cellF – Guy Ben-Ary/Nathan Thompson/Andrew Fitch/Darren MoorePresented by We Are Europe
What does it mean to be alive? Perth-based innovator and media-artist Guy Ben-Ary aims to answer this question with his biotechnological artworks. At this year’s edition, TodaysArt presents the Dutch premiere of Guy Ben-Ary’s work ‘cellF’: the world’s first neural analogue synthesizer and a rock star alter-ego in a petri dish.
CellF is a collaboration between Guy Ben-Ary, Nathan Thompson, Andrew Fitch, Darren Moore, Stuart Hodgetts, Mike Edel and Douglas Bakkum. The brain of the rock star consists of a neural network, bio-engineered from Guy’s very own skin cells. The body, however, is made of an array of analogue modular synthesizers. Human musicians feed their music to the neurons, after which these respond by controlling the synthesizers. Together, the neurons, synthesizers and human musicians perform live, reflexive and improvised sound pieces or “jam sessions” that are partial, yet not entirely human.
‘cellF’ represents a radical new way to think about what a musical instrument is and how music can be made. The work contextualizes new biotechnological advancements and places them within a framework of analogue art. By doing this, Ben-Ary aims to explore the possibilities of art in shifting existing perceptions about the understanding of life and the materiality of the human body.
cellF will perform every hour for approximately 7 minutes. During two of the performances, cellF will be accompanied by ‘human musicians: the Dutch composer and poet Jaap Blonk and multi-instrumentalist Han Bennink.
This project is hosted by SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia.