Forms of Symbiosis draws on the ‘biotechnological morphogenesis’ conceptual framework that recalibrates human and technological agents and untangles how their nature is distinctly transformed by their trans-scalar interactions with biological entities. Whilst simultaneously recognising that these interactions engender the dissolution of the conceptual boundaries between human, technological and ecological systems. Omnipresent, systematic technologies and biotic intelligences are science fictionalised to speculate about materialising futures, where these agents alongside humans contribute to a complex ecosystem of collective intelligence.
Material and biological intelligence blend into (in)organic forms: minerals, fungi, Physarum polycephalum and bacteria come to embody models of biotic infrastructure through unpredictable and physiological processes. This marks a transition where the environment stops simply being a container for programmes or functions (the modern machine for living), and becomes a dynamic process of production (a living machine). Melding the technological with the biological injects an analogue facet into our machines and has the potential to induce the occurrence of symbiotic processes across the segregated digital and analogue realms.
Symbiosis provides a counterpoint to the evolution of opaque technological infrastructures, systems of analysis, inequitable asymmetrical intelligences and domains of centralised control. Rather than only pursuing the development of corporate artificial intelligence, can we stimulate the emergence of algorithms and artificial intelligences that appeal to the non-human world as well as the human? And instead of focusing on asset-stripping biological entities for their useful parts to employ them as components in our machines, how can we begin working with the biosphere as part of our computational substrate?
Exhibited at Absorb Arts (London) in 2023