subversive modes of science-art education
What is Slime Tech Lab?
The Slime Tech Lab (STL) is a mobile laboratory and living system that explores new futures through science, technology and storytelling. The STL is an art piece in itself - in roaming around New York it experiences feelings akin to the diaspora as it navigates to unpack its own narrative. As a beacon for futuristic exploration, it unfolds to teach spectators of the marvel of slime mold, revealing how this primordial organism can inform us about problem solving, equity and social cooperation. Our aim is to investigate it within our local communities. What can we learn from slime mold that can help us create an equitable society? What can be gleaned from biocultures that can help us reimagine borders and immigration? What would a future look like with decentralized information? The STL helps communities look to slime mold to envision vibrant, diverse futures through speculative design and microbiology.
Why Slime Mold?
Slime mold is a bright, vivid, living monoculture. Due to its ability to grow in the pattern of nodes and branches, technologists have been using it as a tool and medium to represent a wide array of efficient systems, from the functionality of the Internet to the decision making patterns of algorithmic artificial intelligence. Once mistakenly classified as a part of the fungi animal kingdom, this fascinating eukaryotic organism has the remarkable capacity to both aggregate into a multicellular structure as well as live freely as single cells.
It's segregation to the fringes of the sociataly applauded decompositional systems has left it largely unresearched, under explored and often misrepresented. We see slime mold for its metaphoric familiarity to the othered experience. We see its beauty, its immense potential to enrich ecological landscapes and we are here to be empowered with and through it to liberate new methods of thinking about the future, creating art and empathetically connecting us with marginalized sectors.
Where Can You Experience The STL?
33 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY
October 20th & 27th, 3PM - 6PM
132 32nd Street, Suite 108 Brooklyn, NY
Who Is The Slime Tech Lab?
Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde (Ayo) is a Nigerian-American artist, designer, and time-traveler living and working in New York. His works range from painting and speculative design to physically interactive works, wearable technology, and explorations of "Reclamation". As a collaborator with, amongst others, choreographer Maida Withers, Carmen Wong, and Yoko K., Okunseinde has created several interactive performance-based works and has performed in several countries including Mexico, Finland, and Croatia. His art residency participation includes ITP’s S.I.R., IDEO’s Fortnight, The Laundromat Project, Eyebeam, New INC, and Recess Assembly. He has exhibited and presented at the 11th Shanghai Biennale, Tribeca Storyscapes, EYEO Festival, Brooklyn Museum, M.I.T. Beyond the Cradle, and Afrotectopia amongst others. His works themselves exist between physical and digital spaces; across the past, present and future. They ask us, through technology, to reimagine notions of race, identity, politics, and culture as they travel through time and space. Okunseinde has taught at New York University, Bennington College, Hostos CUNY and 92Y. He holds an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design in New York where he is currently a faculty member..
Ashley Jane Lewis
Ashley Jane Lewis is a tech educator and interactive artist with a focus on bioart, afrofuturism and speculative design. In the summer of 2016 she was listed in the Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada. Her new media work has been exhibited in both Canada and the US, earning editors choice at Maker Faire and, most notably, featured on the White House website during the Obama presidency. Her works explore the relationship between past present and future for the empowered black identity, asking audiences to suspend their conceptions of reality. She is now studying to get her Masters at ITP (Interactive Telecommunications) in New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She's been featured as a Tech Activist in Metro News, Reader's Digest, Huffington Post and has highlighted diverse tech education as a keynote speaker on numerous occasions for audiences at Afrotectopia, TEDx, FITC, International Women's Day and Maker Faire. Ashley feels honoured to have had the opportunity to help more than 3000 youth learn how to code to date.
Physarum polycephalum or slime mold is an informal name given to several kinds of unrelated eukaryotic organisms that can live freely as single cells, but can aggregate together to form multicellular reproductive structures. Slime molds were formerly classified as fungi but are no longer considered part of that kingdom. Although not related to one another, they are still sometimes grouped for convenience within the paraphyletic group referred to as kingdom Protista.They feed on microorganisms that live in any type of dead plant material. They contribute to the decomposition of dead vegetation, and feed on bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. For this reason, slime molds are usually found in soil, lawns, and on the forest floor, commonly on deciduous logs. However, in tropical areas they are also common on inflorescences and fruits, and in aerial situations (e.g., in the canopy of trees). In urban areas, they are found on mulch or even in the leaf mold in rain gutters, and also grow in air conditioners, especially when the drain is blocked.