interaction among organisms within a community

The Coaction Lab examines unstable relationships between organisms, environments and technology; exploring site specific histories, stories and inspiration. We are interested in the symbiotic worlds of bio & ecological art, interactive systems, 2D & 3D prototyping, video projection mapping, biosensors and multi-sensory data translation. Within the borders of the University, this lab is dedicated to collaboration between the Arts, Humanities and Sciences, has formed partnerships across the Center for Marine Sciences, Ecology, Biology, Computer Science, Theater, Film Studies, Music and more. Outside the University, we have collaborated with the Cameron Art Museum, The Algae Society, the U.S. Consulate and the Alexandria Creativity Center in Alexandria Egypt, the City of Bangor Water District, Bigelow Labs, Alison Chase Movement, The Maine Science Festival, the University of Sussex in Great Britain, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France and with Intercreate.org based in New Zealand. The Coaction lab develops ways for students to get hands on experience outside of the classroom both locally, nationally and internationally, by establishing connections between University research agendas and the needs and missions of ecology-based nonprofits, businesses and community groups.

The Coaction Lab facilitates the exploration of both prototyping processes and artistic practice moving from ideation to implementation through a variety of collaborative methods. We encourage students to develop their own hybrid process that compliments their particular needs, agendas and, skill sets while also learning to work with others through interdisciplinary group projects. Emphasis is placed on finding solutions by using one’s senses, through research, prototype development and user feedback. We share vocabularies and skill sets across interdisciplinary boundaries, all with the intention of developing alluring systems of exploration and wonder. These endeavors lie at the heart of what we do. We give our students new ways to visualize, sonify and spatialize their research. Facilitation provides the room they need to adapt, contextualize and communicate their ideas. As a result, they develop a toolbox that will foster future opportunities, such as jobs in higher education, large scale public projects, industry, grants, internships / residencies, and self-entrepreneurship.