WGXC-90.7 FM

Saturday Afternoon Show: Saturday Afternoon Show: Andrea Polli, John Donalds

Aug 16, 2014: 4pm - 6pm
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Wave Farm Radio

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Hosted by Tom Roe.

Andrea Polli and John Donalds present a program featuring interviews and sounds on the subject of biotechnology. Inspired by a traditional teahouse, 'T' House provides a framework and forum for the discussion of sustainability and climate change issues as they relate to food production--including the impacts of GMO and other synthetic biology.

Write Polli and Donalds, "The 'T' House is the second phase of a project that began with the Biokitchen, a mobile, hybrid kitchen/biology laboratory for mixing traditional building materials with living materials like microbial cellulose. Through a series of invited workshops in bio art, we have internationally investigated and grown heirloom microbes, for example wild yeasts, lacto-bacilli including those in chile stems and ant eggs, the Japanese fungi Koji, and symbiotic cultures such as kombucha SCOBY. We used SCOBYs to create microbial cellulose material for projection screens and clothing for the Biokitchen. The Biokitchen was hosted by the Explora! Science museum in Albuquerque for the opening reception of the International Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) 2013 Conference.

In response to the pervasive integration of digital and biological technologies within the fabric of many global cultures and the social and environmental implications of these technologies, the artist/architectural designer team BioCultura combines public art, architecture and networked media to create interventions, events, objects, publications, multi- functional built spaces and other artworks focused on social transformation. As an interdisciplinary pair of practitioners, BioCultura has collective and individual experience collaborating with scientists, engineers, community organizations and museums and other artists in large and small groups.

Principal artist Andrea Polli is an artist and scholar working at the intersection of art, science and technology whose practice includes public media performance and installation, interventions, curating, directing and writing. She is an Associate Professor in Art & Ecology with a joint appointment between Fine Arts and Engineering, holds the Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media, and is the Director of the Social Media Workgroup at The University of New Mexico. She earned a doctorate in practice-led art from the University of Plymouth in the UK and a Master of Fine Arts in Time Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Polli has been creating media and technology artworks related to environmental science issues since 1999, when she first began collaborating with atmospheric scientists on sound and data sonification projects. Among other organizations, she has worked with the NASA/Goddard Institute Climate Research Group and the National Center for Atmospheric Research and her artwork and research has been funded by The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Fulbright including two over $1.5 million projects: the NEA-supported ISEA2012: Machine Wilderness throughout New Mexico and the Southwest and the 5-year NSF-funded SEPTET project.

Polli's work with art/science, technology has been presented widely in over one hundred presentations, exhibitions and performances internationally including the Whitney Museum of American Art Artport and The Field Museum of Natural History, and has been recognized by numerous grants, residencies and awards including NYFA, Fulbright and UNESCO. Her work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News, NY Arts and others. She has published several audio CDs, DVDs two book chapters and many papers with MIT Press, Cambridge University Press and others. Her latest book is Far Field: Digital Culture, Climate Change and the Poles published by Intellect Press.

Born and raised in Southern California, architectural design collaborator John Donalds' work combines media and architectural theory and practice by designing fantastical spaces that mix futuristic materials and forms with traditional, buildable structures. A practicing digital media artist, in 2000 he had the opportunity to lead the design of high-end networked photography and video laboratory spaces at Oberlin College. During this process, he discovered a passion for architectural practice and returned to school to pursue a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Syracuse where he combined his professional background in video and photography with his ideas for reframing physical and virtual space in his 2013 project Network Home.

As a collaborator, Donalds has produced significant bodies of work with photographer Julie Holcombe and sculptor Bill Gilbert. In 2010, he was project manager for a series of portals for DestinyUSA, the largest Leed Gold Certified commercial building in the US at the time. He recently collaborated with landscape architect Catherine Harris and photographer Meridel Rubenstein to produce a model of a human wastewater garden planned for Iraq's first national park at the conflux of the Tigres and Euphrates. This project, Eden Again, was featured in The 2012 International Symposium for Electronic Art in Albuquerque.

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