IN:Fusion → BIOPHILIA, TECHNOPHILIA → The open call for artistic projects, between August 1st and September 1st

On August 1st, Qolony initiates the first stage of its latest project, IN:Fusion, an experimental hackathon bringing together scientists and theorists with artists and designers to collaboratively explore innovative artistic ideas. Until September 1st, Romanian artists can submit projects within the frame of the IN:Fusion concept - Biophilia - Technophilia on the association’s website, presenting their ideas for reconciling exponentially growing technology with the need for a connection with naturral world.

The project’s artistic team, composed of Mihaela Ghiță, cultural manager and science journalist, Floriama Cândea, artist and curator, Diane Pricop, cultural manager and art & science journalist, Dr. Ana Butcaru, scientific researcher at the Research Center for the Study of the Quality of Agri-Food Products, and Dr. Anca Aldea, scientific researcher at INFIM, will select 10 artists from the submissions to participate in the hackathon scheduled for September 16-22. The event will take place at the Oteteleșanu Mansion, part of the National Institute for Research and Development of Materials Physics located on the Măgurele platform.

Qolony aims to promote transdisciplinary collaboration between art and scientific research, employing a hackathon – typically used by entrepreneurs, engineers, and programmers – to establish a collaborative infrastructure between artists and scientists. This type of program has the potential to create new learning and professional development opportunities for seemingly different disciplines.

IN:Fusion provides artists with the opportunity to test and develop their project ideas in collaboration with researchers from partner research institutes
Institute of Space Science
National Institute for Research and Development of Materials Physics
National Institute for Research and Development of Lasers, Plasma and Radiation
National Institute for Research and Development of Textiles and Leather
Research Center for the Study of the Quality of Agri-Food Products

By participating in the program, artists gain access to scientific information and facilities from the institutes, while researchers have the chance to interact with a different type of creativity, aiming to form less conventional working partnerships.

The chosen theme for IN:Fusion explores the apparent contrast between biophilia and technophilia, concepts that seem to describe two opposite poles of our relationship with the surrounding world. However, rapid changes in social, scientific, technological, and ecological contexts have led to the coexistence of these two directions – on one hand, exponentially growing technology, and on the other hand, an increasing concern for the conservation and protection of the environment.

For example, humanity has already developed biomimetic practices, recognizing the intrinsic intelligence of non-human species (animals, fungi, bacteria), shaping technologies based on these forms of intelligence, creating living buildings, self-organizing robots, and more. Simultaneously, aware of the impact of manipulating biology, there is also a low-tech scenario imagining a world of resilience, sustainable development, zero-waste industry, a world trying to change technologies that disrupt the natural environment.

How can we support both this growing interest in technology and our intrinsic need to connect with nature and protect Earth’s fragile ecosystems? Can we view technology only as an agent of our separation from nature, or can we leverage it as a means to connect with the surrounding environment? Can we truly establish clear boundaries between the biological and the synthetic? Can our digital technologies and sustainability models reshape culture to align with the needs of the natural world? What contributions does scientific research make in this regard? These are the questions the initiators of the project aim to answer through this hackathon.