito

self portrait

Jo is developing a series of workshops which creatively weave together the Taranaki landscape; combining the materials of harakeke (flax), kohatu (rock) and wai (water) with the power of digital storytelling. As a meditation on these materials the workshops bring forward a Maori conception of our connections to the environment, and how building our understanding of these kinds of connections might help to bring healing to our planet and peoples.

You are invited to participate:

Jo wishes to invite people from the local community and beyond who would be interested to join this workshop to practise their creative skills, or try new things and share their stories. Please keep an eye on this project page if you would be interested to join in. Jo’s workshops will also be a part of the Festival of Lights events, on the below the dates.

Participate as part of the Festival of Lights

January 18—21, 1-4pm – Youth  (age 13-19yrs) – Band Rotunda
January 24—26, 1-4pm – Adults – Band Rotunda
Join the artist Jo Tito to share your stories and weave together harakeke (flax), kohatu (rock) and wai (water) with digital storytelling. If you would like to register, visit the registration page here

For more information, see:
Taranaki Story on Jo’s work

Jo TitoJo Tito – I am a 37 year old Maori woman who is passionate about life and committed to bringing about change in the world. I have an innate love for and connection to the land and environment – this inspires me to be who I am and to live the life I live. I am a creative entrepreneur and artist who embraces all that I am. Connections and relationships are important to me and are at the heart of everything I do.

Ecotones – Janine Randerson

Ecotones (Image of installation detail of Cascade)

The bar-tailed godwit, the longest non-stop migrator of any species, is dependent on a global network of estuaries or ‘ecotones’, where terrestrial and marine ecosystems meet. These environments are under pressure due to being seen as transitional, unwanted, hybrid spaces. Janine’s project employs information from satellite telemetry and sonification to create a visual and acoustic reconception of the journey of these migratory birds. In this way the installation works to undermine the atomisation of North/South, human/non-human, air, sea and earthly relations.

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SCANZ 2011 Organising Team

Intercreate team

For the 2011 event the curatorial team of Intercreate were organised into the below roles. To see full biographies, you can visit the Intercreate Team page.

Trudy Lane, Creative Director – Focus: overall concept, symposium and symposium workshops, all print and online communications.

Ian M. Clothier, Co-organiser – Focus: residency & residency workshops

Nina Czegledy, Co-organiser – Focus: residency and external (remote guest) events



Intercreate team members were generously supported in the conceptual development and the project selection work by the thoughtful contributions of two very experienced and inspired collaborators Maggie Buxton and Grant Corbishley.

Maggie Buxton — Maggie has over 17 years experience in personal, professional, organisational and community development. This includes work with private, public and voluntary sector organisations across the globe. In recent years she has turned her attention to the interface between physical, digital, spiritual and imaginal spaces and a quest to generate sustainable transformation and have fun at the same time.

Grant Corbishley — Since 1986 Grant Corbishley has been involved in multi-discipline collaborative projects that have been exhibited in many countries. He is currently engaged in PhD research that involves participatory cartography, wireless and mobile technologies, environmental activism, and community concepts of stewardship.   Grant Corbishley is a senior lecturer and coordinator of the Cross Discipline Collaborative Projects Program at the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), NZ.


In addition, Trudy wishes to acknowledge the support given to her in the development of aspects of the 2011 hui/symposium by the following people:

Sophie Jerram of Now Future Together with Dugal McKinnon, the artist and curator Sophie Jerram has established an ongoing partnership to examine and promote artistic responses to climate change, Now Future. Now Future kindly partnered with Intercreate in providing support for the organisation and promotion of the 2011 symposium event.

Mike Dickison — An evolutionary biologist and science communicator with many a creative twist, Mike was a great sounding board and collaborator in the writing of symposium invitation texts aimed at the wider scientific community.


Assistant Organisers and Volunteers

Over the course of the event, many people pitch in, and their help is hugely appreciated. Here we acknowledge those who have stepped in with their own time to assist this event.

Laura Pullar — Our lovely event intern! Queen of social media, purveyor of all things online, keeper of the many flaming torches. We salute you Laura and will be eternally grateful for your dedicated and forthright assistance.

Vicki Smith — Galant hero, able to wield a video camera for several weeks at a moment’s notice. Vicki was of great assistance during the residency in her support of the UK artist Karen Ingham and her fabulous Pollinator Frocks project.



Intercreate wish to express their utmost thanks to all of the above who gave of their time to support the SCANZ 2011 project.