WIFT Mentee, Raewyn Turner, Artist-In-Residence at the Monell Center, US

Posted Tuesday 18 Oct 2011

WIFT mentee Raewyn Turner was recently appointed Artist-In Residence at the Monell Center in Philadelphia, US. She gave us a few words about what she's up to, and what the residency will entail.

"I'm investigating body sensations/cell lab reactions, and emotional values associated with smell, as well as creating a deeper understanding of olfactory signal detection-through art. I'm using a variety of materials to create videos, interactive environments, installations, performance. I've started a blog for the residency at Monell and I'm currently capturing video, making apparatus, reading science papers, doing experiments etc.

On the premise that each body has its own unique odour in the way that each creature has its own distinct voice, I'm interested ways in which the perception of VOC's are analyzed and expressed, both by trained human panels--the human body as a sensing instrument- and electronically/chemically. I'm particularly interested in investigating aspects of the scent of people and subliminal odours and using various aesthetics/ technologies/methods to bring unconscious olfactory sensing of humans into consciousness. An important part of that would be in finding out what it is in the human plume that human receptors can detect, or not, investigating body sensations/cell lab reactions, and emotional values associated with smell.
I'll be working with and alongside scientists at Monell science centre in Philadelphia from 9 October until 3 November. Monell's research approach is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary; I've been invited to give a lecture at both Monell and workshops to science and bio by Scott Stein Head of Science Department, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy www.sch.org; Also to present my work at the Breadbox Gallery in Philadelphia in conjunction with Design Philadelphia.
Here in New Zealand I'm currently working on an art science project in collaboration with Richard Newcomb, molecular biologist, Plant and Food Research, NZ. Richard is the project leader of the 'Cybernose' research programme which aims to develop an artificial nose using biological odorant receptors from insects. Our project 'PLUME' is focused on perception of human smell signals and the unconscious sensing of human odour."

Sounds like a fascinating way art and science are coming together!

raewyn turner

Raewyn Turner