translating nature

Translating Nature Ltd collaborates with organisations, academia and artists to develop and produce artworks that use data to translate and reflect the living systems around us. One of our key research questions is How can technology strengthen our connection to, and understanding of, the natural world?

It is the studio of artist Dr Julie Freeman, her team and her collaborators.

Julie Freeman – statement

Through my practice I translate complex processes and data from natural sources into kinetic sculptures, physical objects, images, sound compositions and animations. My work explores relationship between science and the natural world; questioning the use of technology in how we translate nature – whether it is through a swarm of zoomorphic butterflies responding to air pollution levels; a lake of fish composing sounds; a pair of mobile concrete speakers that lurk in galleries spewing sonic samples; by providing an interactive platform from which to view the flap, twitch and prick of dogs’ ears; enabling a colony of naked mole-rats to generate animation; or using virtual reality to understand binary pulsars.

My focus is the investigation of data as an art material using it to create work which reflects the human condition through the analysis and representation of live data, data from living systems. My background and training is an equal mix of computer scientist and artist, for me the are a single discipline. I actively scan for connections and correlations between disparate concepts and systems leading to collaborative experiments to unpack questions such as: Can fish make music? Should humans live as a eusocial species? How can technology strengthen to our connection to nature?

I’ve shown at leading institutions including: the V&A, the ICA, Kinetica, Open Data Institute, Barbican Centre, and the Science Museum, and more, as well as internationally in Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Russia, Singapore and the USA. I’m a TED senior fellow, and a Nesta Arts fellow. My work has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, and EPSRC.

In 2012 I established the Open Data Institute‘s Data as Culture art programme (now directed by Hannah Redler Hawes), and I’m a co-founder of Fine Acts. I’ve a PhD from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London, awarded for a thesis titles Defining Data as an Art Material.

I’m a member of theoretical band, Punk Muppet Opera. We never practice but we are very, very good.

:: email julie |at| translatingnature |dot| org

:: twitter @joz_freeman


Playful with intellectual steel