Guy Ben-Ary



Photos & documentation, 2017

"cellF" represents a radical new way to think about what a musical instrument can be and how music can be made. Human neurons grown in a Petri dish form the living “brain” of an analogue electronic synthesizer. Using these neural networks, cellF controls in real time its "body", that is made of an array of analogue modular synthesizers, forming an autonomous wet-analogue cybernetic musician capable of entering into musical dialogue with human musicians.

The human-made music is fed into cellF’s neural networks as electrical stimulation. The network’s reactions to the artists’ impulses resonate through its modular synth body, creating reflexive and improvised post-human pieces of music resulting from the communication between human and non-human musicians.  cellF was created by Guy Ben-Ary and collaborators: media artist Nathan Thompson, electric engineer Dr. Andrew Fitch, musician Darren Moore, stem-cell researcher Dr. Michael Edel, neuro-scientist Dr. Stuart Hodgetts, and neuro-engineer Dr. Douglas Bakkum).

Documentation from the project will be on display at the CTM 2018 exhibition.

Guy Ben-Ary is a Perth based artist and researcher. He currently works at SymbioticA, an artistic laboratory dedicated to the research, learning and hands-on engagement with the life sciences, which is located within the University of Western Australia.  Recognised internationally as a major artist and innovator working across science and media arts, Guy specialises in biotechnological artwork, which aims to enrich our understanding of what it means to be alive.