Synthetic Ecologies Live: Namita Patel x Seetal Solanki

Online Tuesday 30 August, 6-7pm BST 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 library of creative and critical inquiry in life science and ecology.

The 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 us live on Tuesday 30 August from 18:00-19:00 as two of the Compendium guild members Namita Patel, fermentation scientist at the Francis Crick Institute, and Seetal Solanki, materials translator and co-founder of Ma-tt-er discuss their journey as part of the making of Compendium, and how its microbial exploration has informed their own practices.

This is the second live event in a series of Twitch conversations that will introduce key contributors to Compendium, act as a “notebook of conversations” and 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 Namita and Seetal questions in real time throughout the conversation via our Twitch channel interface hosted by the Arts Technologies team. Make sure to create a Twitch account ahead of the conversation in order to take part. The platform is is free and accessible from desktop and mobile browsers. This event will have live open captions.

About the Speakers

Namita Patel is the Fermentation Manager at The Francis Crick Institute, a London-based biomedical research organisation making discoveries on how life works. Patel has over 15 years’ experience in pilot-scale microbial fermentation for the production of material for early stage research projects, and holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering with Biochemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham and a Masters in Science in Biochemical Engineering from University College London.

Seetal Solanki is a translator of materials and the Founder and Director of Ma-tt-er, a relational practice focused on providing access to materials through education, consultancy and design. Her work at Ma-tt-er reorients mindsets, behaviours and mechanisms towards alternative futures that are caring and respectful by providing ecological and nuanced strategies. Previous practice-based collaborations have been with the likes of Potato Head Bali, Molonglo Group, NIKE, Google, Serpentine, Venice Biennale, Dezeen, The Architectural Association, World Water Day, IKEA/SPACE10, British Council, The Design Museum, and Hyundai. Solanki’s work has been widely featured internationally.

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 that 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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