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Artist Statement

Biomodd is a collaborative art project conceived to challenge presumed notions of opposition between nature and technology in different cultures throughout the world. In Biomodd, nature and technology are not juxtaposed but rather fused into imaginative hybrid installations. The core idea is the creation of experimental systems in which modified computer networks coexist with living ecosystems. The challenge is to bring biological life as physically close to the electronics as possible, and allow them to communicate with each other through meaningful symbiotic relationships. Biomodd is a nomadic project in which subsequent versions are built each time with different collaborators and new materials. In this way each version reflects the cultural and social conditions in which it was created and is a reinterpretation of the original concept. After showcasing the result each hybrid installation is fully disassembled, and its components are re-used and recycled. Biological life is adopted by collaborators or taken back to nature. However, selected parts of previous versions are always integrated into each new installation. In this way all versions are conceptually and physically connected, independent of time or location.

The title 'Biomodd' came up spontaneously as a working title, but very rapidly came to embody the nature of the project and naturally became the final title. The case modding scene is a very active and creative subculture, something that operates way beyond the boundaries of contemporary art. In Biomodd such subcultures are explored from an artistic point of view; the project is inspired by the codes and methods that make up such cultural practices. The idea of case modding is approached as a form of expanded sculpture. In this sculptural approach a “functional” form factor is not imperative; rather, it's about building a structure that is both sculpture and a functioning computer. The functionality of the computer is co-opted by recycling the heat it emits by building an ecosystem inside the structure living along with the electronics.

Biomodd is explicitly a collaborative effort. This collaborative nature is situated on two levels. On a first level I work with a team of people and empower every individual within the group to add something substantial to the work, which is why the project begins with a solely conceptual focus and grows organically from there. On a second level the work is recreated in different places with different people. And each time, the project will start from scratch, with the exception of a few components from previous versions, as well as the experience gained from those projects.

Angelo Vermeulen
Sint-Niklaas