Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Eco-Management created in Second Life exhibition


Mellifera exhibition at QUT, The Block

Two artists-in-residence at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland in Brisbane have created an online, ecologically sensitive biosystem.

The artists, Dr Trish Adams and Dr Andrew Burrell, say their Mellifera project, situated in the virtual world of Second Life, consists of an online interactive environment.

They say this creation is the perfect example of the growing genre of bio-art and represents the ideal convergence between art and science and technology.

For Dr Burrell, the Second Life Mellifera portrays a fantasy space in which anything is possible.

Mellifera and other virtual environments have made it possible to realise many ideas that previously existed merely as flights of the imagination,” Dr Burrell said.

During the exhibition visitors have been able to interact directly on the virtual world of Second Life via physical engagement through real object in the gallery space.

Professor Elif Ayiter, of Sabanci University in Turkey, says visitors to the exhibition will find a different experience.

“While visitors in the physical exhibition space walk across surfaces, their vibrations are sent into Second Life creating a virtual response in the Mellis Florae, whose sound in its turn will vibrate water contained in vessels in Real Life,” he said.

Central to this eco-management artwork is the artist’s direct engagement with various aspects of bee behaviour at the Queensland Brain Institute, Dr Adams and Dr Burrell where they research the cognitive navigational and communicative attributes of the honey bee.

“As an artist who collaborates with scientists I am in the position of engaging with specialists in disparate fields and developing a cross-disciplinary practice. Mediated through art, I reinterpret my scientific experiences for a wider audience,” Dr Adams said.

The collaboration between Dr Adams and Dr Burrell translate many aspects of our environment, particularly social and ecological concerns, but is also an investigation into the self and the implications of artificial life upon a traditional view of the self.

The Mellifera exhibition takes place at QUT’s The Block, in conjunction with Australia’s national science week until September 5.