The art of science

Life and beyond

The art of science

Is it possible to bring life to the lifeless? Or to believe that the lifeless itself has certain powers, capabilities or even a soul? Simona Koch from Nuremberg, Germany, who is one of the artists visiting Bengaluru as part of Goethe-Institut/Max Muller Bhavan’s ‘BangaloResidency’ programme, is here to learn more about the amalgamation of art and science, the organic and anorganic.

Through abstract paintings and sculptures, Simona wants to make connections with living creatures and treat them as part of the whole organism that is the Earth. She ponders over questions like ‘Where does life come from and where does it go?’ and ‘How are living beings connected to each other and what part do humans play in this setting?’.

     “Some of these questions can be visualised and sometimes even answered through art and the diverse options that new media offers. I want to address these topics through artistic strategies in a playful and speculative manner. These works, after all, stem from the deep conviction of being part of an interwoven world; we are part of a humongous world fabric.”

Her main interest revolves around our relation to the past and our ancestors. She then transforms her work into video and audio material for a short film.

The series she is currently working on is called ‘Abiotism’ and much effort has gone into the work.

Hosted by the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), she hopes to inspect this further by shifting the perspective from a linear growth of the past to the present, to a wider focus on family relations between various individuals from three to four generations. She will use demographic data to connect the work to a highly interesting socio-cultural context. “I want to create a human social fabric called the ‘invisible mycelium’, which is perceptible and tangible, and connects us all. I hope to show these connections through short movies,”says Simona.

With her experience in multi-media, her works have been showcased at various exhibitions all over the world, and she has won several prizes and grants in the past.
 “I’ve been working on this subject of life of the anorganic since 2012. There are things in the world that are said to be not living and yet they are in motion; they can store information and are crucial building blocks for the bodies of organic creatures. I’d like to study more about this and add it to my ‘Abiotism’ series.” She will be interviewing research scientists from NCBS to gather their opinions and experiences on this topic.

When asked how else she’ll spend her time here, she says, “Fortunately, the area where NCBS is located allows me to be in a state of nirvana. I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity and practice yoga. Apart from that, I want to explore the City, learn more about the Indian culture and finish my project.”

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