THis is a live online event



Sophie Kahn
Helen Pynor

date: Wednesday 19 August 2020
Time: 2:00pm (AEST) /  Free Event.

HOW TO WATCH: Booking essential.
You will be emailed 15mins prior to the event with the zoom link.


Professor Genevieve Bell describes our current lives as inhabiting a liminal space in the face of the  Covid-19 pandemic. A place in-between, housing old patterns from the past while wondering what new patterns may emerge post-pandemic. In this month’s Experimenta Social we have invited two artists whose practice investigates and inhabits liminal states.  

Helen Pynor’s work is informed by her academic research in biological sciences and art. Helen explores the porous borders between states that are typically viewed as opposing and distinct such as life and death, animate and inanimate. In her multi-disciplinary practice she often uses and adapts the tools of the medical sciences such as imaging technologies to realise her artworks. Sophie Kahn also draws on imaging technologies in her practice, in particular drawing aesthetic inspiration from the limitations of scanning technology to accurately portray the dynamics of the human body. She creates sculptures, moving and still images that draw attention to the liminal state between the promise of technological perfection and its everyday reality.  

Join us for this month’s Experimenta Social to hear from two artists for whom states of ambiguity are central to their practice.

The Experimenta Social series moves to a live online platform and continues to provide proximity to some of Australia’s most adventurous contemporary artists, researchers and creative technologists. Make sure you RSVP to receive information on how to watch online.


Sophie Kahn’s sculptural and video work deals with technology’s inability to capture the human body. She was born in London and grew up in Melbourne, Australia. She received a BA (Hons) in Fine Art/History of Art from Goldsmiths College, London, and an MFA in Art

& Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was a Trustee Scholar. Sophie has exhibited her artwork in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Sydney,Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul and Beijing. Recent exhibitions include Transfigured at C24 Gallery, and Out of Body: Sculpture Post-Photography at bitforms gallery, both in New York City. 

Sophie has taught in the Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute as a Visiting Associate Professor, and at Columbia College, Chicago, as a visiting instructor. Her work has been featured in numerous festivals including Zero1 Biennale, Transmediale, and the Japan Media Arts festival. Her video work has been screened on large urban screens on four continents with the Streaming Museum. She has completed residencies at the NARS Foundation and at the Museum of Arts and Design, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, and is currently an artist in residence with the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York.  

Sophie’s work has been supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, EMPAC (the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic, New York) and by other private and public funding bodies. She is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Digital and Electronic Arts  Fellow.

Dr Helen Pynor is an Artist and Researcher whose practice explores philosophically and experientially ambiguous zones, such as the life-death boundary, the inter-subjective nature of organ transplantation, and the animate-inanimate boundary in relation to prosthetics.

Her work is informed by long-term residencies in scientific and clinical institutions, including The Francis Crick Institute, London; The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden; The Heart and Lung Transplant Unit, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney; and SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia. Pynor also frequently collaborates with members of the broader community whose embodied experiences connect with the themes of her work. Pynor works across a range of media including sculpture, photography, installation, video, media art, performance, wet biology and microscopy.

Pynor has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally in galleries and museums including Beijing Media Art Biennale (2018-2019); The Francis Crick Institute London (2018); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2017, 2013); Science Gallery London (2017); The Old Operating Theatre, London (2017); Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney (2012-2017); FACT – Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool UK (2016); Centraal Museum, Utrecht (2016); FRAC-Le Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, Franche-Comté, Besançon (2015); ISEA2013 – International Symposium on Electronic Art, Sydney (2013); National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad (2013); Galerija Kapelica, Ljubljana (2013); Science Gallery Dublin (2013); Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (2013); Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum), Sydney (2013, 2011); Ars Electronica, Linz (2012); Wellcome Collection, London (2012); and Leonardo Electronic Almanac MIT, online (2011).

Pynor has completed a practice-based PhD at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney (Sculpture, Installation, Photography) and a Bachelor of Science (1st Class Hons) at Macquarie University, Sydney (Cell and Molecular Biology).


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Experimenta acknowledges the Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, on whose land we meet, share and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.

Image Credit: ‘Machines For Suffering’ by Sophie Kahn