Cesar & Lois is a collective that probes the evolution of humanity’s relationship to nature by advancing intersections between the parallel networks of technology, biological and societal systems. Cesar & Lois consists of Brazilian media artist Cesar Baio and California-based media artist Lucy HG Solomon, often in conversation and collaboration with other artists, scientists and researchers. Formed in summer of 2017, Cesar & Lois has launched a number of projects that reorient technology and society to nature. The duo is currently working with the fungal colonization of human knowledge systems through the merging of fungal networks and Internet-based communications. Winner of the 2018 Lumen Prize in Artificial Intelligence and 2019 selection for the Global Digital Art Prize Biennial in Singapore, Edital CoMciência in Brazil, and 2020 selection for the Aesthetica Prize shortlist, the iterative project Degenerative Cultures inserts a microbiological logic into A.I. and challenges the socio-technological division between humanity and nature. Part of the 13th Mercosul Biennial, the duo’s project Mycorrhizal Insurrection integrates AI with mushroom intelligence and creates a platform for humans to send messages to mycelia.
University of California, Davis. Thinking across Technology, Cellular Systems, and Ecosystems. NEA Artist in Residence with Dr. Matthias Hess: projected in 2023. Residency in UC Davis Hess Lab for the Art Works initiative, The China Shop, with interactive workshops and laboratory experimentation about microbiomes’ responses to climate change.
Yes We Cannibal. Eat the Anthropocene with Cesar & Lois, mycelia and friend entities. Artist in Residence and workshops series, Digital foraging, analog mushrooms: 2020. Virtual residency in Baton Rouge, LA integrating a mushroom AI with exercises in adventurous mycology to reframe natures and landscapes in the context of Mat Keel’s Abolitionist Naturalism project and Liz Lessner’s experiments with technological interfaces.
Coalesce Center for Biological Arts, University at Buffalo. Thinking within Ecosystems: Collective Cell Consciousness. Residency at Coalesce BioArt Laboratory with Paul Vanouse and Solon Morse: 2020-2021. Laboratory-based experiments with project-based work and workshops on what it means to be human, with a focus on interactions between internal and external microbiomes, or the gut and the environment.
Mycorrhizal Insurrection in 13th Mercosul Biennial: Trauma, sonho e fuga at Instituto Caldeira, Porto Alegre, Brazil, curated by Marcello Dantas (September 2022–November 2022)
Degenerative Cultures: fire and water in Computational Poetics, Beall Center for Art + Technology, UC Irvine, CA, USA (October 2022)
Allochronic Cycles in AI Delivered: Redemption, at Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, China (November 2021–March 2022) and at Zhi Art Museum, Chengdu, China (April 2022–June 2022)
Thinking like a Mushroom in Texts and Soundings: The Image Talks Back at NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, USA (April 2022–May 2022)
Allochronic Cycles, based on plant biology of Dr. Joanne Chory, Salk Institute in Trifecta: Art, Science, Patron at La Jolla Historical Society, California (September 2021–December 2021)
Degenerative Cultures: island nations in Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition and documented in the publication, Future Now, York Art Gallery, UK (May 2021–September 2021); exhibited at Art-AI Festival 2022 at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK (November 2021-March 2022).
Degenerative Cultures: Floresta Amazônica in Edital CoMciência – Ocupação em Arte, Ciência e Tecnologia at MM Gerdau, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (December 2019–March 2020)
Degenerative Cultures: corrupting the codes of duality in Global Digital Art Prize Biennial at NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity, Singapore (October–November 2019)
The Bhiobrid Logic of Degenerative Cultures in Sentient States: Bio-mind and Techno-nature at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal (June 2019)
Traces of Nature’s Knowledge in Subterranean at San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery, San Diego, California (April 2019)
Crossing Knowledge Systems: Conversations across Nature and Humanity in ICIA at Galeria Wydziatu Intermediów OPCJA in Krakow, Poland (December 2018 – January 2019)
An Integrated Bhiobrid Reality: Degenerative Cultures in The Urgency of Reality in a Hyper-Connected Age for SIGGRAPH 2019
Thinking Like a Mushroom in Grey Matter at A Ship in the Woods in Escondido, California (January 2019)
Degenerative Cultures: Lujipen in Uncommon Natures, Lumen Prize exhibition in Brighton Digital Festival at Pheonix Brighton in Brighton, UK, with Jeremy Speed Schwartz (coding), Scott Morgans (microbiology) and Joao Ignacio (culturing) (September 2018)
The [ECO]Nomic Revolution: when microbiological logic determines everything at Urban Futures at ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Art) 2018 in Durban (June 2018)
Degenerative Cultures Redraft, with Interpretative Readings by CSUSM students, at CODAME ART+TECH Festival in San Francisco, CA (June 2018)
[ECO]nomic revolution at the LAST (Life, Art, Science and Tech) Festival 2018 at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University (April 2018)
Microgentrification takes over Los Angeles at JAUS Art Space in Los Angeles (April 2018)
[ECO]nomic Paths: following microbiological logic, a city-based happening in Berlin (February 2018)
