BCL meets BCL (The Verina Gfader Interview) March 4th, 2011

On the occasion of the publication of the Coded Cultures book, we decided to publish the full dialogue between Verina Gfader and us.

Go on, read it in it’s entire glory. You know you want to.

50 plus 3 questions for BCL aka The BCL meets … Nullnummer

50 plus 3 questions for BCL is a dialogue between BCL and Verina Gfader conducted via a shared online document in June 2010. Discussing the underlying codes and strategies of the work Common Flowers / Flower Commons, 2008-, the dialogue forms the base for the essay Imaginary Agents — Flowers and the Common (in Russegger, G., Tarasiewicz, M. and Wlodkowski, M. (eds) Coded Cultures. New Creative Practices out of Diversity. Springer Wien/New York Edition Angewandte 2011). As a parallel investigation to the theoretical elaboration, this more informal exchange of thoughts pushes the artists’ ideas further into an improvised process of gathering data about their activities and everyday. Subjects of 50 plus 3 questions for BCL include issues of bio-hacking, the common, DIY flowers, tactical practices, societal plants, instructions for actions and Tokyo sites.

And that’s what Amazon has to say about the book:

International Authors from Europe and Asia explain the impact of codes and cultures on society

Through the establishment of new creative cultures, enabled by digital media and global communication networks, new practices and ability profiles of artistic delineations and explorations are gaining new grounds. Furthermore, economic models are eager to create synergies with symbolic values of cultural and artistic programs to deal with the potentials of »creativity«. At the present day it is difficult to predict which catalysts and draft programs can be put into effect for these creative innovation processes. In this book a detailed review from international artists, theorists, researchers and curators will be given on new vectors of creative and artistic coded and cultures departed from digital media related art projects and observation models on the intersection of disciplines like Art, Science, Technology and Design.

More Blooming at Z33 February 2nd, 2011

More blooming of Common Flowers at the ‘Alter Nature’ exhibition at Z33. The blooming started about two weeks ago, let’s see where it will lead us.

But what we really want to know: will it result in seeds?

Thanks again to Karen for taking the pictures.

Common Flowers are blooming @ Z33 January 20th, 2011

Our Common Flowers / Flowers Commons project is currently (and until March 2011) on display at the Z33 in Hasselt, Belgium as part of the fantastic Alter Nature exhibition.
Karen Verschooren, the shows curator, send us these pictures yesterday. The flowers seem to like to atmosphere there at Z33 and are sprouting vigorously; that the are even going to bloom is a very nice surprise. But we can not take credit for their blooming, as it all in the masterful green hands of Greet Clerx from the University of Hasselt. Many thanks, Karen. Many thanks Greet.

Common Flowers / White Out at ISEA2010 Ruhr August 18th, 2010

We are very happy to be a part of the Coded Cultures / Japan Media Art FestivalExchanging Emergencies” as part of the ISEA2010.

There will be a session on Coded Cultures, the Japan Media Art Festival and Common Flowers on Tuesday, 24th August from 15h until 16.30. The session code is P23, the place is L102. We are having our “own” 20-minutes session, because we are not only part of Coded Cultures and the Japan Media Festival, but we also submitted a paper on the project, and that’s why we have our “own” time. Come, if you are around.

Here are some exhibition pictures taken before the opening.

Making ‘BioArt’ a cultural practice – Common Flowers in the Japan Times August 2nd, 2010

The Japan Times ran a story on Common Flowers on Saturday, July 31st 2010. Here are some excerpts.

Shiho Fukuhara of BCL explains, Suntory Flowers and the Moondust carnation represent the first commercially available genetically engineered consumer product that is intended purely for aesthetic consumption: ‘‘The media outcry wasn’t that huge since it was neither food nor developed from animals.’’
Fukuhara found it strange how relaxed the Japanese are about genetic engineering, the business behind it and the lack of a public dialogue about the topic.
‘‘Creating genetically manipulated plants for merely aesthetic purposes is a nice marketing strategy from somebody who wants to introduce the genetic engineering industry without being regarded as irresponsible,’’ Fukuhara says. ‘‘A product like flowers can slowly change our perception of genetically altered products. If it’s nice and beautiful with ‘Dream come true’ as a tag line, who cares how it’s made?’’

BCL’s process of cloning Suntory’s blue flower doesn’t sound that difficult. They buy the modified flowers and then bring them back to life using plant tissue culture techniques, a way of propagating plants in sterile conditions.
‘‘Basically, once a flower is cut, it is slowly dying. With plant tissue culture, plants are grown on a growth medium with the necessary nutrition. If the flower is reasonably fresh it will start growing again. This is what we mean by ‘reverse-engineering’ the plant,’’ says Fukuhara.

Online version of the full article, it’s also available as PDF