cellF (2015)

Audiovisual documentation of concerts, modular analogue synthesizer and images

According to the artist, cellF is a self-portrait, but also the world's first neural synthesizer. The "brain" of cellF is made up of a biological Ben-Ary neural network, which grows in a Petri dish and controls, in real time, a series of custom-made modular analogue synthesizers. It is a completely autonomous, wet, and analogical instrument.

To achieve this, a scientific team took a biopsy from Guy Ben-Ary's arm and transformed his skin cells into neural networks, using induced pluripotent stem cell technology. These neural networks are an "in vitro" brain that control the modular synthesizers in real time.

cellF forms part of special, unique concerts with professional musicians. The musicians' concert stimulates the neurons, and they respond by controlling the analogue synthesizers. Together they perform live, improvised, post-human sound pieces, as shown in the video.

The work is not based on artificial intelligence or natural intelligence. cellF falls within a taxonomic void. It is best explained as having 'in vitro intelligence': an intelligent system produced by bioengineered living neural networks that function as brains outside the body.

When the butterflies of the soul flutter their wings
11
Dec
2020
24
Apr
2021

Art, neuroscience and artificial intelligence

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