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BichEden: Folds
Pat Badani and Mariel Martinez


“BichEden: Folds” uses philosophy of ecology and scientific concepts related to food web communities as empirical grounding for associative thinking in the creation of imaginative 3D visualizations. Driven by how the Anthropocene extinction is perceived and experienced, the work explores visual narratives inspired by disrupted species interactions in marine food chains. Invested in a process of learning about the importance of relationships within a community of organisms, “BichEden: Folds” probes edges that meet and ‘fold’ (diminish, reduce, withdraw) and ‘unfold’ (increase, grow) like an origami, driven by a set of questions related to food web energy flows: What are the new edges and convergences? How to differentiate between the various forms of edge? How to extend these nuances of edge into the future? Involved in imagining possible new worlds, knowledges, and subjectivities - worlds in which many worlds might fit - the work’s dark and light angles, folds, and slashes represent layered transitions marked by conformities, nonconformities, paraconformities, and disconformities.


Pat Badani creates expanded photo-sculptural artifacts that explore the relation between aesthetic practice and worldmaking—the making, unmaking, and remaking of worlds, and the role of technology in engaging ecological thinking. Topics such as queer ecology and object relations are imaginatively explored often using food to create artistic arguments that blend aesthetics and criticism, charting connections between theories related to art as object, as medium, and art as critique of political and technological networks. She has exhibited in dedicated media art and science venues (ISEA, Transmediale, DRHA, ELO, FILE, Currents, Balance-Unbalance, Festival Internacional de la Imagen; New Forms Festival; B-Seite Biennial) and in museums and art centers in North and South America, and Europe. Projects have been distinguished with awards from the Canada Council for the Arts; Illinois Arts Council; DCASE; National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Robert Heinecken Trust; and recognized with nominations by Creative Capital, Art Matters, and AWAW. Badani has presented her research in over 15 countries and she has been fulltime faculty at ILSTU, at Colombia College Chicago, and Editor-in-Chief of Media-N Journal/New Media Caucus (USA). www.patbadani.net

Mariel Martinez is a New York based software engineer and co-founder of artpoet.io. She specializes in technology consulting, working with artists in creating projects based on emerging technologies. At artpoet.io, Martinez uses poetry as a starting point to train artificial intelligence to generate human-like poetry, thereby making machines more ‘social’. Beyond poetry and AI, projects include the development of a metaverse featuring 3D avatars, the creation of interactive sculptures using artificial intelligence, interactive web pages, computer-generated visualizations with code, and the use of NFTs in the context of art and technology. Mariel Martinez currently collaborates with Pat Badani on the BichEden project using a range of technologies including photogrammetry and 3D models in order to explore the edge of physical and digital realms within food chains.