Guy Ben-Ary – cellFPresented 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.
The performance is a collaboration between Guy Ben-Ary, Nathan Thompson, Andrew Fitch and Darren Moore. 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 partially, 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.
The ‘human musicians’ who will be playing with ‘cellF’ at TodaysArt are the Dutch composer and poet Jaap Blonk and multi-instrumentalist Han Bennink.