Robertina Šebjanič (SI) & Gjino Šutić (HR) aqua_forensic – Underwater Interception of *Biotweaking in **Aquatocene

Installation, 2018

aqua_forensic illuminates the invisible anthropogenic (pharmaceutical) chemical pollutants – residues of human consumption – “monsters” in the waters. The project combines art/science/citizen science in a “hunt for a phantom” and opens the discussion about our solidarity and empathy with waters beyond human perception. The project is presented as an installation, workshop, and public discussion with intention to create new narratives in this art/science dialog. The installation in connecting copper pipes and holographic videos, that are showing the moment of the in vitro experiments of microorganisms dying in the 20.000 times weaker solution of pharmaceuticals, than the one average human dose. It’s showing what kind of impact we do have towards the water habitats and its life (from micro to macro levels). The pipe system is connecting it all into the immersive environment, where the viewer is intertwined with it and invited to have a look at the modules where the holograms are presented and to study the artist book. The book is representing the research of these invisible chemical pollutants (mood controllers, antibiotics, antimycotics, painkillers, hormone pills etc.), that was conducted at a residency in the summer of 2018 in two specific localities: Danube river (Linz, AT) and Adriatic Sea (Dubrovnik, HR).

The vast complexity of the ecosystem that covers more than 70% of the planet, producing over 80% of the atmospheric oxygen, is still mysterious. With pollution we change the oceans inside out – influencing life and behavior of the whole loop of the interconnected ecosystem. Anthropogenic presence is now present in every part of the water habitats. It is the result of our global socio-technological system and its (geo)political, economic interest in worlds water’s – from the shallow waters on the coastal lines to the deepest points in the oceans. aqua_forensic is a voyage into the relationship between the microbial seas and humans who are aquaforming the water habitats all around the planet. The question is: How do the oceans feel our impact?

*Biotweaking – “acts or (art) of improving biological organisms on any level, by available means, to exhibit and use their full potential,” concept coined by Gjino Šutić to fully define his work. Biotweaking mostly relies on DIY biotechnology – biohacking for achieving desired goals.

**Aquatocene – is a series of research-based artworks initiated by Robertina Šebjanič that deals with cultural, (bio)political and ecological realities of aquatic environments and their consequences / challenges. aqua_forensic was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms EMARE program at Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria) with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.

Supported by: Projekt Atol Institute (SI), UR Institute (HR), Sektor Institute (SI), Čistoća Dubrovnik (HR), The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia

Special thanks to: Luminus Studio, Jaka Babnik, Jasna Jernejšek, Miha Godec, Tanja Minarik, Martina Brković, Antonia Merčep, Lovro Martinović, Veronika Liebl, Jessica Galirow, Uroš Veber, Annick Bureaud, Polona Torkar, Rok Kovač, team of Lokrum Island Nature Reserve, Eleonore team, UR Institute team, Miha Colner and many more.

Robertina Šebjanič (SI) & Gjino Šutić (HR)

Robertina Šebjanič is working in the intersection between humanist and natural sciences. Her art/research focus has for several years been oriented towards a project developed in the field of Living systems (bio-art), noise/sound art and ambiental immersive environments. The context for her ideas and concepts is often realized in collaboration with other authors, and is embodied in her work through interdisciplinary and informal integration. through interdisciplinary and informal integration embodies in her work. She is a member of Hackteria Network, Ljudmila, UR Institute and Theremidi orchestra.

She has exhibited, performed and presented at solo and group exhibitions: Le Cube / Decalab, Paris; Ars electronica / Stadtwerkstatt, Linz; Touch me festival, Zagreb; Eyebeam & CT-SWaM, New York; Poolloop, Zurich; Bandits-Mages, Bourgers; PORTIZMIR#3 - Triennale of contemporary art, Izmir; Kiblix festival, Maribor; Gallery Kapelica, Ljubljana; Prima Gallery, Berlin; Paraflows festival, Vienna; Liwoli festival, Linz; Gallery SC, Zagreb; Netaudio festival, London; Gallery Alkatraz, Ljubljana; Haip festival, Ljubljana; Amber festival, Istanbul; The Museum of contemporary art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad; Gallery KiBela-Kibla, Maribor; SCCA, Ljubljana; Pixel festival, Bergen; Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana; +MSUM U3, 7th Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia, Ljubljana; Device_art 3.009, Zagreb, etc.

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Gjino Šutić (Croatia, 1984) is an innovator, scientist & post-modern intermedia artist. After studying Biotechnology at PBF Zagreb, he worked as a freelance scientist until 2013., when he founded Universal Research Institute UR. Since then, he has worked as scientist and director at UR Institute. He is doing research in multiple areas of natural sciences with a special focus in the fields of bioelectronics and biorobotics.

He invented the term biotweaking (enhancing living organisms or their parts to completely express and make use of their full potential) so as to define his philosophy and work completely. Since 2012, he has displayed his inventions & innovations at numerous scientific and art exhibitions and events. As a biohacker, he has designed and developed numerous DIY tools and materials. As well as developing his inventions & innovations he works as an educator in the areas of biotweaking & science. He is one of the founders of Radiona Makerspace, and a member of MENSA organisation & Hackteria network.