Artist Talk and Bacterial Painting Workshop with Nurit Bar-Shai

Biotechnology is a fast growing field with footprints in every aspect of our lives. Engineering and manipulating life itself is not that far-fetched these days, and the technology to read and write DNA is cheaper and more accessible. This new biotechnology revolution allows artists and citizen scientists to tinker with the living world. Nurit Bar-Shai, artist and cofounder of Genspace, the first community biotech lab, talked about her artwork practice using biological systems, her collaborations with scientist and the rise of citizen science labs and DIYbio culture.

Bar-Shai is an interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of art, science and technology. She is the co-founder of Genspace NYC, a community biotech lab in Brooklyn, NY. As an artist and educator working with biological systems, she conducts experiments through creative collaborative inquiries and addresses the ethics and the emerging practices of Do-It-Yourself Biology and citizen science. Her artwork looks into microbial social networks and communication systems, collective collaboration, emergence, Soft-Genetic Modification and biomaterial fabrication.

Her work can be found at

More about this event here.

Circulation: Extraction and (Earth) Return workshop with Martin Howse

circwkshopfff01310The Speculative Life Cluster at the Milieux Institute @ Concordia will be hosting a workshop with artist Martin Howse

WHEN: November 17  4-8PM
WHERE: Perte de Signal Gallery (5445 avenue De Gaspé, local #107)


Let the waters above the heavens fall, and the earth will yield its fruit.
Circulation explores the material bases of contemporary media, intervening within cycles of earth-extraction-earth-return in which the minerals which form the material basis of digital technology are pulled from the ground using large-scale industrial processes, eventually to be re-absorbed in the form of e-waste and pollution. The workshop will cross and leak across disciplines of computational culture, logic, geology, alchemy, chemistry and literature.

During the workshop we will discuss, research and conduct practical experiments focussing on material processes involved in extraction (of precious metals for technology) and the dissolution (of technology back into the earth). These experimental situations ask questions about the links between (the) earth and communications/computational technologies. Amongst other actions, participants will: refine silicon and other computational materials from sand obtained from mining sites, culture bacteria involved in processes of acid mine drainage and undertake simple analysis of such matters, undertake the speculative assembly of dissolution-inspired Turing Machines and fluid logic devices.

Circulation forms part of Dissolutions, an artistic research residency and exhibition project initiated by Berlin-based artist Martin Howse, curated by Peter Flemming in collaboration with OBORO and Perte de Signal, with support from the Goethe-Institut Montréal.

About Martin Howse:

The interdisciplinary work of Martin Howse is pre-occupied with a broad questioning of the exact location of execution and of code within the world (psychogeophysics). Through the construction of experimental situations (within process-driven performance, laboratories, walks, and workshops), material art works and texts, Martin Howse explores the rich links between substance or materials and execution or protocol, excavating issues of visibility and of hiding within the world. Since 1998, Martin Howse has published, workshopped, performed and exhibited worldwide.

This event should be of interest to a range of people interested in geology, media, computation, science, waste, and magic…

MilieuxMake workshop series presents Altering perceptions: Imaging microscopy



MilieuxMake Worsksop Series presents:
Altering perceptions: Imaging microscopy
Friday October 28th, 1-4pm
EV 10.835 (Speculative Life Lab)
Instructors: Marc Beaulieu and WhiteFeather Hunter

In this workshop, we will explore the use of a variety of microscopes that can be used for imaging tiny worlds: from DIY/hacked smartphone lenses to live feed video microscopes to a professional lab-grade compound microscope adapted for video and animation capabilities. After an introductory presentation, participants will begin with constructing take-away mobile microscopes (bring your smartphone). Glass microscopy plates containing various hand-dyed tissue specimens will be on hand, as well as several textile samples to examine fibre structures. Participants are invited to bring assorted materials for use with the various imaging technologies.

As the first in a series of MilieuxMake workshops, we will be looking as to how new perspectives on objects can inspire new strategies for creation and innovation, leading into the next workshop for adapting captured imagery to create 3D objects, both physical and virtual.

* This workshop has no training prerequisites. Presented in collaboration with the Speculative Live research cluster at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology, with the support of Hexagram.