Research Overview

Diogenes (detail) (2010)

Diogenes (detail) (2010)
Gold Pen and Pencil on Paper,
150 x 200 mm

This research residency can be seen as a tangential continuation of Benjamin Forster’s drawing machine project. His drawing machine project centred around his attempt to program a computer to draw in a way that was distinctly human, rather than stylistically digital or mechanistic. This had two concurrent aims: firstly to explore ideas about drawing, and secondly to raise questions about the validity of the specific method that he had employed. Whist at SymbioticA, Benjamin continued to explore the question ‘what is drawing?’ although instead of utilising programming, his project used materials and techniques from the biological sciences.

This research project was initially aimed at exploring new methods and potential extensions of drawing offered by the relatively new field of Biological Arts. This concerned both the technical and theoretical aspects of biological drawing. It’s important to note that by biological drawing, it is meant drawings produced from biological materials, and not drawings depicting biology.

Benjamin approached this residency as an open ended research project with no specific ideas regarding technologies or techniques, rather simply to enter the laboratory environment and be open to all possibilities. As such this research ended up far from this initial focus on drawing in an investigation of hybridity, cell plasticity and concepts of cynicism. To be continued…


This residency was supported by the ACT Government.

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