Andy Gracie

Andy Gracie is an artist who works across many disciplines.

Andy Gracie works across various disciplines including installation, robotics, sound, video and biological practice. This work is situated at a point of separation between the arts and the sciences, creating situations of exchange which allow new understandings and knowledge systems to develop.
He writes:

'My artistic practice is characterised by an in depth engagement with process, scientific methodologies and the nature of experiment. Here 'experiment' refers both to the act of acquiring knowledge and information through testing scenarios, and to the act of trying unknown or untested processes. I am interested in how as humans we imagine, simulate and inhabit scenarios that test our understanding and our imagination of the future.

For a long time my work was concerned with the information systems contained within living organisms and ecosystems and how they may be processed through technology, reflecting on the ideas of biosemiotics. Lines of inquiry stemmed from an interest in using organic cultures as processing systems for artificially generated, or technology based, data in an effort to provoke behaviours that contain meaning. The projects emerging from this process are staged as simulations; inserting organisms into non-natural or extreme situations, frequently as propositions for astrobiological experiments. In recent years my work has led me to cultural analysis of the science of astrobiology and life science research in the space environment. This pathway has also led me to develop projects that examine how we see ourselves as a post-terrestrial society and how we strive to understand the universe around us.

This process of investigation has led me to use a variety of approaches to robotics, artificial intelligence and biological practice. My research has led me through a diverse range of fields including microbiology, astrobiology, satellite and space exploration, wilderness exploration, hiking and mapping.

Increasingly I have been engaging directly with the realities of the relationship between the arts and the sciences, specifically how their differences can be exploited to generate moments of artistic value. While following rigorous scientific methodologies and maintaining a strong critical viewpoint my work is faithful to traditional artistic principles of metaphor, ambiguity and a strong sense of wonder. My intention is that the artworks and associated aspects of my practice stimulate the discussion of how and why we acquire knowledge through the cultural activities of art and science, and about how we choose or not to apply that knowledge.

The current expression of these ideas is in a body of work that outlines the psychology, culture and aesthetics of disaster and the impermanence of humanity on a cosmic scale.

My work has been exhibited widely and internationally in both solo and group shows and has included several special commissions for new works. I presents regularly at conferences and seminars across the globe and has published a number of articles and papers. My work has also been featured in books by Stephen Wilson, Linda Weintraub, William Myers, Maria-Antonia Gonzalez and Dmitry Bulatov.

My large scale installation 'Autoinducer_ph-1' has received honourable mentions from VIDA and Ars Electronica in 2007. The ongoing project 'Drosophila titanus' received an honorary mention from Ars Electronica in 2015.

Alongside my artistic practice I was a co-founder of the open art/science initiative Hackteria, an international network of artists and practitioners with a strong educational presence. I have co-produced, hosted and curated numerous exhibitions, workshop programs and art/science crossover events internationally.

Between 1999 and 2007 I worked at the University of Huddersfield as visiting lecturer, and later as course leader of the MA in Smart and Digital Design.

I am currently involved in a long term collaboration/residency with the Institute of Cosmic Sciences at the University of Barcelona.'

From: www.hostprods.net/about

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