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Art, Biotechnology

When art collides with science and technology, magic happens: ANAT Synapse 2024 residents announced

Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT) 4 mins read
Piece by 2024 ANAT Synapse resident Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello OAM

When art collides with science and technology, magic happens


ANAT Synapse 2024 residents announced

$20,000 Fellowship unveiled celebrating 20 years of art + science synergy

For the past 36 years, the Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT) has cultivated opportunities for artists to create experimental work in and with science and technology, playing a unique and critical role in Australia’s artistic and cultural ecosystem.


Today two ANAT Synapse 2024 residents and their extraordinary projects have been announced.


Cross-disciplinary, creative collision is at the heart of everything ANAT does, most notably in this flagship residency program, ANAT Synapse which involves Australian research organisations hosting artists in residence to undertake a period of creative research and practice. Since its genesis in 2004, ANAT Synapse has enabled research collaborations between more than 100 artists and scientists and has facilitated crossovers between sound design and ecology, new media and data science, poetry and astrophysics, and many others.


To mark 20 years, this year a one off $20,000 ANAT Synapse Fellowship will also be announced to support an ANAT Synapse Alumnus to continue the trajectory of their interdisciplinary artistic practice.


Below are the two ANAT Synapse 2024 residents and extraordinary projects:



2024 ANAT Synapse resident Keith Armstrong: Forest Art Intelligence

Keith Armstrong, an experimental artist for over 23 years, specialises in collaborative, experimental art forms, his work includes innovative performances, site-specific electronic arts, and socially and ecologically engaged practices. He has led over 60 major art projects shown worldwide.


In late 2019 he showed his new work Elegy for Life, Anthem for Artifice in The 5th International Art and Science Exhibition and Symposium: The Integration of Art and Science in the Age of Artificial Intelligence at the National Museum of China, and in 2022 he was the installation artist for the large-scale collaborative artwork Uramat Mugas showcased for the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT10) at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane.

The Project – to understand how to develop art forms capable of growing and evolving alongside a regenerating forest, whilst also actively benefiting that forest’s health. He aims to embed artworks capable of slowly finding, and then occupying, their own intelligent ‘niches’, within the forest’s ecology - a speculative form called ‘Art Intelligence’.


The art+science team has obtained special permission to restore a cleared block of land at the Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF) in Brisbane into a high conservation-value forest. They plan to develop "Art Intelligences" (AI) that grow and evolve symbiotically with the forest.


The Forest-Art Intelligence (FAI) will be sustainably built, interconnected installations using a palette of "lively materials" capable of detecting changes in colour, light, movement, and growth. Data sensors will complement these materials, providing online traces of the work's evolution. The project aims to directly benefit the forest through ecological actions, such as robotic water systems, soil conditioning, organic material transfer, cultural burning, and attracting pollinators.


Outcomes will be presented at ISEA 2024 in Brisbane and online, combining ecological science, botany, data science, environmental art, and sustainable media arts to create a model for artists and scientists with similar goals. The project also supports public engagement with the forest's regrowth processes and aligns with the site owner's intention to transition towards cultural burning through their First Nations engagement program.


Host Organisations
1. Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF): Dr. David Tucker
2. TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network) – Australia’s Land Ecosystem Observatory:
Dr. Eleanor Velasquez
3. Samford Ecological Research Facility: Dr. Gabrielle Lebbinck

2024 ANAT Synapse resident Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello OAM: Stories Beneath my Ancestors’ Footprints
Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello OAM is a multi-award winning artist of Aboriginal (L. Southern Arrernte), Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. Her works are held in multiple national and international public and private collections. In 2023 she was recognised as a Pacific Region Craft Master by the World Crafts Council.


About her project in her words: “This project is a collaborative experimentation focusing on creative research and practice to discover and identify the palaeoecological substrata of the lands my Aboriginal and Chinese Ancestors walked. The residency focuses on the research, discovery and collation of geo-culturally specific data relevant to my Ancestral identity. I will be mentored by Prof. Simon Haberle in identifying and accessing pollens, diatoms, phytoliths, charcoal deposits and spores retrieved from deep time in geo-cores from my Grandmother’s traditional Lower Southern Arrernte country, far north South Australia and Xiamen, formerly Amoy on the south eastern coast of China where my Grandfather came from.”


“In 2014 I created my first series of hot blown glass cylindrical Voice Cores, inspired by a long held fascination with the capacity of scientific cores sunk into the earth to access a place’s deep time through the analysis of ecopaleological spores, pollen and sediments. In 2021 I created another set of Voice Cores based on the concept that they represent those First Aboriginal Stories of Place as if they were core samples sunk deep into the earth to extract the shapes, sounds, syllables, vowels and consonants of the most ancient and highly evolved languages ever spoken. Each cylinder represents, and is named for a specific grouping of First Stories, Songs and Ceremonies and the glass murrini created specifically for each one were designed to reflect the characteristics of those stories, the land and flora, and the sounds of the voices that first spoke them.”


Host Organisation
School of Culture, History and Languages Australian National University: Simon Haberle



For more information or for interviews please contact Kath Rose on 0416 291 493 or email


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