BioArtist to discuss new documentary on CJAM

When Visual Arts professor Jennifer Willet pulled together a group of artists and scientists from around the world for a two-week camp last summer in the Rocky Mountains, she was charting new territory in the world of BioArt.

Jennifer Willet

Jennifer Willet.

Now a short web-based documentary is available for those interested in knowing more about the genre as well as what a mind-expanding and fun experience it was for those who participated.

The BioARTCAMP was a hybrid workshop, conference and performance event that brought 20 national and international artists, scientists, filmmakers, and university students together at the Banff National Park to build a portable biology laboratory that served as a field research station housing a functional biological sciences lab and a variety of art/science projects.

The entire experience was documented by Jeanette Groenendaal and Zoot Derks, Amsterdam-based filmmakers with a production company called G-Netwerk. Dr. Willet said they’ve been working with bioartists for about five or six years now so they’re really familiar with the ideas, the technology and the type of shots she wanted to achieve.

“They have a really fun, quirky, playful avant garde camera strategy and so the footage that comes out of BioART CAMP does not look like a David Suzuki production,” she said. “It doesn’t just repeat the voice of science. It becomes a playful and alternative vision of what biotechnology can be as embodied within a film and for that I’m really grateful.”

Besides the shorter documentary, Willet said the filmmakers are working on a longer version that will be part of an installation that can be set up for gallery exhibits.

Willet will discuss the film and the concepts of BioArt when she appears this afternoon on CJAM 99.1 FM on Research Matters, a weekly talk show that focuses on the work of University of Windsor researchers and airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Watch the documentary on the project: