Metabolic Arts Gathering:

We are happy to introduce the 6 selected artists for The Metabolic Arts Gathering.

Photo: “Salmon: Traces of Escapees”, Cooking Sections, 2021



Kathy High

Kathy High (born 1954, USA) is an interdisciplinary artist / educator who collaborates with scientists and activists, and considers living systems, animal sentience, and ethical dilemmas of biotechnology and medical industries. She is Professor of Video and New Media in the Arts department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, and is director of the BAT (BioArt and Technology) Laboratory in RPI’s Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. She is a supporter of community DIY science and ecological art practices. She is the Project Coordinator for NATURE Lab a project of The Sanctuary for Independent Media where she is also a board member and co-founder. She is committed to queer and feminist approaches to reshaping ecological bio-science research and learning-by-doing, and to collaborative action.

Among many honors, she is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the New York State Council on the arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Her artworks have been shown at documenta 13 (Germany), Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, (NYC), UCLA (Los Angeles), Science Gallery (Dublin), NGBK (Berlin), Festival Transitio_MX (Mexico), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Para-site Gallery (Hong Kong), Esther Klein Gallery, University Science Center (Philadelphia), and Medical Museum (Copenhagen). She has had residencies with the Asian Society, Hong Kong (2005), SymbioticA, University of Western Australia (2009-10), Finnish Society of Bioart (2013), Coalesce, University of Buffalo (2016-17), DePaolo Lab, CMiST, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle (2016-18), Djerassi Scientific Delirium Madness (2019), and Ectopia/Blend, Lisbon, Portugal (2022).

Photo: Kathy High. The artist in the lab
Photo: Kathy High. Still image from “Fecal Matters,” video 2018

Baum & Leahy

Baum & Leahy is an international studio exploring biophilic, collaboratively-driven artistic creation through interactive installation, art direction, scenography and experience design. Their work explores modes of remediating interspecies relations as an integral methodology for collective survival during planetary climate crisis. Through research-led worldmaking and material storytelling, they question and sensorialise scientific inquiry into tactile, participatory experiences. With this they aim to allow the beholder a proximity to alternative realities, melting between the feasible and fantastical. Multisensorial ceremonies recur as an ongoing thread throughout Baum & Leahy’s research, where edible encounters and metabolic moments encourage digestion of entwined cross-disciplinary concepts and matter. Delving into the porous boundaries between bodies, species, materials and space these experiences aim to nurture sensitivity and symbiosis between inner and outer sensory worlds.

Since meeting at the Royal College of Art in 2015, Baum & Leahy have exhibited and run events internationally, including at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, The National Gallery of Denmark, Medical Museion, Roskilde Festival (DK), Somerset House, Victoria and Albert Museum, Wellcome Collection, (UK), Museum Het Valkhof, MU Hybrid Art House (NL), Centre for Book Arts (USA), Dansens Hus, Vega Scene (NO), Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), and MMMAD – Madrid’s Urban Digital Art Festival (ES). Baum & Leahy recently won the ‘Post-digital Landscapes’ Prize with Sensory Cellumonials. They were shortlisted for the Hedda Prisen 2022, Lumen Art Prize in 2021 and 2019, The Rapoport Award for Women in Art and Tech in 2019, and received both the Bio Art & Design Award and the British Library Labs Artistic Award in 2018. During 2020-2021 they were commissioned artists for One Cell at a Time, a public engagement program for the Human Cell Atlas. They were recently selected to be part of The Danish Arts Council’s career development grant ‘The Young Artistic Elite’ 22/23, and are residents at BOM (Birmingham Open Media). Baum & Leahy are currently continuing their art-science collaboration with researchers at Medical Museion with a key focus on exploring sensorial representations of the holobiont.

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Photo: Baum and Leahy
Photo: Baum and Leahy’s Cometabolise: A Holobiont Dinner, 2021. Detail installation photograph from The World is in You, Medicinsk Museion and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2021. Photo: David Stjernholm.

Cooking Sections

Cooking Sections examines the systems that organise the world through food. Using site-responsive installation, performance and video, they explore the overlapping boundaries between art, architecture, ecology and geopolitics. Established in London in 2013 by Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe, their practice uses food as a lens and a tool to observe landscapes in transformation. They have worked on multiple iterations of the long-term site-responsive CLIMAVORE project since 2015, exploring how to eat as humans change climates. In 2016 they opened The Empire Remains Shop.

