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February 3, 2016 About



Welcome to my website.

What follows is a combination of review, association and research - a place to store ideas, archive and share my artworks and process.

In my visual arts research, as always, I'm trying to explore how scientific aspects of human biology can become more directly accessible in emotional and aesthetic terms.

Through my work I seek to demonstrate how minimal, economic and explicit methods can be used to express the ambiguous epistemological status of living entities in genetic research. The arts give human meaning and value to scientific and technological enterprise but the artist’s role equally include shifting meanings, contexts and categories, framing and modifying experiments that challenge meaning and value. My arts research broadly consists of connecting and inscribing a mental life to material outcomes by melding differing epistemic cultures with precise ambiguity. I believe that research partnerships with science, technology engineering and medical research disciplines will lead to new hybrid forms of knowledge. Research cultures have different epistemic cultures but common to all are the inherent problems associated with framing and setting up meaningful experiments. The apparatus and experiment in the case of art as research can usefully contain a set of embodied strategies, philosophical propositions and theories that challenge taken for granted assumptions that scientific methods cannot approach or address such as who is the “I” doing the experiment and when does an experiment begin and end?


February 3, 2016 About



Cosmopolitical Futures, The Anthropocenic Human series reflects my long time interest and research in foundational studies in theories of quantum physics and the nature of nature and the properties of living matter. In recent projects – Black Lace and the Stem Cell work in particular, I alluded to methodological approaches based on Barad’s theories and the counterintuitive interpretation of quantum physics; that an object of investigation cannot be accessed outside of human conceptual frameworks to address and provide insights into the nature of causality, identity and nature. Barad forms an emergent zeitgeist in cultural theory/philosophy (Stengers, Bennett, Braidotti, Latour,Haraway) making connections between vitalist materialism, science and politics and ethics. As environmental changes force themselves into our physical consciousness we find ourselves re-thinking connections between politics, nature and humanity. Stengers, term, Cosmopolitics, stresses the relationship between the political order and scientific models of reality. Barad proposes that agency does not originate in human intention but resides in all of matter, suggesting that matter bears the mark of human agency in ways that release human intention. Her radical ontology proposes the collapse of partitions between mind and matter; wanting us to re-consider ethics, sentience and values within the new diffractive methodology she calls “Agential Realism”. AR accounts for how we iteratively rework the ‘objects” that we study. Fixed notion of “humanness’ have been dramatically transformed by posthumanist theory and the advanced sciences of transgenics biomedicine and biomimesis. The philosopher, and founding quantum physicist Niels Bohr made account of ways in which words and worlds are inextricably linked as discursive and material practices. He understood the intentional state of mind as arising from complex networks of human and non-human agents and ecologies of material conditions that exceed an individual and he saw how the paradoxical challenge for humankind was to make meaning and intelligibility in the light of unintelligibility and in doing so he endorsed, trans disciplinary creative processes and practices of poetry and the visual arts.


About the Artist


Kathleen Rogers is a London based contemporary artist, working across interdisciplinary fields in the arts and humanities that cross-over in the life sciences. Her artworks have been exhibited in public art museums and galleries, festivals internationally. Including the international exhibitions, Evolution Haute Couture at the Moscow Biennale, and the National Gallery for Contemporary Art, Kalingrad, Russia, Genesis the Art of Creation at the Paul Klee Museum, Bern, Switzerland, Lost in Lace at the Birmingham City Museum Art Gallery, Crossing Over - Art, Science and Biotechnologies: at the Royal Institution of Great Britain London and Inside, Arte e Ciencia at Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal. Her installation and video projection artworks are inspired and informed by the scientific disciplines of cell biology, molecular genetics and the biological sciences. She collaborates with others in an interdisciplinary context to develop artworks on the themes of consciousness, ecology, biology and genetics.

“When artists are provided with privileged access to laboratories and enabled to work alongside established senior research scientists, a shared responsibility for the negotiation of ethical boundaries and procedure becomes necessary. Embedded residencies can potentially lead to new collective expertise and case studies that build real ethical connections between the arts, humanities and science. The arts can highlight public discussion on the limits of science, help to build bridges between stem cell research and applied medicine and engage public audiences with research that effects us all”.

