Brian Degger

I am a uk/Newcastle based art and science practitioner, originally from Adelaide Australia, with a PhD in molecular biology. 
I like the outdoors, have visited Allenheads as part of Future This (http://www.acart.org.uk/future%20thoughts.html) and enjoy continuing to explore this post-industrial future. 
I am nomadic in my artwork. 
I make nomadic biological laboratories, in bathrooms(Medialab Prado,Madrid), in offices(LighthouseArts, Brighton; Arts Catalyst, London), in ancient buildings(Romainmotier, Switzerland), in kitchens(mine and others), in a bar(sample bar, Prague), in art spaces(25 Stratford Grove, Newcastle), and soon on Tito’s old Warship “Galeb”, at Rijeka. 
This happens individually, and in collaboration with others (particularly Hackteria.org). Through residencies that explore the notion of research, particularly Lablife, Lighthouse arts and Field_Notes, Kilipsjarvi, Lapland, i have come to the realisation that there are fundamental difference bettween lab and field. 
There is time to do experiments in the lab, in constrained controlled conditions, and times to explore in the field, with messy, unconstrained wonder. My prediction is the 95% will straddle those two ideas, with an emphasis on the latter. 
As a scientist that no longer inhabits the ‘white cube’ academic lab, I have a pressing need to learn more about science, and “rolling my own” equipment to find shortcuts and kludges, in order to operate on a shoestring. My interest in science has become more about ‘science’ as a culture than ‘science as experimentation’. So my passion is meta-science. How do we teach what might need to be taught? What is scientific literacy? How does art insert itself into the process of a technological society? A few practitioners (myself included) explore these questions under the banner term/protofield workshopology, 
What will I bring? 
Electronics in the shape of small modules that can detect acceleration, magnetism, temperature, humidity, air pressure, possibly air pollutant detectors, hacked webcam microscope for hunting microbes, a few interesting ‘popular science’ books from the turn of the century, water quality/sampling kit. 
What do I want to do or explore? The bit of the biosphere(planktons to microbes) that exists at the scale of the barely perceptible to the microscopic. 
Get an idea of the plankton found in the Allenhead dam, bioprospecting for bacteria in extreme environments, for instance microbes in mining tailings, hunting for waterbears and nematodes in moss, 
What do I want to teach? 
Webcam hacking -> microscopes 
What do I want to learn? 
More about foraging, about useful herbs and plants in the environment.

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