Silent Barrage Collaborators

Silent Barrage was developed by a team of artists, engineers and scientists. We would like to thank everyone that helped us on our journey to make it happen.

Guy Ben-Ary is an artist that is working in the area of art & biology. Currently living and working in WA. Guy is researcher in SymbioticA – The centre of excellence in biological arts at UWA, since 2000. He is the manager of the CELLCentral (a microscopy facility) in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA. He specializes in microscopy, biological & digital imaging & artistic visualization of biological data. His Main research area is cybernetics and the interface of biological material to robotics. Member of the core SymbioticA Research Group that developed “MEART - the semi living artist” project (http://www.fishandchips.uwa.edu.au). He collaborated with the Tissue Culture & Art Project for 4 years (1999 - 2003). Guy was invited in the first half of 2006 to be a Research Fellow in the neuro-engineering lab, Georgia tech, Atlanta, USA and work with Phil Gamblen & Dr. Steve Potter to develop new ideas and research noval artistic neural embodiment strategies. He is also part of the BioKino collective that is developing the The “living screen” – Investigating the interface between BioArt & Film theory.

Philip Gamblen was born in the UK in 1964 and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1966 where he resided until 1989.  During that time he trained and worked as a gem cutter in Toronto during the 1980’s.  In 1991, after two years of travel, he moved to Australia and re-settled near Perth, WA where he presently resides.  He graduated from the Claremont School of Art in1996 and Curtin University of Technology in 1998 with an Honours Degree in Fine Art, majoring in sculpture.
Since graduating Gamblen has been concentrating on his art practice as well as working in collaboration with others.  Most of his work is generally kinetic in form and involves the use of simple mechanisms and electronics.  He has been increasingly using robotics in his artwork and has been refining his skill in machine making as well as electronic control systems. 
Gamblen is an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Anatomy & Human Biology, UWA, and has worked as an artist in residence in SymboiticA – The art & science collaborative research lab since 1999 where he has been collaborating with other artists and scientists on biological based art projects.  The 2 most significant of these, “MEART – The Semi-Living Artist” (www.fishandchips.uwa.edu.au), has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions and festivals nationally and internationally in the past six years. In 2006 Gamblen was a research fellow at the Steve Potter Neuro-Engineering Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. He, along with collaborators Guy Ben-Ary, Douglas Bakkum and Dr Steve Potter, developed Silent Barrage that has recently been featured in NYC and Ars ELectronica.

Peter Gee Born in 1957 in the farming community of Wongan Hills, Western Australia, Peter Gee moved to Perth in 1976 to study electronic engineering.  Making a career as a technical specialist in Stored Programme Control in communications with Australia’s Telstra Corporation, he now works as a data analyst/programmer in the management of IP networks.
Peter Gee is a relative newcomer to the evolution that has become Silent Barrage.  Joining the team in 2008, Peter brings with him a long history in communication and networking software development.
Enjoying family life, Peter is married with two high school aged children.  Along with interests in solar design, wood and metalwork, his long term hobbies of electronic design, microprocessor/microcontroller hardware and software development have led him toward Silent Barrage.

A/Prof Nathan Scott BE (Mech) 1987; PhD (Engineering Education) 2006.
My family were people who built their own houses and fixed their own cars, so Mechanical Engineering was a natural choice for me. I get a great deal of pleasure from design work, especially where I can invent something that is cheaper or better. I teach design and manufacturing in my School at UWA. I also lead many student projects each year, many with a humanitarian or ecological flavour. For example in 2009 I had thirty students designing a bike for a boy born without arms, and three students working on the "waste for life" project. My research has been mainly about student learning in dynamics but in recent years I worked on measurement of ski athletes in Japan. I am an advocate of problem-based and project-based learning and will be the first director of the Monadelphous Integrated Learning Center when it opens in 2010. My contribution to the Silent Barrage installation was mainly to guide the design towards mass production, and I also designed and built all the circuit boards.

