In tandem to a reduction-to-praxis of biological narrativity through making, I have also been engaged in the development and dissemination of supportive critical theory for the new media-based biological narrative.
The biological narrative can be defined as an overlay of creative content onto a biologically-emulated structure to yield a conceptual map/template for an emerging form of narrativity. The establishment of the biological narrative as a point of convergence for new genres of electronic language builds on the inheritance and accumulation of our internal and external perspectives on life processes/lifeforms and the communicative legacy that has followed our emergence as a specie and our co-evolution with fellow protoplasts. The process of transmuting and transcoding biochemical pattern to electronic mediation of content has propagated scientific case studies, cinematic creativity and cyberpoetics from previous narrative manifestations.
A conceptual new media-based architecture of potential resources, configurations and applications delineates an exchange between in vivo and in silico contexts for authoring and extending the biological narrative. New media-based prototypes as captured video and “performative” bioinformatic datasets are presented on this website and reduce such a genre to praxis by fostering a new media-driven dialectic in the domains of biopoetics, biosemiotics and bioethics. The realization of these creative works yields a perspectives/reference within biological space that is convergent with the lexicon of electronic language. The conceptual architecture of new media-based biological narrativity can be visualized as groupings of sources, operators and interactions which are the collective meta-components that converge for assemblage. The connection and assemblage of these groupings stream meta-components into an interpretive and discernable output as expression and possibly as application through methods of process patching.
The approaches of this genre of work is both speculative and exploratory with regard to outcome and possibility regarding the emergence of new forms of narration and re-narration. Meta-ecological channel patching might lead to new biological/environmental sensibilities and speculative data dialogues regarding ecological memory and the adaptive fate of bioculturalism.
Relating to this critical theory development in biological narrativity is the publication/dissemination of these supportive works.
A copy of “Biomimetics: Emulation and Propagation in Post-traditional Ecologies",as part of “Second Nature: Reproduction and the Artificial in Art, Science and New Media”, Rolf Hughes & Jenny Sunden, Editors, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden is available for download. More info also available in the publications section of this website.
A partial abstract follows:
The strategy of applied biomimetics has been heralded as design innovation inspired by nature. The inclusive process takes in phases of bioprospecting, biophilia, and emulated biosemiotics to arrive at an implementation of engineered design that ideally might carry implicit biological/environmental sensibilities. Applied elements from this strategy can be found in cybernetics, therapeutics/medicine, structural engineering, militarized intelligence and now in the propagation of new media art practices. While the idealized practice emulates a platform of honoring/sustaining the original thru the preservation of context, the extended practice in post-traditional ecologies frequently crosses the lines of biopiracy and sustains a distancing spiral of simulacra thru a re-wiring of ecological consciousness.
This essay examines the intent and impact of applied biomimetics across a spectrum of creative and technological-mediated processes through three comparative lenses: as the scientific characterization of natural biological systems; as historically-rooted sociocultural performances/practices and as contemporary engineered-design and creative media-based expression. The objective of comparison through these three perspectives on the biomimetic approach to the appropriation and emulation of natural systems is to align the phenomena and practice within the contextual realms of traditional and post-traditional ecologies as a means of characterizing the distance between origin and derivative in this creative biocultural practice.
Recent conference lectures, presentations and publication for these critical theoretical works:
“Biological Narrative #7: Danaus”, 11th Subtle Technologies 2008, Symposium, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“Re-wiring the Biological Narrative: Telematic to Biophilia Connections”, Figurations of Knowledge, 5th Biannual European Conference of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin, Germany
“Authoring the Biological Narrative” & “Artists’ Presentation: microMacroCosm”, Close Encounters: 4th European Biannual Conference of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (European SLSA), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
“Biomimetics: Emulation and Propagation in Post-traditional Ecologies”, chapter contribution to “Second Nature: Reproduction and the Artificial in Art, Science and New Media”, Rolf Hughes & Jenny Sunden, Editors, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (in press)
“Authoring the Biological Narrative,” New Forms Festival 05 – Ecologies, NFF 05 Conference: “Eco Systems: Negotiating Natural, Cultural and Technological Systems in Post-traditional Ecology”, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
“The Virtual City”, Panel Chair, 6th ELL Colloquium, University of Denver, Denver, CO
“Biological Narrative 1 thru 5,” FILE Symposium 2004 (Festival Internacional de Linguagem Eletrônica), SESI Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
"Spawning the Biological Narrative," Rethinking Space + Time Across Science, Literature and the Arts, 17th Conference of the Society for Literature and Science (SLS), Austin, TX