cellF, External Brain Improvisation


cellF by Guy Ben-Ary is a “biological self-portrait” divided into two parts. First the artist reprogrammed his skin cells to transform them into a functional neural network, defined as his “external brain.” Then he developed a robotic body to interface it with an array of analogue modular synthesisers. In both bodies, voltages are passed through the different components to produce data or sound. In a live event, Darren Moore performed music, which was fed into the neurons of the “external brain” as electrical stimulations. The neurons responded by controlling the synthesiser. The degree of ‘human’ decisions in this performance is the main aspect questioned by the artist. We can go even further here and ask if the influence of non-human components is affecting the production of music in a way that sounds non-human as well. But this is exactly the artist’s intention – to live with these doubts while experiencing the reality he created.


cellF – Video Documentation


The Premier of cellF (2015)