Preliminary Thoughts on Degenerating Culture as part of XX Generative Art Exhibition 2017 at Ravenna Art Museum (MARR) in Ravenna, Italy (December 2017)
Selection for 13th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil. 2022 (for Mycorrhizal Insurrection)
Shortlist for 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize, UK. 2021 (for project, Degenerative Cultures)
Selection for 2019–2020 Edital CoMciência–Ocupação em Arte, Ciência e Tecnologia
Shortlist for NTU Global Digital Art Prize. 2019 (for project, Degenerative Cultures, from NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH)
Shortlist for Prize in Intermedia Artwork for Crossing Knowledge Systems: Conversations across Nature and Humanity, by International Competition for Intermedia Work of Art (ICIA), Kraków, Poland (2019)
Lumen Prize in Artificial Intelligence. 2018 for project, Degenerative Cultures)
Talk: 17o Simpósio de Arte Contemporânea: Incertezas e FACTO 9 (virtual) at LABART (Laboratório de Pesquisa em Arte Contemporânea, Tecnologia e Mídias Digitais), Brazil (August 2022)
Talk: Mycorrhizal Insurrection: Rerouting Anthropocentric Socio-Technical Systems at ISEA2022 (27th International Symposium on Electronic Art) in Barcelona (virtual) (June 2022)
Presentation, Connecting Human and Nonhuman Intelligences, at Interdisciplinary Workshop Listening to The Web of Life, organized jointly by La Jolla Historical Society/ Scripps Institution of Oceanography in response to the work of Helen and Newton Harrison (March 2022)
Panel, Reading, Unearthing and Eating Anthropocentrism in the Work of Cesar & Lois at Yes We Cannibal, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (virtual and in-person) (June 2021)
Artist presentation and panel discussion in Future Now Symposium 2021 with Aesthetica Magazine (virtual) (April 2021)
Presentation and Discussion, Beyond Speciesism—Towards Ecosystemic AI: Cesar & Lois with Beyond Return (virtual) (February 2021)
Presentation and Discussion: The Happiness Roundtable: AI and Community Well-being with Happiness Alliance, CA, USA (virtual) (December,2020)
Panelist in Apresentação de Segundo Volume de Série Cibertextualidades: Investigação-Experimentação-Criação: em Arte-Ciência-Tecnologia (Presentation of the Second Volume of the Cibertextualities Series: Investigtation-Experimentation-creaction: in Art-Science-Technology) (virtual) (November 2020)
Coalesce Disperse: Reports from the Lab: “Bio Art in the Time of Global Pandemic,” panelist, Coalesce Center for Biological Arts, University at Buffalo, NY (May 2020)
“Art, Technology, and Ecological Thinking: integrated AI and networked consciousness,” talk, Sarah Lawrence College, NY (February 2020)
“A Collaborative Writing Workshop with Nonhuman Entities,” workshop, Coalesce Center for Biological Arts, University at Michigan (January 2020)
“How do human beings think with microbiological logic?” talk, Colgate University, NY (January, 2020)
“Crossing Knowledge Systems: microbiological x human x artificial intelligences,” workshop and panel, New Media Caucus: Border Control, University of Michigan (September 2019)
“Crossing Knowledge Systems,” artist talk, Consciousness Reframed, Sentient States: Porto, Portugal (June 2019)
“An Ecotopic Framework for Rethinking Societal Paradigms,” plenary talk, World-Ecology Research Network Conference: Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias: Justice, Nature & the Liberation of Life, SF (May 2019)
“Artificial Intelligence,” discussion with Rodrigo Nemmen, moderated by Rogerio Rosenfeld: Science in Dialogue: Physics and Art, South American Institute for Fundamental Research of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP-SAIFR) at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of Unesp, São Paulo, Brazil (May 2019)
“Fungal Archives: Corrupting a Digital Knowledgebase,” panel, Popular Culture Association: Communication and Digital Culture area, Living Archives: Washington, D.C. (April 2019)
“Cesar & Lois: Microbiology as a Lens for Human Societies,” panel, CSU Humanities and Creative Arts Webcast (March 2019)
“The Operating Logic of Spores,” Special guest lecturer at IZM, Universität der Künste (UDK): Berlin (February 2018)
“Mediated Natures – Speculative Futures and Justice” panel at ISEA – 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art 2018: Durban, South Africa (June 2018)
Siry, Lauren. “Lauren Siry on Cesar & Lois.” HereIn, 7 July 2022.
Future Now Aesthetica Art Prize: 125 Artists. Catalog of Aesthetica Magazine’s Aesthetica Prize, 2021.
Cianciotta, Aurelio. “Degenerative Cultures, thoughts as food.” Neural, 14 Feb. 2020.
Mucelli, Tadeus. Catálogo Exposição CoMciência Edição 2020 | MM Gerdau-Museu das Minas e do Metal. CoMciência: Arte, Ciência e Tecnologia, 2020.
Brant, Ana Clara. “Humanamente Falando.” Estado de Minas, 17 Dec. 2019.
Brant, Ana Clara. Obras em exposição no Museu MM Gerdau se situam na fronteira da tecnologia com a arte e tratam da interação do homem com a máquina e sua ação destrutiva no planeta (Works on display at the MM Gerdau Museum are on the frontier of technology with art and deal with the interaction of man with the machine and its destructive action on the planet.). UAI, 17 Dec. 2019.
Culturas Degenerativas Dossiê Fabulações Miceliais / Edition on Mycelial Fabulations, Journal, Revista ClimaCom Scientific Culture Volume: Yr 06 n. 14, 2019.
Simões, Poliana. “Jornal De Noticias.” Obras Com Vida Própia: Bioarte – Sabia Que a Natureza Também é Um Suporte Para a Produção Artística?, 21 Mar. 2018.