Kathleen Rogers 2016

Some background

In 1985 she obtained her MA degree in Experimental Media from the Slade School of Art London University College, UK.

Hisorically archived exhibitions include, the Central Space Gallery (London, 1990), the Exeter Memorial Museum (Exeter, 1991), the Walter Phillips Gallery (Canada, 1992), the Virtual Museum (Cleveland, 1995), the Belluard Bulwark (Switzerland, 1996), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London, 1996), the Centre for Contemporary Arts (Vilnius, 1998), the Millais Gallery (Southampton, 1999), the Kettles Yard Gallery (NOISE Project, Cambridge, 2000), the Headlands Centre for the Arts, (Marin, USA, 2001) the Lab (The Gateway Project, San Francisco, 2002), the National Gallery for the Arts, (Onufri, Tirana, 2003) and many others; also within the frameworks of "State of the Image" (Antwerp, Cultural Capital of Europe, 1993). Her video works have been screened at festivals such as Ars Electronica (Linz), Femme Totalle (Dortmund), the European Media Art Festival (Osnabruck), the New Visions Media Festival (Glasgow), the Video Fest (Berlin), Konzept Art von Frauen (Bremen), Video Positive (Liverpool), the Edinburgh Film Festival (Edinburgh) and others. Lectures and presentations given at different conferences and symposiums at venues such as the British Film Institute (London), the Royal College of Art (London), I.S.E.A. (Helsinki), the University of Wales ( Consciousness Reframed, Newport), Cambridge University (National Science Week, Cambridge), Berkeley University (American Association of Anthropology, USA), University of Arizona (Towards a Science of Consciousness), University of Northern Arizona (Arts, Culture, Nature, USA), also at the French Ministry of Culture, (Paris) and "Documenta X" (Kassel).

She is Professor of Media Arts and Science at the University for the Creative Arts based in Farnham, UK.




Recent on-going artworks are based on an EPRSC funded, Pathways to Impact (PiA) residency at the University of Southampton in the School of Medicine on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine exploring the use of stem cells in the area of Bone and Joint research. My research engages with contemporary debates in biotechnology and stem cell research and I have developed numerous works through art and science collaboration that contribute to public critical understanding and discussion of these domains. Engendering public engagement with biotechnological, stem cell and regenerative medicine research, my work engages with the impact of these life sciences on human identity, culture and society. I have harnessed elements regenerative medicine space to create a new body of research, developing this most recent artworks on an EPRSC funded, Pathways to Impact (PiA) residency in the School of Medicine on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine exploring the use of stem cells in the area of Bone and Joint research.


The PiA (Pathways to Impact) residency was uniquely devised as a visual arts research project. The site-specific research was produced in association with Professor Richard OC Oreffo and the Bone and Joint Research Group at the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine.

I co-ordinated regular visits to the department, thoroughly familiarizing herself with bone and joint, stem cell regenerative medicine. The research residency enabled close observation and artistic reflection on the science of osteo-specific differentiation, function and signaling pathways in stem cell populations. The aim is that my creative practice can contribute to a public understanding of the regenerative medicine space through art and science collaboration.

The work hints at ways in which transformative biological processes associated with evolutionary symbiosis can be harnessed as metaphors to interpret regenerative medicine. Exploring the different ways people might come to experience regenerative medicine, the work also reflects on how visual arts led research can improve public understanding of stem cell research.


Regenerative phenomena associated with stem cells touch on the deepest aspects of human identity. Stem cell transfer treatments replace non-functioning and dead cells at tissue sites within the body with healthy donor cells. The hope of medicine is that collections of induced pluripotent stem cells might one day come to form a biological resource for regenerative treatments and general medical use.

Kathleen is interested in how stem cell research can offer new generative metaphors for health and healing and how therapies suggest ways to extend the human lifespan and alter ourselves genetically. Her initial research looked at how stem cell utilization might delay and disguise the physical impact of ageing.

