Introduction

Biological Arts Theatre (BAT)  is a practice-based research network that aims to bring art practitioners and non-art practitioners (esp. scientists, engineers, etc) to be engaged in creating new meaning to contemporary art practice. One of the objectives of BAT is to investigate the traditional meaning of Asian Aesthetics by re-interpreting Asian mythology through the Life Sciences.

With the support of National Art Council’s “Arts Creation Fund 2011”, BAT was able to develop the project titled Infinite Saree . This project emerged out of research-based workshops in three phases .  The first phase was the five-day Bio-Art Workshop which was conducted at the PSB Academy in January 2011. The second phase was the Bio- Art and 3D Workshop which was conducted at the Raffles Institution in April 2011. The final phase was the Bio-Art and 3D Workshop (Hands On) at Bhaskar’s Arts Academy in September 2011. The workshops resulted in the creation of the unique DNA Carnatic and DNA Saree.

The main collaborators for this project were Dr.S.Chandrasekaran, Artistic Director (Visual), Santha Bhaskar  Artistic Director, (Movement), Gary Cass(Scientific Director), and Madhura Nayak (Guest Artist).


Infinite Saree - DNA Carnatic

In Infinite Saree,the musical script was produced by converting a unique DNA code into musical code. The DNA code used was accessed from Cyanobacteria, commonly known as Blue-green algae, a bacterium that occurred early in the life of the Earth elements. These bacteria were very important in the formation and evolution of the planet.

The symbolic representations between the DNA code of Cyanobacteria and “Pancha Bootas” (Earth elements that are symbolically represented in the Mahabharatha) inspired us to create the music score, through Carnatic music (South Indian classical music).

In this project, the outcomes will be focused on interpreting the DNA sequence of cyanobacteria into musical notes of Carnatic Music. . It has 41 talas and the raga is Sumanesa Ranjani .This creation can be claimed as a first of its kind in the world of South Indian music and the life sciences


Infinite Saree - DNA Saree

In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana commands his younger brother Dushasana to disrobe Draupadi. As Dushasana unwraps layers and layers of her saree, new layers ofcloth keep ‘unfolding endlessly’. Finally tired, Dushasana backs off without being able to strip Draupadi.

The notion of unfolding and folding can be also translated in a scientific context; where proteins are being constantly shaped into the building blocks of life. Single cells become multi-cellular, forming plants and animals. In this project we adopted the Dna sequence of Phoenix Palm to create the Valkala (garment worn during the period of the Pandavas).

The symbolic relationship between the unfolding notion of multi-cellular cells and unfolding saree of Draupadi inspired us to use the DNA sequence of the Phoenix Palm as the motif for the saree.

In this project, the DNA of Phoenix Palm has been translated into motifs on the saree.  These motifs are represented by the DNA sequence - A, T, G and C. Each of these alphabets has been assigned a specific colour. The length of the saree is about 8 meters.

Infinite Saree has been made possible with the support of the National Art Council’s “Arts Creation Fund 2011”


Venue: Goodman Arts Centre, Black Box, Block M, #01-53

Date of the show: 31st March and 1st April 2012

Time :  6pm  to 10pm

Free Admission

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Zao Bao 15 jan.2011 


Tabla 25 Feb.2011