Performance artist Alyssa Ellis demonstrates hooking a plant to a lie detector

dream machine
Artist Markus Haala wearing a dream machine at the Sleep Research Lab

Researchers at the Pelling Laboratory of Augmented Biology show us new human ears growing on apple scaffolds

Biophony residents' record with a parabolic microphone under the guidance of soundscaper Chad Clifford of Wilderness Rhythms

Artist Nadya Eidelstein listens to a bark beetle in the bio acoustic lab at Carleton University







































Online sensory studies for artists
Two weeks in February 2023
Deadline to apply: November 24, 2022

Sensation is an online course for artists to learn about non-human sensory experiences. The program will feature daily video lectures by international research scientists on topics that focus on what it's like to be a non-human organism. Each lecture will be complemented with a talk by an artist who makes work related to sensory perception and communication and a short one-on-one studio visit with each one the other residents. Built in to the 2 - 2.5 hours of daily programming are discussions, recommended assignments and show and tell. We will consider a range of philosophies including the German notion of umwelten: the outer world as perceived by organisms with in it, biopsychism: the idea presented by Eanst Haeckle that all life is sentient, materialism: that all emotion and experience is born of our physical material, and animism: the belief that experience exsists in all mater. We will focus on the biology of specific sensory systems and think about subjective experience and autonomy.

This residency will offer opportunities to learn from scientists and to develop ideas with other artists. It is designed for artists who want to explore their empathy for living things and the limits of our own sensory perceptions through research and creation. Participants are not expected to make anything for the program, nor do you need any previous biology experience.

Ayatana residencies facilitate research that will enrich visual and conceptual artists' practice within a group of kindred creative people. Artists, writers, musicians, film makers and dancers are invited to apply. The jury will select seven international artists based on their portfolio rather than how they fit into any description of an artist.

All activities are subject to change depending on expert availability and other uncontrollable variables.

Artist talk: We invite you to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Botanical Sensory Perception and Plant Intelligence with the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology at the University of Florence

Mycorrhizal Relationships and Plant/ Fungi Signaling with Kew Gardens

Bioacoustics and Vibrational Insect Communication with the Yak Lab of Neuroethology, Carleton University

Mystacial Vibrissae are commonly called whiskers

Ampullae of Lorenzini and Electroreceptors

What it's like to be a Bat: Echolocation and Night Vision with Bat Conservation International

Migratory Bird vision and Navigation with Cornell University

Pheromones and Chemical Insect Communication with Ohio State University

Humpback Whale song with Sara Niksic of the Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews

Sensory Studies in Contemporary Art

Bird Song and Deep Listening


$575 USD
Residency places are limited to 7 artists.


How to apply 
Send the following material to
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of your work

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.

Disclaimer: Those who do not like to talk about art or wildlife, need not apply.


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