• Living Sculpture

Artist Talk – on Art/science collaboration and a new commission with the University of York

Virtual Symbiosis, Artist talk
Thursday 19 November, 1.30 till 2.30pm at the University of York (CSE/082, Heslington East Campus)

Artist Laurence Payot will talk about how the scientific research at the University of York will inspire her new work, funded by the C2D2 artist in residence scheme.

Laurence Payot has been selected as one of the C2D2 artist in residence at the University of York, working with the Departments of Biology, Computer science, TFTV and Music to create “Virtual Symbiosis”, a interactive game linking people in different geographical locations through an interactive virtual sculpture.

Laurence will present past works that have been created in collaboration with the scientists, and her ideas for this new work. She is looking for students who would be interested to work with her on various aspects of the project:
> Computer Science students to develop the concept of this game.
> TFTV or Art students to document the process via film and/or photography.
> Students who would be interested in assisting with some of the workshops to create the sculptures (physically), or during public events such as the Festival of Ideas.

If you’re interested in the project but cannot come to the talk, please contact

More about the project:

Laurence Payot will create a beautifully crafted computer game inspired by symbiosis, the
living together of unlike organisms, which underpins our health particularly through the
beneficial effects of the microbiome. This project builds on a previous collaboration with Prof.Michael Brockhurst which created a series of living sculptures which existed in a symbiosis
with the audience members.

In the game, two players situated in different geographical locations will be able to connect by transforming the shape of interactive virtual sculptures, as if touching them in real life.
Interactive sound and visuals will help achieve this feeling of virtual touch, using either body tracking and sculptures displayed on screen, or augmented reality glasses.

As well as exploring the concept of symbiosis, this new work will explore humanity’s
increasing symbiosis with technology and the implications of this for our psychology and wellbeing,drawing upon the expertise of Prof. Helen Petrie in human-computer interaction and members of the Centre for Digital Creativity.

Interactive sound, manipulated by the game players as they shape the virtual sculptures, will be developed in collaboration with Dr. Sandra Pauletto and Prof.Ambrose Field, using human voices to give the sculptures an extra layer, and make the game accessible to people with visual disabilities.