Philip Beesley: Hylozoic Ground. Canadian Pavilion at Architecture Biennale Venice 2010 / Interview

The Canadian Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy, presents Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Ground, an immersive, interactive environment made of lightweight digitally-fabricated component fitted with meshed microprocessors and sensors.

VernissageTV met with Philip Beesley on one of the preview days of the Biennale. In this interview, the artist and architect explains the word hylozoism and talks about the beginnings of his work on this topic, the concept of the exhibition at the Canadian Pavilion, the poetical and practical side of his work, and the next steps in the evolution of this system. The above video is an excerpt of the interview. The full-length version of the video that also contains an interview with Rob Gorbet is available after the jump.

Hylozoic Ground at the Canadian Pavilion in the Venice Biennale’s Giardini is a project designed by Philip Beesley, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, with engineering director Rob Gorbet, experimental chemist Rachel Armstrong, and many collaborators.

The Hylozoic Ground environment can be described as a suspended geotextile that gradually accumulates hybrid soil from ingredients drawn from its surroundings. Akin to the functions of a living system, embedded machine intelligence allows human interaction to trigger breathing, caressing, and swallowing motions and hybrid metabolic exchanges. These empathic motions ripple out from hives of kinetic valves and pores in peristaltic waves, creating a diffuse pumping that pulls air, moisture and stray organic matter through the filtering Hylozoic membranes. ‘Living’ chemical exchanges are conceived as the first stages of self-renewing functions that might take root within this architecture. (Excerpt from the press release).

Philip Beesley: Hylozoic Ground. Canadian Pavilion at Architecture Biennale Venice 2010 / Interview. 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice / Italy. Preview, August 27/28, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Full-length episode, interviews with Philip Beesley and Rob Gorbet: