Biomodd is a collaborative art project conceived to challenge presumed notions of opposition between nature and technology in different cultures throughout the world. The project started in 2007 during a residency of Angelo Vermeulen at The Aesthetic Technologies Lab in Athens, Ohio. Since then multiple versions have been built both by the people that originally came up with the idea, and by other communities throughout the world. Biomodd art works have been created and showcased in America, the Asia Pacific, and Europe. I have so far been directly involved in three Biomodd-related projects.
The second iteration of Biomodd was built and put on display in Los Baños, Laguna and Manila in the Philippines from February to October 2009. Its aim was to come up with a locally created art installation that would literally fuse a living ecosystem with a modified computer network. The final result was a monumental wood and glass “sculpture” that contained a system of recycled computers intertwined with an aquaponics system, and a multiplayer art game enabling visitors to directly interact with the piece. Conceived and first launched by Belgian artist Angelo Vermeulen in the USA, the core concept of co-created symbiosis of biology and electronics was adapted and relaunched in the Philippines through a partnership with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and a range of Filipino partners.
A paper was written by Angelo, my colleague and Biomodd[LBA2] coordinator Diego Maranan and myself, entitled Biomodd: A Case Study In Combining Online Learning With On-Site New Media Art Practice. I presented this paper at the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) Conference at Penang, Malaysia in 2011.
Work on an installation that commemorated Biomodd[LBA2] started at the end of 2009, whose results went on display in the UP Open University from February to July 2010. After further refinement, the installation was then moved to the 3rd Philippine International Flora and Fauna Green Living Expo in the World Trade Center near the end of July. The installation garnered significant attention from the media, visitors and fellow exhibitors representing various organizations.
Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies and Associate in Arts students in MMS 198 and CWTS were the driving force behind [C]Biomodd throughout 2010.
The third major Biomodd project was organized in Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in the latter half of 2011. Biomodd [TUDelft3] took place in the context of the inaugural speech of professor Frances Brazier of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. Biomodd coincided with Brazier’s work on participatory systems, which referred to how human beings, technological systems and ecosystems participate in each others processes.
The eighth major iteration of Biomodd, and the fourth one that I involved myself in, was built in the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung, Taiwan from January to April 2016. It is easily the biggest and most ambitious installation to date, designed, built and maintained by a large team of artists, students, and staff of NTMoFA.