Synthetic Écologies Lab

  • CREATED FOR: Serpentine Galleries
  • LAB'S LEAD: Yasaman Sheri
  • VISUAL SERIES BY: Yasaman Sheri & Ada Sokol
  • 3D: Ada Sokol
In collaboration with Serpentine Galleries & Yasaman Sheri, Ada has been given an exciting opportunity to create a series of visuals supporting Synthetic Écologies Lab. This powerful platform aims to support artists in the context of emerging biological technologies & ecology by strengthening the foundations for art’s critical inquiry & intervention into these spaces.

2020 marks an entry into a new decade & signifies a decisive moment to support aesthetic & political engagements in life sciences & ecology. With rapid advances being made in biotechnologies & other tools of life sciences, artists & designers are an increasingly influential voice in shaping how such technologies get rendered at the societal level.

As the main focus of this series, creating new species of ghost mantis, known for their distinct appearance, was a challenge requiring a whole new level of attention to detail. Nearly microscopic closeups of the animal’s features emphasize the clean atmosphere of medical scenery & biotech laboratories. 

During procedures, white lights typically used by clinical specialists shine with full strength, catching the lone mantis basking in their raw glow, highlighting all the details making up its fragile build. The creature is on guard, scanning the surroundings attentively with its mesmerizing eyes - arms up, ready to react.

Carefully picked shades of misty greens, the color complement to hemoglobin red, & bright blues that dominate in the visuals are reminiscent of laboratory environments which played a crucial role in maintaining control over struggles in society throughout 2020.