Brett Murray (b. 1983)
Murray is a composer and programmer interested in interactive and cross-disciplinary works. He has a Bachelor of Communications (Photomedia, Film and Video) and a Bachelor of Music (Honours) (Music Technology) from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Dr. Steve Potterhas been collaborating with Guy Ben-Ary and Phil Gamblen at SymbioticA since 2002. He is a neuroscientist in the Laboratory for Neuroengineering at Georgia Tech, in Atlanta. His group works with networks of brain cells from rat embryos grown in culture dishes outfitted with 60 neural interfacing electrodes. The multi-electrode arrays send sensory data into the cultured neural networks, in the form of electrical pulses, and read out the networks’ responses, which are used to control the movements of robots. With their Embodied Cultured Networks paradigm, the Potter group is studying learning and memory in a simplified animal, whose brain can be studied in detail under the microscope while its body is somewhere else doing the behaving.
Potter’s lab is interdisciplinary, encompassing cell culture, multi-electrode electrophysiology, computer science, optical microscopy, and artificial intelligence. Potter got his bachelors’ degree in biochemistry from UC San Diego in 1987, and his PhD in neurobiology from UC Irvine in 1993. During his postdoctoral research at Caltech, he developed and improved tools for studying living networks, such as multiphoton laser-scanning microscopy, high-speed imaging of neural signals, and neural cell culture methods. He is an associate professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech, and teaches neuroengineering and neuroscience.
The Potter group has developed hardware, software and techniques for training wetware with artificial sensory input, delivered to living nets via the multi-electrode array culture dishes.

Douglas Swehla spent many years not studying art or science, then showed up at the lab one day and asked if this was where the cool kids hung out. On hearing that it was, he decided to chill for a bit and has been there since. He is interested in evolutionary algorithms for problem solving, and in emergent phenomena, especially consciousness. For his daily bread, he tries to improve the flow of data and information, in the hope that someday, it will all make sense. He enjoys coding and playing the bass guitar, and should do both more often. He is given to flights of fancy, and has problems with time management.

Stephen Bobic is a Software Engineer who has worked in quite a few industries from telecommunications to web filtering.  He came to Silent Barrage through Georgia Institute of Technology as a contractor to help develop and upgrade software for the exhibition.  His primary responsibility is to provide the means to get the data from Potter Lab to the exhibition, where ever it may be, and to ensure the data is of the highest quality.  His first reaction on hearing what Silent Barrage entailed was "Excellent!", as he has had an interest in Artificial Intelligence for quite a while.  "This project will give me a little more insight to how the brain works.  It kind of brings Isaac Asimov's ideas into a clearer light for me.  Working on Silent Barrage has been a pleasure and a tremendous amount of fun." 

Riley Zeller-Townson was born in Portland, Oregon and spent most of his life at the coast of North Carolina drawing up designs for animals he intended to build.  He graduated from North Carolina State University with a dual Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering and Computer engineering, and a minor in Zoology.  Now he's working on his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Dr. Steve Potter's lab.  Riley's research interests include inducing directed plasticity in cortical cultures, development of the neocortex both inside and outside of living organisms, and computer models of neocortical function.  Outside of lab he enjoys running and volunteering at the Georgia Aquarium.

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This project was researched and developed at SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts at The School of Anatomy & Human Biology, University of Western Australia and Dr. Steve Potter's lab within the Laboratory for Neuroengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.

SymbioticA  - The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts  
SymbioticA is an artistic laboratory dedicated to the research, learning, critique and hands-on engagement with the life sciences.
With a strong emphasis on experiential practice, SymbioticA facilitates a thriving program of residencies, research, academic courses (undergraduate and postgraduate), exhibitions, symposiums, and workshops.  Researchers and students from all disciplines work on individual projects or in interdisciplinary teams to explore the shifting relations and perceptions of life.
  As a research centre within the School of Anatomy and Human Biology at The University of Western Australia, SymbioticA enables direct and visceral engagement with scientific techniques. Crossing the disciplines of art and the life sciences, SymbioticA encourages better understanding and articulation of cultural ideas around scientific knowledge and informed critique of the ethical and cultural issues of life manipulation.   
 SymbioticA was established in 2000 and won the inaugural Golden Nica in Hybrid Arts at Prix Ars Electronica in 2007.
For more information go to: www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au
SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts is a jointly funded initiative between The University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Department of Culture and the Arts.

The Steve Potter Lab
One of nine research groups in the Laboratory for Neuroengineering, the Potter Group is developing new neuroscience technologies for studying learning and memory in vitro. We grow mammalian brain cells in culture on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs), to form a long-term, two-way interface between the cultured networks and a computer. The cultured nets can serve as the 'brain' of simulated animats or robotic creatures. We call these Hybrots, hybrids of living and robotic components. By re-embodying cultured networks, we can allow them to express behaviors, and hopefully, to learn via interactions with their environment. We study distributed network dynamics and neural plasticity using both recording and stimulation, combined with optical microscopy. We are combining functional and morphological dynamics using 2-photon fluorescence time-lapse imaging, and high-speed imaging of neural activity with voltage-sensitive optical membrane probes.

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We would like to thank Oron Catts for the Silent Barrage text, Matt Johnson, Ivanna Mayorenko, Dawn Gamblen, David Khang, Abhishek Hazrafor and Benjamin Forster for their help throughout the project; Marcus Canning & Artrage for their support.