“Buckminster Fuller described the occurrence of structure in chemical elements not as things but as ‘patterns of inherently regenerative constellar associations of energy events’. The dynamic metabolism of each of our cells determines its growth or demise and the sustained presence of stem cells within the porosity of both the embryonic and adult brain, suggests holistic connections between periodicity, cell re-newel, cell death and the nature of mind itself.”

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), can differentiate differentiate in vitro or in vivo into adipocytes, chondrocytes and osteoblasts the progenitors cells of human cartilage and bone. Kathleen began looking at the shape principles governing the structuring of bone, its emergent mathematics and the geometry of its growth. The structuring of cellular growth is beautifully exemplified in the emergent architecture of bone.


During the residency I was granted access to biological donor materials associated with embryonic, fetal and adult stem cell research. I produced over 2000 photographic studies of human donor derived tissue as the conceptual basis of a multi-screen video installation. Her visual research demonstrates how embodied, sensory encounters with digital media are intrinsic to the visual literacy of medical research. The resulting multi-screen, six-channel video and sound installation, Intra-actions and re-configurings, consists of horizontally aligned screens designed as a panoramic, landscape. Viewed in partial darkness, the work provides an audience with a reflective space and the work offers an emotional engagement with both the clinical and ethical dimensions of stem cell research.

The independently titled episodes dramatize biological procedures: Screen 1 Matter, Screen 2 Vascular, Screen 3 Viscera, Screen 4 Ossify, Screen 5 Primordial, Screen 6 Lacunae.

I applied poetics, moving image and sound to draw every day audiences to the science and art of stem cell research.

“The structural grammar of my work was inspired by the theoretical work of the Philosopher of Science, Karen Barad. Inspired by her concepts I applied graphic and text layering methods to examine how time based, visual and linguistic systems can regulate and dictate interior and exterior perspectives of objects. Dual streams of words composed from descriptive notations, poetry and genetic science are used to suggest parallel images, like labyrinths and mirrors. The work exploits the visual aspects of language and I use imagistic repetitions, tonal variants, scale and magnification to create a contemplative space. Virtual shadows and the sound track, composed of visceral heart pulses are used to invoke the infinite levels of reproduction of living cells in the human body. “

In addition to the installation I produced 15 photographic e-sketchbooks containing hundreds of images drawn from her visual research. These digital sketchbooks presented in landscape format echo the conceptual methods of the moving image installation. Thematic titles are conceptually re-versioned and the form is fluidic: pages may carry a single image or mirror pages found elsewhere; a text frame may directly relate to an adjacent image or may be repeated or carry references to a later image.

Barad, Karen, Meeting the Universe Halfway – Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning,
Duke University Press


February 2, 2016 Work

Black Lace


Produced as part of an international contemporary art and craft exhibition, Black Lace is a site-sensitive video and sound installation commissioned for the UK Crafts Council 50/50 funded international lace textile exhibition, Lost in Lace, for the Birmingham City Art Gallery and Museum. Museum lace archive conservator support enabled an off-site destructive micro-visual analysis of silk lace from a unique sample of antique Chantilly lace. The donor sample is beautiful virtuoso piece of 20th century lace, bought from Steinman’s in Piccadilly London forming part of Lady Cadbury’s archive collection. Hundreds of hugely magnified studies were produced using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) in collaboration with scientific imaging specialists from the Biomedical Imaging Unit, School of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Using complex, digital methods these were post produced and re-composed to create a continuous, slow panning shot of lace montages arranged along the Z axis in virtual 3D screen space. The resulting continuous scrolling lace landscape is set against a multilayered, stochastic sound composition of larval silk moths devouring the mulberry leaves that fuel the production of the silk protein fibers.

The Black Lace project breaks customary patterns of approaches to the material culture of lace, re-framing it as a complex biomaterial with bio-economic and bioethical dimensions. Black Lace alludes to the lurking fault lines between nature and culture and the work follows on from my wider research themes that also make cultural and artistic connections to the practices and narratives of contemporary biosciences.

