The theme of this year’s exhibition is City of Cyborgs. Not the city of androids, clunky clones and man/machines contraptions but the city we are already walking through, smartphones in our pockets, implants in our bodies for some and ready to get our hands on Google glasses. City of Cyborgs in STRP speak means animatronics, opera for prehistoric creatures, a forest of interactive lasers, tapas made from edible solar cells, absurd mega machines and lots of dance. The high tech, the low tech, the digital, the organic and everything in between and beyond.

Charlotte has donated parts of her body to stem cell research. Her tissue and blood samples are now in a lab where they will be transformed into induced pluripotent stem cells and from there into a range of completely different substances. A second self of Charlotte will be created, made from a collage of in vitro body parts.

The project is called Ergo Sum and it recently received the Designers and Artist’s for Genomics Award. It will be exhibited this Summer in The Netherlands. But until then, Charlotte is in the studio to tell us more about this work.

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This week i’m talking with Ollie Palmer is a designer, artist, a tutor at Bartlett but he is also the guy who’s so interested in dancing insects that he’s embarked on a 6 year project to choreograph and stage an Ant Ballet.

During the interview, Ollie talks ants and more precisely Argentine ants, a particularly invasive species that the UK wants nowhere near its shores. We also learn about the best way to collect ants, to synthesize pheromones and end the show with a few words about the Godot Machine, a device built for the sole purpose of preventing a single ant to move around

This week we are talking with Nelly Ben Hayoun about space science technologies, aliens and music. The designer spent a whole Summer in California to direct the International Space Orchestra. The cast of the opera is pretty spectacular. It is performed by space scientists from NASA Ames, Singularity University, International Space University and the SETI Institute. The music was composed by Damon Albarn, Bobby Womack, Maywa Denki and Arthur Jeffes. The lyrics are by Bruce Sterling & Jasmina Tesanovic. Finally, Grammy-Award winner Evan Price was in charge of the musical direction

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The works exhibited by the 9 participating artists are extremely strong. As much as i admire Ai Weiwei and his opinion of the show, i do believe that artists can create meaningful, valid works even if they are not openly criticizing their country’s politics. Besides, some of the works exhibited did comment on political issues such as censorship and international relationships. Ai Weiwei is probably right though when he writes that “The Chinese art world does not exist.” At least probably not in a uniformed, self-conscious fashion

Sebastian Stumpf’s photo documentation of his performances in the ‘gaps’ of Tokyo architecture. The artist is literally filling in the hiatus in the dense architectural structure of the city, squeezing himself in the overlooked spaces between the buildings. The action makes us suddenly aware of this ‘urbanism interrupted’, and calls our attention to what is in-between, behind, or beyond

Interview express with Chris Salter about n-Polytope. The light and sound environment combining cutting edge lighting, lasers, sound, sensing and artificial intelligence software technologies was inspired by composer Iannis Xenakis’s radical 1960s-1970s works named “Polytopes”. As large scale, immersive architectural environments that made the indeterminate and chaotic patterns and behavior of natural phenomena experiential through the temporal dynamics of light and the spatial dynamics of sound, the polytopes still to this day are relatively unknown but were far ahead of their time: a major landmark in the history of the audio-visual arts and performative architectural practice

The work of Kris Verdonck focuses on the confusion of man in an estranged world due to technological development. The tension between man and machine, between living species and dead materials creates an atmosphere of Unheimlichkeit or eeriness. This ‘current state of the world’ – with its environmental problems, ecological disasters and wars – is the central theme through his oeuvre

In a bold self-experiment aimed at blurring the boundaries between species, Marion Laval-Jeantet was injected with horse blood plasma. Over the course of several months, the artist prepared her body by gradually introducing into her bloodstream horse immunoglobulins, the glycoproteins that circulate in the blood serum, and which, for example, can function as antibodies in immune response. The artist called the process “mithridatization”, after Mithridates VI of Pontus who cultivated an immunity to poisons by regularly ingesting sub-lethal doses of the same

The latest project by Demitrios Kargotis and Dash Macdonald is inspired by the exercises performed by members of Casualties Union, a charity organisation funded during the Second World War as a course where acting, made-up casualties were recreated to provide added ‘realism’ to civil defense and rescue training exercises. For over 60 years, their methodologies and exercises have been showing actors how to simulate ‘authentically’ both the emotional shock of disaster and physical trauma

One of the artists i was most happy to discover at the exhibition Alter Nature: We Can in Hasselt a few days ago was Antti Laitinen. The finish artist fills one room of the art space with a video triptych and a series of photos from It’s My Island. The work documents Laitinen’s sisyphean attempt to build his own island (and therefore micro-nation) in the Baltic Sea. The artist accepted to answer my questions for a short interview

Loosely defined as a long-term project initiated between architecture and performance presenting work in several cultural contexts, IF keeps coming up with projects and ideas that could not be more diversified: videos, perfumes, arabic courses inside Copenhagen’s Temporary National Theater, TV-programs, a mini Mobile Disco. The even shot a remake 1949 musical film On The Town as an alternative way to explore the social and spatial geographies of New York City

The “Tropospheric Laboratory” allows insights into cloud cores and other matter of the apogee. The installation narrates the synthesis of clouds and shows varying conditions and combinations of art and science in the absence of weight. The “laboratory” is the gravimetric document of “Cloud Core Scanner” – an experiment and artistic project by Agnes Meyer-Brandis, carried out on board a German Aerospace Center research plane

Nelly Ben Hayoun’s installation/performance attempted to demonstrate the visual equivalent of one of those massive sonic booms that take place inside Super K each time a neutrino meets an electron of extremely pure water. As ultra-pure water doesn’t exactly abound in London night clubs, the designer used the water from the nearest fire hydrant and turned the place into a 15 by 5m long swimming pool

Together with the inhabitants of Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh, two artists staged collective performances and actions on the day the Google Car drove through the neighbourhood: a 17th-century sword fight, a dramatic escape using bedlinen, a parade with a brass band and majorettes. These actions now form part of the digital maps of Sampsonia Way made available online by Google Maps

No one dons the moustache like Fernando Llanos. He’s a video artist, a musician, a writer, a blogger, a curator, he makes drawings, he’s the über macho-looking Mexican guy who walks around the city with a chihuahua in his bag. He also produces tv shows, a competition of animation movies, and the moto of his own radio programme is “There’s no need to talk about art in order to talk about art”. When he’s not performing Llanos is always impeccably dressed. He’s probably the one and only media artist whose sense of style i admire