“Biology,” a Collaborative Multimedia Project by Pery Burge and Tullio DeSantis
Text and Audio by Tullio DeSantis, Imagery by Pery Burge, 2012


This is a project, in which I’m collaborating with Pery Burge, who is working as artist in residence in the Thermofluids lab in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter, in the UK. We have been sharing files over the Net and building the project in bits and bytes.This piece, entitled, Biology, involved sending my text to Pery, Internet communications on composing the project, and sending her a recording of the text, to which she responded with sensational aesthetic imagery. We discussed a sound track, I recorded some things, and Pery used some of what I recorded, weaving the soundscape through the four-dimensional structure of the piece. We hope you like it. It is a story of life.(The full text is below)*Biology

From matter arising

Complexity emerging

Mega molecular concatenation

Protein synthesis

Replicated self-similarity

A bio-holographic self-image

Propagating through space-time

The bio-urge, an impulse toward

Free and undeterred action

Becoming sensation

Compelled by tropism

Soaking up light and heat

Energetic attraction of chemistry

Replicating its way

On the long long journey

Toward biology

From gravity emerging

And the attraction of like for

The cataclysmic explosions of
energetic connectivity

Forced together against the
repulsive tide of insensate crystallographic

Repetitiveness and fractal chaos

Inchoate densities of molten molecular

Complex proteins form

And then

And then

Four billions of years

Four thousand million years ago

A momentary coalescence

A circumstance of coincidence

The threshold of life

In that vast unknown space

Singular organisms

The earliest cells

Dividing dividing

Micro-cellular structure

Increasing complexification until
that primordial pond bloomed red green algal life

Continual spreading texture of

A living web of it from day one

Until it covers the whole wet
world in a Cambrian effervescence

Trilobites mollusks and finally

In a supersaturated oxygenated
ecological space

Those first vestigial finned
creatures and their early ventures

Stranded on land with the
inexorable slowness of genetic shift

Moving toward land and a new

The Silurian adventure pioneering
steps over the barren land

In quickening timeframes now
become the overwhelming Devonian lifescape

Tetrapods, vertebrates, insects,

Scurrying, walking, moving making
the world anew with each new birth

Becoming reptiles crawling over
leafy coniferous needles

Plants and animals respiring

Over the Pangean landform

The Permian monsters roamed

And tyrannized the entire Triassic

Into convulsive fight and flight

Over the great plains of the
middle Mesozoic

Roamed the Jurassic crocodiles

While ichthyosaurus slid silently
through wondrous waterworlds

And wild pterosaurs winged their
way through oxygen rich atmosphere

Then some hundred and fifty
million years before this moment cretaceous dinosaurs and flowering plants
arrive on the teeming planet

Whales horses, early primates the complexifications
multiply, elephants and grasses on which to graze moving the timeline toward 50
millions of years before today

Then five million years ago the
first hominids and three million years later Homo sapiens

And perhaps 10,000 years ago
civilized cultural human civilization networked intelligence to see and know
now how we have become what we are

This web of living tissue, of
which we are a part, is the life of the planet our hearts and minds at once within
a vast interconnected organism alive a life alive as one life form alive a life

by Tullio DeSantis 2012

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