Devon Ward is an artist, designer and interdisciplinary researcher pursuing a Master of Biological Art at SymbioticA within the University of Western Australia. His work investigates the liminal space between art and science and engages with living materials as a medium for artistic expression. His process involves entering into the scientific laboratory as a means of elucidating and subsequently subverting the tools of objective observation, repositioning them as a means for subjective cultural investigation. Biological technologies are used to investigate the digitisation of microcellular life and symbolic translation that occurs within this process. Through this trans-disciplinary practise Devon ruminates on the influence of language and symbolism within technology and biology.
Nerves in Patterns on a Screen is a speculative project that investigates the levels of care and control that humans maintain over microscopic life in order to generate knowledge. A hierarchical order is maintained during laboratory experiments, whereby someone observes and something is observed. This project explores how biological technologies that digitally record the activities of microscopic life can be re-framed as a means of destabilizing this order. Instead of extending of our perceptual boundaries, the limits of the observational tools are shown.
Living neural tissue is employed as both medium and agent in this project. Digital animations are choreographed and corrupted by the electrical signals of neurons as our technological gaze is disrupted by the agency of life. A collection of chapbooks accompanies the digital, featuring typographic collages and biodigital poetries that cut up the rules of language. These works ruminate on the imposition of symbolism on both digital and biological life, creating a biosemiotic exchange in which an electrical impulses are imbued with meaning.
-Selected for Plant, Energy and Biology Photography Collection / 2012 / Perth, AU
-Awarded Magna Cum Laude / 2010 / University of Florida / Gainesville, USA
-Selection to Ligature 19 / 2010 / Focus Gallery / Gainesville, USA
-Selection to Ligature 17 / 2008 / Focus Gallery / Gainesville, USA