The Synthetic Ecologies Lab brings artistic and scientific communities into experimental exchange through its latest project: Compendium.
Compendium’s content is created by a guild of leading scientists, artists, researchers, and writers. A growing archive of resources, Compendium is a library of creative and critical inquiry into life science and ecology. The first season’s theme, Microbial Lores, focuses on the role of fermentation in biological technologies, culture and ecology.
Join two of the Compendium guild members – novel fermentations researcher Joshua Evans and, writer and researcher Chiara Di Leone – as they discuss their journey as part of the making of Compendium, and how its exploration of the microbial has informed their own practices. This conversation will be hosted by Synthetic Ecologies Lab Principal Investigator Yasaman Sheri and Serpentine Head of Arts Technologies Kay Watson.
This is the fourth and final event in a series of Twitch conversations which introduce key contributors to Compendium. The series acts as a “notebook of conversations” and aims to form an open archive.
- Joshua Evans
Joshua Evans is senior researcher at the Danish Technical University’s Center for Biosustainability, where he leads the Sustainable Food Innovation Group. Joshua’s work links flavour, ecology and evolution, biocultural diversity, and their politics in the Anthropocene—particularly through fermentation and microbes. He holds degrees in Geography and the Environment, History and Philosophy of Science, and Humanities, and has worked in culinary research and development.
- Chiara Di Leone
Chiara Di Leone is a writer and researcher currently focussing on anticipatory governance and the epistemologies of climate change. Her essays are published in several outlets, including NOEMA, Real Review, and TANK magazines as well as in edited collections by Sternberg Press. She holds a Master of Arts from Goldsmiths University in London and a Bachelor of Science in Econometrics from LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome.
- Yasaman Sheri
Yasaman Sheri is the Principal Investigator and leads the Synthetic Ecologies Lab at Serpentine. She is an artist and designer investigating the creative and critical inquiry in life sciences. Her work explores the plurality of senses and the invisible scales at which humans frame and reframe ecology through culture, society and technology. She is an educator and design leader with more than a decade of experience building novel interfaces for immersive computing and curricula on sensory and experimental design. She writes frequently, mentors artists exploring emerging technologies and creative science, and is an advocate for women-identifying communities of colour and folks less represented.
- About Serpentine Synthetic Ecologies Lab
As part of Serpentine’s R&D Platform and led by Yasaman Sheri, the Synthetic Ecologies Lab aims to support artists in the context of emerging biological technologies and ecology by strengthening the foundations for art’s critical inquiry and intervention into sciences. This is done by integrating insights derived from transdisciplinary experimentation through projects like the Compendium;, supporting existing art-science collaborations;, and exploring the tools and models for collaboration in new artistic engagements with the life sciences.
- About Arts Technologies
Serpentine Arts Technologies is a team that collaborates with artists to generate new understandings and knowledge that is specific to working with advanced technologies which artists are interested in researching and interrogating. The team has two operational areas of focus: commissioning, and research and development. These manifest in artist-led projects and the R&D Platform.