Bio-Artefactuality: Conductive Glass

workshop blog

March 8, 2018

I'm excited to announce that I will be running a workshop with students at the National Glass Centre where we will focus on recording sounds for laboratory micro-organisms (E. coli) held captive in glass vessels. Experimenting in ways of being with the molecular body, this workshop focuses our attention on the life of the laboratory microbe through attempts at developing a relation towards the living organism that is otherwise...

February 19, 2018

Last week I ran a workshop with fine art students as part of Northumbria University's Project Week: Ecologies of Togetherness where we explored the molecular relations of the body through guided meditation, sound recording and use of the cut-up technique. The workshop tested out ideas for a developing work in which I aim to begin a series of conversations with molecular bodies that explore our relationship to the cellular mate...

July 27, 2017

Having made a range of vessels, I aim to test ways in which I could explore their potential connectivity.  For the purposes of the workshop, the simplest tests of connectivity were possible through sound.  I chose to test  using the phrase already encoded within my bioassemblages, "what will happen if I store this thought safe within you?" The phrase is taken from The Genophone and edited in Audacity so that it is ov...

July 27, 2017

​I discussed with the group the possibility of forming a conductive vessel that could communicate with the lively contents held within it.  We started to think about how might we fuse metal in a more spherical, or organic form.  A couple of possibilities arose: both involving blown glass.  One idea involved laying copper staples, or other conductive material on a flat surface and rolling hot blown glass against the material, e...

July 20, 2017

Our aim was to test the conductivity of material fused with glass.  Of course, many materials are conductive and some more than others.  We discussed a range of possible options such as aluminium foil, graphite powder, conductive paint (usually made with graphite powder and gum arabic, so possible to make yourself), conductive thread, copper powder, copper tape, copper wire and of course other metals such as silver, gold, plat...

July 20, 2017

Jeff Sarmiento showed us some earlier experiments where copper powder had been fused between two sheets of glass.  The bubbles were an unintentional consequence of the process but they add a liveliness to the aesthetic of the materials. 

Image Credit: Justin Marshall

Justin Marshall tested whether the glass with fused copper powder was conductive by connecting to a Bare Conductive Touchboard, an electronic circuit board pro...

July 19, 2017

Glass is a material that has long held my interest, with it's clear and fluid nature and its relation to the scientific.  I recently had the chance to join a workshop where I could explore ways in which this most seductive of materials could become what I'm calling a techno-assemblage object.  I was privileged to work alongside experts from glassmaking, design and technology: Jeff Sarmiento, Justin Marshall, Thomas Dykes, Ange...

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For Donna Haraway, nature, through the trope of artifactualism is made: both fiction and fact. It is as part of this 'particular production of nature' that I have been thinking through means of maintaining living bioassemblages more permanently and have been working on a glass vessel that will connect to a custom built bio-reactor.  

I was recently invited to participate in a conductive glass workshop, organised by the Craft Futures research group at Northumbria University and the National Glass Centre at Sunderland University.  The Crafting Conductive Circuits in Glass project is a series of cross-disciplinary workshops that rethink the partnership of materials through combining artisanal glassmaking with digital manufacture and interactive electronics.

 

The idea of a vessel that could technologically communicate with my bioassemblages was too exciting an opportunity to pass up and whilst this may take a while to build into the design, I thought it would be a good starting point for exploring ideas of connectivity.  The Crafting Conductive Circuits in Glass project is ongoing and work to date was presented at the AHRC Conference on 25 July 2017 at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.