The symposium Evaporation of Things is intended to explore the increasingly digital interface to biological ‘things’. From the phylogenetic analysis of plants, to the data representation of the human genome project, studying the subject on a screen has replaced the study of the material artefact. For the general public, astronomy remains a question of looking at the stars in the night sky, whereas for astronomers the use of optical telescopes is a thing of the past – so the question emerges “where is the thing?”
The natural sciences have been prolific in practising not only this evaporation of things but also in reassembling innovative living entities, such as genitally modified organisms, and new creative possibilities are emerging with the advent of the enhancement of the human body with cybertechnologies. This fluidity of the living things is potentiated by interdisciplinary engagements, and entities which are in one minute the subjects of sciences become in the next the raw materials for arts.
Over two half-days we are gathering artists and designers as well as scientists and other scholars to share understandings and affordances offered by their ways of knowing living things through data. In addition to presentations and discussions we invite all the participants in the symposium to bring a material and/or an immaterial manifestation of a ‘thing’ to a Show & Tell Workshop.
Moreover, the symposium will include an exhibition of artworks which propose possibilities and create oddities relating to the living and life-related artefacts, presented by various artists practicing at the boundaries between art, design and natural sciences. Appropriately, the symposium will be held at Inspace, a laboratory dedicated to exploring the cultural significance of new media practices.