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The Nonlinear Patterns of a Superorganism

Wednesday 30 March, 6pm   
The Nonlinear Patterns of a Superorganism   
A conversation with Paula Nishijima, Tobias Seidl and Lavinia Filippi   

The fifth event in the series Humans, Post-humans, Machine is a conversation which will unfold at the intersection of science, technology and contemporary art. ‘The nonlinear patterns of a superorganism’ expands on Paula Nishijima and Tobias Seidl’s researches to reflect on themes such as the relationships between technology, humans and other species; interspecies communication; adaptation processes; or collective behaviour for the ecological transitions. Drawing on theories of self-organization and swarm intelligence – common in the collective behaviour of decentralized systems, whether natural or artificial – Nishijima has been exploring since 2019 how living organisms work together without a central control to adapt to changing conditions.

Translocalia is a translocal network that connects practitioners and institutions from different disciplines and fields of action, such as art, curating, design, activism and architecture. Its aim is to discuss, share and plan for an inclusive and sustainable future through art.

Paula Nishijima is a visual artist with a research-based practice that unfolds at the crossroads of life science, technology and participatory social practice. She investigates the social, historical and political dimensions of systems aesthetics. Recent exhibitions include The Nature of the Cities Festival, online, 2021; Here and Now, Media Art Festival Friesland, Leeuwarden, Netherlands (Nomination for Young Masters Award), 2021; Teachable Moment, Stove Works, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, 2020; Mutant Institute of Environmental Narratives, Madrid, Spain, 2019. She received an MA in Arts and Culture from Leiden University, Netherlands and holds a BA in Visual Arts from the Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, São Paulo/Brazil.

Tobias Seidl is Professor at the Westfälische Hochschule in Bocholt, where he established a bachelor’s degree in biomimetics. After his studies in Saarbrücken – where he produced seminal work on the adhesion mechanism of spiders and spent six months at BMW group as a biomimetics expert – he did his PhD on the navigational system of desert ants at the University of Zurich and in Tunisia. He then received a fellowship with the European Space Agency (Noordwijk, The Netherlands) where he worked on biomimetic and bioengineering topics including verifying brain machine interfaces on the 47th parabolic flight campaign. Since 2010 he is full professor in Bocholt.

Lavinia Filippi is an art historian and contemporary art curator currently based in London. Co-founder of Translocalia since 2014, she curated projects, exhibitions and programmes in Italy, Pakistan and the UK. She worked as research curator and public programme co-curator for the Italian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale; curator of special projects and publications at Belmacz, London and associate curator for Volcano Extravaganzain Stromboli, Sicily. Previously she lectured at the National College of Arts in Lahore (2012-14); she directed Castello di Rivoli’s web-tv (2011-12); she worked as author and correspondent for Italian national television RAI (2007-2011). She holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art London, a degree in Art History from La Sapienza University of Rome and a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa.

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