boredomresearch is a collaboration between British artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, their work benefits from a long lasting fascination in the mechanics of the natural world which they explore using contemporary technology. Their work transcends boundaries between art, science and society, with previous projects exploring topics including: the intricate biological signatures of neural activity, the frontiers of disease modeling and our cultural obsession with speed.
boredomresearch have been working in collaboration with world leading science institutions across Europe creating artworks developed from their ground breaking research. In 2015, boredomresearch collaborated with Dr Vlad Vyazovskiy, a neuroscientist from the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford to create a powerful visual expression of his world leading research into the mechanics of sleep. This visual expression of the dream of a laboratory mouse entitled Dreams of Mice: Ron, 19 October 2014 at 2:48am is driven by data collected from subdermal implants revealing the intriguing beauty of slumber.
Collaborating with Dr Paddy Brock, a mathematical modeler at the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow from 2014-2016 boredomresearch explored the bounds of current epidemiological practice considering the spatial qualities of disease transmission in their project AfterGlow, an Animate Projects commission funded by the Wellcome Trust. This art and science collaborative project led towards the creation of a new representation of a malaria infection transmission scenario which was awarded in September 2016 the prestigious Lumen Prize in the Moving Image Category.
The art of boredomresearch opens channels for meaningful dialogue and engagement between public and scientific domains. For example, their work Real Snail Mail (the worlds first webmail service to use real snails) challenging our cultural obsession with speed, received worldwide attention, including: BBC, TIME Magazine, New Scientist and Discovery Channel Canada.
The artworks of boredomresearch are in collections around the world including the British Council and Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, Istanbul. Recent international exhibitions include: Balance Unbalance 2016, Manizales; Bio-Art 2015, Seoul; ISEA 2015, Vancouver; TRANSITIO MX_06 Electronic Arts & Video Festival, Mexico City in 2015; Soft Control: Art, Science and the Technological Unconscious, Slovenia in 2012 and Gateways, House of Electronic Arts, Basel in 2012.
boredomresearch are represented by DAM Gallery, Berlin and are Research Lecturers at the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University. In 2015 they initiated BLAST (Bournemouth Lab of Art, Science & Technology) which celebrates, reinforces and nurtures world leading arts, science and technological interactions.
AfterGlow (Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, Recovered) (2016) 4’36”
boredomresearchs artwork is informed by principles of scientific modelling, inspired by the mechanisms and behaviours of natural systems. Central to their work is the aesthetic expression of intriguing patterns, motions and forms, expressed in real-time over extended durations, using technologies usually associated with computer games.
AfterGlow (Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, Recovered) is a film made using sequences from their real-time digital artwork; informed by models of disease transmission, on Banggi Island in Malaysia. Locked in perpetual twilight (prime mosquito blood-feeding time), the film presents a terrain progressively illuminated by glowing trails, evocative of mosquito flight paths. These spiralling forms represent packets of blood, carried by mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium knowlesi, a malaria parasite recently found to jump the species barrier from monkey to human. The film captures the infection left in the wake of wandering macaques as they search the island for food and reveals the intimate relationship between disease and its environment. Here we see how the islands empty dark mountains are quickly engulfed with glowing forms. The viewer journeys through the different stages of infection. Starting with delicately spiralling cells of colour that form clusters and then becoming turbulent when infectious. Where the infection is most dense, we see a blizzard of disease, vividly expressing the complexity of this dangerous scenario. The AfterGlow film and generative artwork was commissioned by Animate Projects and supported by the Wellcome Trust.