boredomresearch & subCULTron

Articles on the collaboration:

Robots in distress in the Venetian lagoon

Intelligence in the abyss

The art of non-determanistic behaviour


boredomresearch is a collaboration between British artists Vickey Isley & Paul Smith whose artworks express a fascination with the mechanics of the natural world, exploiting computation to create visual experiences, often highly aesthetic and poetic in nature.

In AfterGlow (2016), an Animate Projects commission funded by the Wellcome Trust, boredomresearch collaborated with Dr Paddy Brock, a mathematical modeler at the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, to explore the bounds of current epidemiological practice. Together they created a new expression of a malaria infection transmission scenario, which is conveyed by luminous spiraling forms flowing through a landscape locked in perpetual twilight. AfterGlow places the audience in the perspective of the mosquitoes, immersing them in a vibrant blizzard of infection.

In Dreams of Mice: Ron, 19 October 2014 at 2:48am (2015) boredomresearch created a poetic expression of the recorded dream of a laboratory mouse. Collaborating with Dr Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, a neuroscientist from the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford, boredomresearch gained an insight into ongoing research that looks to understand the magical domain of sleep. The artwork presents a structure, evocative of a neural synapse or tree roots in an underground sleeping chamber, brought to life by data collected through neural implants.

boredomresearch initiated BLAST (Bournemouth Lab of Art, Science & Technology) in 2015 at Bournemouth University - a program of interdisciplinary workshops and eco-action events; demonstrating the value of art as a catalyst for negotiating the complexities of rapid, technologically complex, social and ecological change.

boredomresearch are keen to utilise the FEAT residency to gain a deeper understanding of an innovative emerging technology; continuing enhancing their ability to open meaningful channels between cutting edge science and contemporary culture. Working with a FET partner to develop new ideas responding to cultural concerns, helping to stimulate a broader global discussion and promoting audiences engagement with challenging new ideas. 

boredomresearch will be collaborating with subcultron. The project aims at achieving long-term autonomy in a learning, self-regulating, self-sustaining underwater society/culture of robots in a high-impact application area: the Venetian lagoon.

Roland Thenius, University of Graz (subcultron):

Podcast: Vickey Isley, Paul Smith & Thomas Schmickl

Vicky Isley and Paul Smith forming the artist duo Boredom Research and Thomas Schmickl, the project leader of the scientific research project subCULTron talk about their respective approach of artificial life, both "in vitro" (artificial virtual creatures in a computer environment) and "in vivo" (robots and more precisely swarm of robots in natural environments). They present and discuss their common ground and questions in relation to the FEAT residency.