The installation by RIXC artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits "Swamp Radio. Fluctuations of Microworlds" will be exhibited in "THEMUSEUM" Kichener, Canada in the exhibition "Agents for Change | Facing the Anthropocene" which will be opened on November 23, 2020.
“Agents for Change| Facing the Anthropocene” co-curated by Jane Tingley and Nina Czegledy, presents the work of ten national and international women interdisciplinary artists, who work at the intersection of science, technology, and art, on the overarching theme of ecological change. The Canadian artists selected for this exhibition are Diane Laundry (QC), Donna Legault (ON), Maayke Schurer (ON), Liz Miller (QC) and Elaine Whitaker (ON), and the international artists are Kristine Diekman (USA), Olga Kisseleva (FR/RU), Pinar Yoldas (TR/USA), and artist duos Caro McCaw and Vicki Smith (NZ), and Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (LV).
The exhibition features the installation "Swamp Radio. Fluctuations of Microworlds" (2018) by RIXC artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits. “Swamp Radio” takes a challenge to give a voice to many those unheard, and invisible. The swamps, these vast wetlands, with their ancient ecosystems are like time-capsules. Yet, they are also key players for serving a variety of ecological services for our modern society.
The artists have performed various artistic interventions installing “bacteria batteries”, environmental monitoring sensors and transmitting devices, to transform swamps into living power plants, and used the eco-systematic data to create immersive experiences in VR video.
The live installation in the exhibition space, “Fluctuations of Microworlds”, consists of six “bacteria battery” cells, built by using MFC (Microbial Fuel Cell) technology, which generates electrical energy
from microorganisms – bacteria found in the soil, sediments of the pond or sewage. Electrical impulses and fluctuations of “bacteria electricity” are transformed into real-time sonic structures, which intervenes with the video image of drone flight over the Kemeri bog in Latvia, North Europe, thus making audible and visible the invisible activity in nature, and creating poetics of green energy.
Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits are internationally acknowledged artists and cultural innovators, who work at the intersection of art, science and emerging media. They are co-founders of RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Riga (Latvia), curators of it annual festival, and editors of Acoustic Space publication series. They also work as researchers and educators in Latvia and Europe; and currently they are visiting lecturers at MIT Art, Culture and Technology Program in Boston. In their artistic practice, Smite and Smits work together as artist duo, creating networked and visionary artworks. Their pioneering internet radio “Xchange” project received PRIX Ars Electronica (1998). Their more recent artworks, such as “Talk to Me” – human-plant communication project, and “Biotricity” – sonic experiment series with “bacteria electricity”, have been exhibited in HeK in Basel, Ars Electronica in Linz, National Science and Technology Museum in Stockholm, Van Abbe Museum for Modern and Contemporary Arts in Eindhoven, ZKM in Karlsruhe, MIT Center for Theoretical Physics in Boston, Venice Architecture Biennial. Smite & Smits have received The Excellence in Culture Award (2017) from Latvian Ministry of Culture; and their artwork “Swamp Radio. Fluctuations of Microworlds” (2018) was nominated for Purvitis Award in Visual Arts of Latvia.
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