Biomodd is an art project that integrates cross-cultural dialogue, ecology and technology while encouraging innovative collaboration. Biomodd [LBA2] was the second iteration of this project, and was created in the Philippines between February and October 2009. Its aim was to come up with a locally created art installation that would literally fuse a living ecosystem with a modified computer network. The final result was a monumental wood and glass "sculpture" that contained a system of recycled computers intertwined with an aquaponics system, and a multiplayer art game enabling visitors to directly interact with the piece. (Learn how the installation works.)
At this moment other versions are independently being developped throughout the Philippines, turning Biomodd into a true "open source art work".
Conceived and first launched by Belgian artist Angelo Vermeulen in the USA, the core concept of co-created symbiosis of biology and electronics was adapted and relaunched in the Philippines through a partnership with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and a range of Filipino partners. The first version, Biomodd [ATH1], was created in Athens, Ohio in 2007. Biomodd [LBA2] was the second iteration of the project and took some of the ideas from the Ohio version to a whole new level, while also adding aspects unique to the Philippine context. Artist, computer scientist, and UPOU faculty Diego Maranan led Biomodd [LBA2] with Angelo Vermeulen to build the small but passionate initial group of volunteers, the "Core". All in all, over 100 Filipino artists, scientists, engineers, gamers, craftsmen, volunteers and students were involved over the course of eight months. Social networking tools facilitated the expansion of this community.
The first Philippine version was exhibited at the Student Union, UPLB last August 5-20, 2009 and then at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila last September 5-25, 2009. Subsequent versions were built, including a student-led "[M]Biomodd" installation at the Youth for Information Technology Conference in 2009.
The Philippine Biomodd returns home to Los Baños, with the Commemorative Biomodd at the new Center for Digital Learning at UPOU. This current installation recalls and celebrates the countless number of individuals who have, in their own ways, shaped this social sculpture that encapsulates the struggles and the rewards of collaborative creativity.