Thanks for stopping by. We hope you're staying well and doing what you can to keep a smile on your face while navigating these unknown waters.
Over here, we - and everyone we know - has someone in their crowd who is particularly at risk so keeping them in mind, and safe, is our first priority.
Tickbird&Rhino is founded on the belief that people need to meet and collaborate face-to-face and in-real-life, looking at the space between seemingly contradictory ideas and fields of work to find big solutions. So this crisis has created something of a conundrum for us. How do we continue to do that while confined to our homes, or keeping that necessary distance from others?
Since we now find ourselves with so much free-time (which isn’t nearly as fun as it was when we had other things we should have been doing) we're spending some time thinking about where we are, where we're going and who we'll be when we get there.
We don’t have answers yet, but we’re working on it. In the meantime, we're continuing to work behind the scenes on our current projects, getting them ready for the day we all come out of hibernation. We’re also talking a lot about what we're learning through all of this and most importantly, we're calling friends and family on a daily basis so no one ends up feeling more isolated than necessary. Turns out that in this brave new world, a friend on the other side of the world is exactly as close as your neighbour next door.
Looking ahead, we’re sure to find some silver linings. In the short-term it might be something as simple as discovering that yes, we can be productive while still in our jim-jams. In the longer view it may be finally recognising we are already a world without borders and need to learn how to manage that interconnectedness in times of global crisis (is this a taste of climate chaos come early?) Whatever the outcome, we're being offered the opportunity to emerge on the other side equipped with a better understanding of what we need to do to create the change we want. Whether it's our social interactions or our political and economic systems, nothing will remain untouched.
So for now we'll sign off, wishing good health to you and everyone one you know, and will leave you with a simple request: between those box sets on Netflix (other streaming services are available), turn your thoughts towards the future and consider what it is you’d like it to be.
And then talk to others about it.
Mat, Sujata, Sean and Gail
Virus Into Sound
Dr Zisis Kozlakidis
head of laboratory & biobanking
IARC / WHO
Ephemeral Transformations is an ongoing collaboration between the artist Jockel Liess and virologist Dr Zisis Kozlakidis that is exploring new ways of modelling epidemics in a creative and more accessible form.
In the first phase of this project, Jockel was given access to anonymised genetic samples gathered during an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in Brazil in 2017.
Treating this sampling as 'snapshots' of the epidemic's evolution, Jockel took the data from the virus' RNA and, breaking it down into strings of nucleobases (a, c, g & t), assigned a sonic element to each of these parts.
Then, using the mutation of the virus as framework, Jockel created a generative algorithm that recompiled these sonic elements, building them back up into an aural experience, making it possible to listen to this specific epidemic in an orchestrated form as it unfolds over time.
With this first phase now successfully completed (essentially providing "proof of concept"), Zisis and Jockel have begun to investigate ways of making the framework predictive, allowing the listener to hear where an epidemic might lead, if left to run it's course. They are also expanding the project into the visual realm by creating an immersive environment that can be presented in both a gallery and clinical setting.
The goals of this project are two-fold: the artist is aiming for an aesthetically pleasing experience (that remains scientifically coherent), while the virologist continues to look for new ways of communicating what occurs during an epidemic to those people directly affected by it.
(Due to a technical glitch, the link to the audio results of Phase I is not currently live. A new link will be provided shortly.)
Dr Zisis Kozlakidis is Head of Laboratory and Biobanking at the IARC / WHO (International Agency for Research on Cancer). He is also a virologist and Innovation Fellow at UCL working on the front-line of diseases outbreaks around the world.
Jockel Liess is an audiovisual artist and composer specialising in live-generative audiovisual systems that create abstract, meditative environments.
If you'd like us to keep you updated on this project, join our mailing list:
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We'll be regularly scheduling different kinds of events from socials to salons on all different sorts of subjects, giving everyone the opportunity to meet and have great conversation.
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