photos: marta ferracin

Symbiont project (2020-2024) imagines how bio-human sensitivity enhances symbiotic relationships between humans and the environment, by cooperating with the most ancient and resourceful organisms on Earth: lichens. By investigating the connections between lichens and human environmental responsiveness, Symbiont intends to generate, investigate and deepen feelings of connection of living things in nature. It is inspired by Edward Wilson’s (1984) biophilia - the innate tendency of humans to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.

Symbiont comprises of three phases: The first developing research stage is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding, and advisory body. It will be undertaken at SymbioticA residency at the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, the University of Western Australia and Sydney Microscopy & Microanalysis facilities at the University of Sydney during the year 2020-2021. This first phase will be also individually supported and integrated with experimental works in progress to exhibit in public spaces; the second bioart research stage will be based on monitoring man-made substrates, lichens and habitats to exhibit in public spaces (2022- 2023); the final stage will be the development of a finalised living biofield installation, which it is intended to be exhibit in 2024. Symbiont research will be also carried out at the Ars Bioarctica residency in Lapland, Finland (date TBC).

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