- About Us
- Our Programs
- Our Events
- uCity Square
- Support Us
By Angela McQuillan
We are happy to announce that our newest bioartists-in-residence will be artist duo Genefer Baxter and Marco Locatelli (from IMRSV Arts) based in Berlin, Germany. Marco and Genefer will be spending the next three months at biotechnology company Integral Molecular developing a new artistic project and will be regularly reporting their research progress here. Before they get started, we did a brief introductory interview.
Can you describe the concept behind IMRSV Arts and how it all began? How did the two of you start your collaboration?
IMRSV Arts was conceived in an attempt to revolutionize the way art is experienced. Both coming from curating backgrounds (Genefer in Philadelphia, and Marco in a gallery from Italy), we noticed a lack of engagement from viewers with the Arts.
Founded in 2017 in Berlin, IMRSV Arts now creates interactive experiences where viewers are encouraged to participate in each exhibition through the use of new media technology. We create interactive installations because we believe that art should be accessible to everyone; we believe in the power of art and technology to bring people together for an impactful experience.
How many members does IMRSV Arts have now?
IMRSV Arts is a team of 7, which includes artists experienced in hardware, VR/AR, light design, and software engineering.
Can both of you briefly describe your background?
Marco is a mixed-media visual artist and product designer from Bergamo, Italy. Marco has over 7 years of experience in product design, engineering, and nanotechnology. In addition to leading production within IMRSV Arts, Marco uses 3D modeling and generative coding to explore expressionistic sculpture in the virtual space.
Genefer is a German-American artist born in Philadelphia, PA. She has over five years of experience in event management and art curating. With her background in Marketing and Arts-based Research, she combines the Arts, the Sciences, and Business in a unique way, creating experiences which collaboratively explore the human condition.
In addition to being the Marketing Manager of IMRSV Arts, Genefer works within the company as an illustrator, 2D animator and motion-graphics designer.
Genefer, can you talk about your experience as an intern at Integral Molecular and why you decided to return to Philadelphia?
Integral Molecular was my first real experience in the sciences and the “start-up culture”. Not only was I exposed to interesting ideas, but to a community of interesting people. I saw how people of different disciplines could work together toward one common goal, and working at Integral influenced me to make an effort to develop our own diverse team to cross-pollinate ideas at IMRSV Arts.
As IMRSV Arts moves further into bio-feedback and biometric data, we have become increasingly interested in biology. This made Integral a great match for an artist residency, and we are excited to learn more about the sector.
Marco, you have spent some time in Philadelphia, can you give some insights about your experiences here so far?
My first few weeks in Philadelphia have been interesting for me, and I am happy to see a thriving art and start-up culture in the area. Coming from Berlin, I am excited to be bringing what we have learned the digital arts from Europe to Philly, and am equally excited to learn and take something back.
Why are you interested in biotechnology?
We aim to create non-linear music performances and other interactive experiences. Implementing biotechnology and the use of biometric data in experience design via sensors, is becoming an increasingly useful tool for this. We want our audiences to become a part of the space in the most intuitive way, and to leave with a deeper understanding of themselves.
What specific areas of focus are you looking to explore during this residency?
We are very interested in the technology behind measuring human biology, and it will be interesting to learn more about Integral’s process behind their work.
Our philosophy holds that creativity is not performed by the artist alone. We believe that the participant is more of a collaborator who brings our work to life through their interaction and exploration of it. Thus, our mission is to use new media technology, such as biotechnology, to facilitate engagement and creativity from our viewers.
We believe that by employing biometric technology within the exhibition, participants in our collaborative piece with Integral will be able to experience themselves in a quantifiable way, and our hope is that we can give the audience a voice to communicate their thoughts and ideas about the matter in return.
What past projects have you done that are similar?
We have never worked directly alongside a biotechnology company before. We have, however, begun to explore the world of bio-feedback. In our exhibition titled EXCHANGE in Berlin, Germany, we developed an interactive music experience using such technology. A heart rate sensor placed at the center of the venue, was open for guests to interact with. Each musician was asked to develop a live set, aimed at fluctuating the heart rate of our guests. The system read the heart rate of visitors, which was then projected onto their own “crystal” in real time. The crystal “beat” to the rhythm of their heart, providing a beautiful sight for everyone else sharing the room.
Learn more at imrsvarts.org