EPIMIMESIS – EPIZONE V: SHIFTING IDENTITIES
Joanna Hoffmann & the EpiLab Team
Drawing from the theme of the XIIth Florence Biennale, Ars et Ingenium: Toward Leonardo da Vinci’S Legacy of Similitude and Invention, the compound-word ‘Epi-Mimesis’ identifying this artistic project is meant to refer to the impact of environmental data on (epi) an individual set of data (i.e., you) while recollecting a creative approach (mimesis) developed by Leonardo. Accordingly, the interpretation of nature should be pursued not only by observing what is actual, but also seeking what is likely or possible. The EpiMimesis project is based on the assumption that we are living in a universe of interacting data, where all is data – from the entanglement of elementary particles through biological structures and the most complex Eigen-dynamics, with interaction at all levels. In such a world of interacting data, no datum can be ‘lost’ nor ‘vanished’. Even Leonardo da Vinci’s data are present, here and now, making us able to imagine him five hundred years after his death. Accordingly, this work has been developed building on the idea that ‘genius’ can be regarded as a unique configuration of data which happens periodically or, in other words, as a wave sustained by enumerable small waves resonating in each one of us. We can strengthen those waves by arousing curiosity through inspiring, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural endeavours like this project, virtually an art-and-science-experiment. EpiMimesis is structurally divided into several EpiZones, or organisational levels in which matter and research areas are ordered. Epizone V comprises two main parts. Firstly, a virtual reality environment named W?W?W? Leonardo. Secondly, an Interactive pseudohologram, A Breath for Leonardo. Overall, actual data are processed and transformed combining scientific research, art, culture, and imagination so as to offer an immersive multisensory experience within a dimension encompassing the VR environment and the pseudo-hologram.
EpiMimesis – Epizone V: Shifting Identities bridges scientific research with new cultural narratives, raises environmental awareness, and poses questions about what we want to become. Today the notion of identity is usually associated with genetic information stored in the DNA, and yet that represents just a small part of our identity history. Hence, in Epi-Zone V, the audience enter an imaginative labyrinth of shifting identities inspired by the most fundamental molecule of life, the RNA molecule (the Web of Life evolved from that very molecule, which is now a key tool for biotechnology and bioengineering to shape our future). The interActor/ audience exploring the labyrinth of Shifting Identities within Epi-Zone V is confronted and guided by a Vitruvian WoMan (expressing the complex Eigen-dynamics of our micro and macro worlds), wayward to Leonardo’s famous drawing. Through their response, the Inter-Actor/audience act as a catalyst in the creative process and, according to the mimesis principle, transform the immersive environment experienced by creating and discovering multiple, interdependent, elusive identities.
EpiMimesis – Epizone V: Shifting Identities has been designed and realised by Joanna Hoffmann, artist and Professor at the University of Arts in Poznan, with the EpiLab Team composed of artists and scholars Milosz Marganski, Piotr Słomczewski, Andre Bartetzki, Juliette Harvey as well as scientists Janusz Bujnicki, Eliza Wyszko, Agnieszka FedorukWyszomirska, Lukasz Gruszka, and engineer Thomas Koch. The project is supported by various research institutes and organisations, namely the University of Arts in Poznan, the International centre for Molecular & Cell Biology in Warsaw, the Institute of Biochemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, 3IT Fraunhofer HHI Berlin, and the Art & Science Node in Berlin.
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