Gene A. Felice II bridges his creative practice across art, science, education and design, developing a sustainable network of innovation, living systems, and emerging technologies. His hybrid practice grows at the intersection of nature and technology, developing coactive systems as arts science research. His interactive work uses input sources from bio and eco sensors, cameras, touch screens and online data sources, feeding output from motors, LED’s, video projectors, speakers and more. These interdependent systems of hardware and software translate research through conceptual frameworks into interactive, multi-sensory puzzles. Recent work explores both passive and active modes of interaction, providing multiple ways for the audience to engage with the work. Video and animated imagery displayed via projection mapping, transform two dimensional surfaces and architectural structures into three-dimensional storytelling systems. Throughout his production process, emerging technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting & CNC milling hybridize with older methods such as wood fabrication, lost wax bronze casting, ceramics, glass casting and more. While keeping site specific histories in mind, he achieves confluence by merging these varied passions into a system of creative collaboration.

Gene A.Felice II is an assistant professor within the Intermedia & New Media programs and the interim director of the Innovative Media Research & Commercialization Center (IMRC) at the University of Maine where he is developing the Coaction Lab for interdisciplinary collaboration. His work has been featured nationally at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, internationally at Sussex University in the UK and most recently at ISEA Hong Kong.

lab website:  www.coactionlab.org

I am a hybrid creator cultivating an arts research practice that is transdisciplinary, intersecting art and design with science and technology. As an educator, I am committed to fostering collaboration across academia to engage with industry, local communities and vulnerable ecosystems. My work explores the complexity sprawl caused by the collision of biological and technological systems. This confluence of technology and biology inspires alluring puzzles of wonderment; guiding my audience to actively explore overwhelming / wicked problems such as climate change, through digestible, multi-sensory experiences.

I founded the Coaction Lab as a vehicle for collaboration, where art, iterative design and technology meet living systems with empathy and awareness. As with the courses that I teach, the Coaction Lab facilitates the development of individualized design and prototyping processes that provide a method for insightful collaboration and adaptive system modelling. These processes begin with research, deep listening, and ideation, followed by an evolving loop of scale prototypes, user testing and reflection. The lab creates biomimicry based interactive systems and coactive attempts to collaborate with living systems such as pairing bio and eco sensors with bioluminescent phytoplankton and native succulent plants. The ecological foundation of the lab is supported by sustainable material research and alternative energy options to power the work. We use biodegradable materials such as 3D printing filament made from corn, algae and coffee and we laser cut silk, latex rubber and seaweed. We create custom blends of emerging and traditional technology such as casting 3D prints into glass and bronze, forming hybrid methodologies that speak to both the past and the present. By employing the medium of light focused through video projection mapping systems, we illuminate alternative screens and architectural structures, transforming a myriad of surfaces into three-dimensional storytelling space. The Coaction Lab works with local communities, producing immersive, projection mapping, performance and sound based events at locations such as the Santa Cruz Lighthouse on the mid-coast of California, the Thomas Hill Standpipe in Bangor, Maine, the original site of the Black Mountain College at Lake Eden in Western North Carolina and at the University of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt. These events build new bridges between the University, local communities, non-profits, artists and scientists, building new vocabularies while also widening perspectives. My goal is to leave lasting reverberations that tell original stories, foster synergy and reflect forward thinking.

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