The dramatic acceleration of scientific fabrication techniques in the life sciences, wherein the structure and function of biological systems are designed and engineered into biomaterials and molecular machines is culturally pervasive. The fixed notion of “humanness’ has already been subtly transformed by advancements in transgenic technologies and medicine but most of us are not able to realize the fullness, meaning and impact of these scientific practices that reconfigure life

The decisive factor in using SEM was to visually evidence the underlying mathematics and structural torsions and twisting of Chantilly lace in close conjunction with the theoretically unfathomable and unimaginable complexity of the silk fibers. The human Chantilly net maker mimics polygonal networks found in nature but in the film, immensely magnified details reveal the lace’s intrinsic “otherness” and silkworm origins. The atoms, molecules and ecosystems deployed by the silk worms appear to operate like forces swelling out into shattered spirals. Each layered image in each scrolling scene of the film was technically drawn line by line by the deflections of a scanning electron beam operating in a vacuum. Each scene is intrinsically an image of lifelessness and the film is like a fossil. Human vision involves the register of light in the retinal nervous system and brain. The non-optical electron materialization of the Chantilly net in the installation alludes to processes of biophysical metamorphosis and other lurking frontier narratives drawn from the contemporary biosciences and synthetic biology. In the biotech context, the chemical co-alliance of humans and the insect species is spectacular in its imagination but in many ways can be seen to follow on from the 5000-year scientific techniques of Sericulture industry in Asian countries. Sericulture refers to the production of silk from the larval cocoon of the silkworm Bombyx mori. The silkworm has biosocial significance and vast economies and whole communities depend on the molecular proteins of its cast off capillary structure. The industrial killing and utilization of the silkworm can make us lose sight of the intrinsic mystery around its morphological developmental stages from egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon) to adult moth and the fact that these intricate developmental mechanisms of metamorphosis are little understood by modern life science. Black Lace alludes to the lurking fault lines between nature and culture and the work follows on from my wider research themes that also make cultural and artistic connections to the practices and narratives of contemporary biosciences. The research outcomes represent a unique artistic, experimental approach to scientific imaging methods using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and fluorescing CLSM (Con-focal Laser Scanning Microscopy) building on paradoxical optical and quantum principles of image processing to forge a synthesis of hidden forms, wavelengths, signals and the instrumentation of matter. The project has resulted in transferable knowledge by extending the experimental use of non-optical microscopy as a “plastic” technical media for the production of art. The project extends the presentation of scientific imaging to encourage public engagement with the physics of non-optical bioimaging concepts and synthetic biology. The research engages in novel imaging production that extends the use of scientific imaging in the production of high-resolution HD video quality moving image display.

The work aims to provides an accessible public engagement platform for public debate and awareness of ethical and cultural issues arising from the biosciences.

Media:Video Projection and Sound Art
Duration: 8 minute - HD Video 16:9

Sound Z'ev
Editor Simon Allmark

International conference presentation for Crafts Council UK- Framing Dark Space.


Current Projects


Recent on-going artworks are based on an EPRSC funded, Pathways to Impact (PiA) residency at the University of Southampton in the School of Medicine on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine exploring the use of stem cells in the area...

Work Black Lace

Produced as part of an international contemporary art and craft exhibition, Black Lace is a site-sensitive video and sound installation commissioned for the UK Crafts Council 50/50 funded international lace textile exhibition, Lost in Lace, for the Birmingham City...

Work Bite Size - Dark Space

Produced for Bite Size, Miniature Textiles an International group-touring exhibition devised by Prof Lesley Millar. Black Lace, Dark Space, is a miniature textile work. A fragment of 19th Century black silk Chantilly lace embedded on metal disk and thinly...

Journal Not Knowing - DNA in Education - APG @ Raven Row

Invitation from artist Barbara Steveni to participate within an international group Sculpture (a term used by the Artists Placement Group in 1971) to denote a discursive/panel/discussion/seminar/conference-like intervention into an exhibition programme as part of the current APG exhibition at Raven...

Journal Crossing Over

Cocoon is a dual video projection installation developed for the context and architectural setting of the glass atrium as part of Crossing Over at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. A series of exhibitions were installed throughout the newly refurbished...