UPGRADE! NY: Boo Chapple

Upgrade! NY  May 2006

Boo is an artist and researcher whose current practice deals with the uncanny nexus of life and non-life, information and matter operating in the contemporary techno-cultural arena.

Boo Chapple introduced her projects: I’ve Got Rhythm—a research project to make audio speakers out of bones. Good Vibration—an attempt to grow bone in vibration patterns caused by standing wave resonance in the tissue culture medium. Untitled project—investigation of galvanotactic E-coli bacteria.

We discussed questions such as: Why work with science/biology/biotechnology and art?

How is it possible to make work using scientific techniques that is not didactic ’science communication’?

Is it problematic for an art work to be dependant on the science of it ‘working’, and to what extent is it then science not art?

What are the implications of using living processes to generate art works?

How important is it to engage critically with the techniques being used as part of the work — should art always be critical of science or is it also OK to simply use it to enable new relationships?

Boo Chapple is currently a year long artist in residence at the SymbioticA art and science collaborative research laboratory in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, at the University of Western Australia. She has recently completed a Masters of Design at RMIT University, Melbourne, where she studied in the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory. More generally she is a practicing artist and researcher whose work focusses on processes of material-technical transformation that operate at the boundary between life and non-life, bodies and culture.

At SymbioticA she is applying this focus in the area of art and biology. Previous work has been done in the areas of sound design and sound performance, network mediated communication, performance installation and 3D image capture. A recent essay Journeys to the Other Side of the Navel” has been published in a forthcoming book Art of the Biotech Era.

People: Boo Chapple