Their work has been exhibited at Tate Britain, Serpentine Galleries, SALT, Bonniers Konsthall, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Storefront for Art and Architecture; the Taipei Biennial, 58th Venice Biennale, Istanbul Biennial, Performa17, Manifesta12, and New Orleans Triennial among others.  They are part of British Art Show 9. They lead a studio unit at the Royal College of Art, London, and were guest professors at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. Cooking Sections were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2021. They were awarded the Special Prize at the 2019 Future Generation Art Prize and were nominated for the Visible Award for socially-engaged practices. Daniel is the recipient of the 2020 Harvard GSD Wheelwright Prize for Being Shellfish.

Photo: Cooking Sections
Photo: Salmon: Traces of Escapees, Cooking Sections, 2021

Kira O’Reilly

Kira O’Reilly is an Irish artist currently based in Helsinki; her practice is willfully interdisciplinary and celebrates an undisciplinarity, stems from a visual art background. It employs performance, sculpture, biotechnical practices, writing and experimental media with which to consider speculative reconfigurations of The Body in its most expanded sense, across multiple spaces, scales and temporalities, often but not always working with site, duration and context as generative elements. Her artistic working originates in the profound materiality and mutability of sculpture meeting radical feminist performance art as it emerged from the confluence of visual arts, experimental performance, media art, subcultures and body politics in the early ‘90s. Since then, she has found rich fields of possibility in biological arts with its implicit biopolitics, and the extension into bodily relations as they manifest in ecological considerations, eco-systems and other than human environments.

She has exhibited widely in contexts from visual art, performance art and live art, to interfaces of art, science and technology, and dance. She presents at conferences and lectures in visual art, drama and dance departments, and renegade skools. The monograph Kira O’Reilly: Untitled (Bodies), edited by Harriet Curtis and Martin Hargreaves was published in 2017 by Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Live in the series Intellect Live.

Photo: Sohan Ariel Hayes
Photo: Menopause Gym, 2021. Photo credit Ada Godo Biofriction Residency, Cultivamos Cultura, Portugal

Adam Dickinson

Adam Dickinson is a writer and professor of English and Creative Writing at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. His poetic practice integrates expanded modes of writing with laboratory-based scientific experiments to investigate the complicated interplay between bodies and environments. Developing what he calls “metabolic poetics,” his work brings into focus the often inscrutable biological and cultural writing intrinsic to the Anthropocene, especially as this is reflected in the inextricable link between the metabolic processes of human and nonhuman bodies and the global metabolism of energy and capital.

He is the author of four books of poetry, including Anatomic (Coach House Books), a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and winner of the Alanna Bondar Memorial Book Prize from the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada. Anatomic incorporates and responds to the results of chemical and microbial testing on his body. His work has been nominated for major Canadian literary prizes, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and twice for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. He was also a finalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Poetry Prize and the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature. His work has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, and Polish. He has been featured at international literary festivals such as Poetry International in Rotterdam, Netherlands and the Oslo International Poetry Festival in Norway. He was also part of the VERSschmuggel poetry translation project hosted in conjunction with Poesiefestival Berlin, Germany. Along with Claudia Rankine (USA) and Valzhyna Mort (Belarus), he was a member of the jury for the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Photo: Adam Dickinson
Photo: “Money poem with money bacteria”. Other words for money edited and revised by bacteria cultured from swabs of money. Phthalates are present but not visible.

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Hege Tapio

Hege Tapio is an artist and a curator based in Stavanger, Norway. Art driven by curiosity, knowledge, ability to convey and contextualize aspects of technology and research, both through speculation and critical attitude, have been the basis for many of the projects. Her interest in emerging media interconnecting art, new technology and science, led to the foundation of i/o/lab – Center for Future Art since 2001, where she established and curated Article biennial – a festival for the electronic and unstable art. Tapio is currently pursuing her artistic research as Phd fellow at FeLT – Futures of Living Technologies at OsloMet. Tapio is also involved as curator in the research project Caring futures: developing new care ethics for technology-mediated care practices (QUALITECH) at the University of Stavanger. And part of the team of NOBA – Norwegian Bioart Arena, developing and programming the Norwegian hub for Bioart located at Vitenparken by Campus Ås, Norway.

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Photo: Hege Tapio.
Photo: The artist processing biofuel from human fat in the lab. The Humanfuel project was first presented in HYBRID MATTER – a Nordic art&science network program.