Axel Cuevas Santamaría

Protoplasmic routes (2017)

Protoplasmic routes digital prints 2017 is a series of five images in total. This series is composed of four circular metallic prints and one photographic paper framed print.

With this work, I explore the complex interactions of the growth, movement, and learning of Physarum polycephalum, a plasmodial slime mold. Each print of this series aims to reveal the self-awareness of this living organism, capable of solving mazes.

I envision the self-awareness of Physarum as it undertakes the nonconformist act of conquering minor obstacles represented by acrylic mazes built on Petri dishes. If it is self-aware, then it is disinterested in the artificial acrylic borders I have crafted. The contemplation of this self-awareness and the conquering of constraints build compassion between this species and our own.

Yet while Physarum is our contemporary, the electrochemical processes underpinning its movements and decisions reach a billion years deep in time to our common ancestors. This artwork fits within the exhibition theme TechnoMEME by exploring the biological behavior of a microorganism that imitates the trespassing of physical borders in search for food and survival.

Our current times contain a heavy social and political uncertainty for most ethnical minorities living in the USA. At the accelerated verge of reaching our Singularity, I believe that revelations for our human coexistence and livability in this twenty-first century might come in the language-code of non-human forms of life.

– Axel Cuevas Santamaría, 2019

About the Artist

Driven by intermedia collaboration and scientific exploration, Axel Cuevas Santamaría works explore the mystery of imaginary worlds perceived between microscopic and macroscopic dimensions. His work focuses in BioArt through immersive installation, audiovisual environments, projection mapping, and fulldome audiovisuals for geodesic domes.

Axel Cuevas Santamaría received his MFA in Art & Technology at The Ohio State University. He works and exhibits at various places from venues, conferences, theaters, galleries and festivals such as the Digital Arts Biennial Brazil, Digital Graffiti Arts Festival Florida, Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus, New York Arts Magazine, Politics of the Machine Denmark, and Participatory Design Conference Belgium.

His research is primarily concerned with the current intersection between Biology, immersive technologies, and real time audiovisuals.

His independent productions have reached audiences in Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, China, Denmark, Mexico, Portugal and USA.

Axel Cuevas Santamaría Website