Isea 2022 - Possibles



June 9 to August 21

Artwork / AquA(l)formings – Interweaving the Subaqueous

Authors: Robertina Šebjanič, Sofia Crespo, Feileacan McCormick


Utilising narrative-poetic, backed by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, AquA(l)formings address the empathetic interspecies development of relationships with more-than-human entities. It explores the changes in the marine environment caused by human presence and tries to imagine how the new conditions (rising sea levels, water temperatures, new chemical composition…) are reflected in its inhabitants.


Theme: Remote sensing - aquatic sensing, marine ecology, commoditization of water, A.I. and data collection, Human and more-than-human

  • Abstract: The AquA(l)formings project addresses the possibility of an empathic human relationship to more-than-human entities, drawing on Donna Haraway’s notion of “tentacular thinking” as the ability to perceive the world through empathizing with more-than-human entities.
    The project explores changes in the marine environment caused by human presence and tries to imagine how the new conditions (rising sea levels and water temperatures, new chemical composition, etc.) affect its inhabitants. Seas and oceans record such environmental changes as memories, either in individual organisms or as distinct shifts in ecosystem structures.

    AquA(l)formings is a multilayered installation exploring “aquatic sensing.” The physical (biomaterial sculpture) and digital (audio, video AI models that interact with sensory data) form a tangible experience of changing conditions in the coastal environments.

    The artists trace “threads” of the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis), a marine inhabitant that has always aroused the curiosity of scientists and others involved with the sea, and use it as a visual synonym for the more-than-human entities. Today, however, the noble pen shell has succumbed to disease caused by environmental changes in the Mediterranean.  The use of AI technologies helps visualize the past and the future of the noble pen shell, and the vast underwater meadows of the Posidonia oceanica seagrass in the northern Adriatic Sea.

    By presenting its story, the artists help to initiate research to explore the use and improvement of new biological materials that would not threaten the existence or habitat of certain organisms.

  • Biography: Robertina Šebjanič is an artist whose work explores the cultural, geopolitical and ecological realities of aquatic environments and the impact of humanity on other organisms. She tackles the philosophical questions at the intersection of art, technology and science. In her analysis of the Anthropocene and its theoretical framework, the artist uses the terms “aquatocene” and “aquaforming” to refer to the human impact on aquatic environments. Her works received awards and nominations at Prix Ars Electronica, Starts Prize, Falling Walls.

    Sofia Crespo (Entangled Others) is an artist with a focus on artificial life, her practice is driven by a huge interest in biologically-inspired technologies, such as neural networks. Her main focus is the way organic life uses artificial mechanisms to simulate itself and evolve. Her work has been exhibited and has won several awards.

    Feileacan McCormick (Entangled Others) is a generative artist, researcher & former architect. His practice focuses on ecology, nature & generative arts, with a focus on giving non-human new forms of presence & life in the digital space.


  • Santa Mònica

La Rambla, 7, Barcelona

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