Online Mon 10 Oct 7-8pm BST/2-3pm EDT/11am-12pm PDT Free

The Synthetic Ecologies Lab brings artistic and scientific communities into experimental exchange through its latest project: the Compendium, a growing archive of resources and a library of creative and critical inquiry in life science and ecology.

Compendium’s content is created by a guild of leading scientists, artists, researchers, and writers. The inaugural season’s thematic motif, Microbial Lores, focuses on the role of fermentation in biological technologies, culture and ecology.

Join two of the Compendium guild members Lucy Chinen, bio-based materials practitioner-researcher, and Nadia Berenstein, flavour historian as they discuss their journey as part of the making of Compendium, and how its microbial exploration has informed their own practices. This conversation will be hosted by Synthetic Ecologies Lab Principal Investigator Yasaman Sheri.

This is the third live event in a series of Twitch conversations which introduce key contributors to Compendium. The series acts as a “notebook of conversations” and aims to gradually form an open and expanding archive until the end of the season in October 2022.

Important Information

Audience members will be able to ask Lucy and Nadia questions in real time throughout the conversation via the Twitch channel interface hosted by Serpentine’s Arts Technologies team. Make sure to create a Twitch account ahead of the conversation in order to take part. The platform is free and accessible from desktop and mobile browsers. This event will have live open captions.

About the Speakers

Nadia Berenstein is a James Beard award-winning journalist, flavour historian and part-time member of the faculty at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Nadia holds a PhD in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation told the story of the growth of the flavour industry and the science and technology of flavour design. Her ongoing research investigates how society, culture and technology inform the experience of sensory pleasures and the shape of consumer desires, from food to fashion. Nadia’s writing has appeared in Epicurious, The Counter, MUNCHIES, Food & Wine, and Serious Eats, among other places.

Lucy Chinen is an artist, writer, and co-founder of Nonfood, an algae-based food company. She has previously written about food systems and food tech in relation to climate change. Most recently she has worked on Half-Earth Socialism, a game based on the book by Troy Vettese, developed by Francis Tseng and TRUST Support.

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.


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