The boundary between wet and dry is blurring. Similarly, our expectations towards solid or soft objects and machines are being redefined. These developments are impacted by many different factors, from developments in biotechnology and life science to innovation in new materials and their behavior, among various other areas. Also, in the humanities and the arts, there has been a recent surge of interest towards material agencies and processes that are based on inorganic or biological matter and executed by non-human organisms. It could be said the realms of technology and biology – that is, the biologically grown and the artificially constructed – converge in liquid matter. This can be seen when looking into the methods and practices of biology, biotechnology and biochemistry, which involve technological tools and approaches to investigate biological organisms and create chemistry-based experiments, all of which typically take place in wet environments.
This presentation is focused on liquids and flows as metaphors for our time. The author sees a correlation between our visible inability to tackle current environmental, climatic and societal challenges, and contemporary artistic approaches focused on fluids. These experiments can be characterized as fluid, temporal and continuously evolving in their exploration of science, technology, art and liquid matter.
Laura Beloff is an internationally acclaimed artist and a researcher at the cross-section of art, technology and science. In addition to research papers, articles and book-chapters, the outcome of her research is as a form of process-based installations, wearable artifacts, and experiments with scientific methods dealing with the merger of the technological and biological. Her research engages areas like human enhancement, biosemiotics, biological matter, artificial life, artificial intelligence, robotics and information technology in connection to art, society and the human. Since 2019, she is Associate Professor and the Head of ViCCA Program at Aalto University, Finland.