30 June - 31 Aug 21 • Online exhibition

Exhibition: In Search of Chemozoa by boredomresearch

In Search of Chemozoa, is a new project by boredomresearch (British artist duo Vicky Isley and Paul Smith). The project is based on their residency at Arizona Cancer Evolution Center (USA) and at Aspex Portsmouth, responding to new therapeutic approaches centred on managing rather than curing cancer. Combining computer animation with film from inside laboratories and in natural environments, boredomresearch presents ideas for an alternative cultural understanding of cancer. Informed by interviews with over 20 scientists, the film presents an original view of the relationship between the latest cancer research and developing theories about biomedical and ecological health.

‘In Search of Chemozoa’ by boredomresearch (2021)

‘For we are but a single cell’ by boredomresearch (2020)

For we are but a single cell provides an insight into the science behind the artwork, including interviews with scientists from the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center who discuss the importance of nature in cancer research. Together a bridge is formed between creative fiction and scientific insight that is changing how we respond emotionally and practically to one of the most challenging diseases for humanity.

To learn about the making of the film, click here to explore the technical animation methods used in creating In Search of Chemozoa. And try out the interactive Chemozoa mutation modeller designed by Arizona Cancer Evolution Center in response to In Search of Chemozoa

boredomresearch talk about their residency in Arizona, and their experience working with scientists and cancer research in this interview with Lucy Sabin, click here to read.

As part of the exhibition, Aspex Portsmouth has commissioned two learning resources and an animaton for younger visitors, find them by clicking here.

In Search of Chemozoa was commissioned and funded by the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center at the Biodesign Institute (USA) through an award from the National Institute of Health/National Cancer Institute, developed in partnership with Aspex Portsmouth (UK) and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

This online exhibition runs in parallel with a 3 channel moving image expression of the work at Aspex Portsmouth, UK – showing until 25 July 21. For details on the exhibition at Aspex click here.

About the artists

boredomresearch is a collaboration between British artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, internationally renowned for exploring an understanding of the natural world through the medium of computational technologies. Becoming intimately aware of the vulnerability of complex systems, including those which support human life on earth, they present a daring new vision for technological innovation, centered on reuniting the presently splintered domains of art, science and society.

Their work considers our strategies for coping in a world increasingly destabilised by human activity. Collaborating with world leading scientists the artists are challenging a broader concern over a tendency towards increasingly complex solutions to answer the dilemma of environmental crisis.



      Arts Council England funding logo (Lottery)

A close up photo of a dome-like blob which is glowing with pricks of colourful light, glowing like citylights in the night. Electric blue and bright red dots cover the blob's surface, and flame-like spines grown from the surface, which are bright yellow, white and red at the base.