Spider Haus Movies

This algorithmic video work, allows a common house spider to control a film about spiders. When the living spider is still and not moving in the web (which is what they mostly do) the projector plays a film about spiders. The film is a view through the magnified lens, with video footage of spiders in my garden, mixed and cut with videos of spiders watching over their young, spiders capturing and eating prey and architecting webs. These films were selected from footage I located on Vimeo from other filmmakers also interested in the stunning beauty of spiders.

Obligate Symbiont

A peace lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii) is fed by the flickering light of super bright LEDs mounted in laser cut Plexiglas. When humans move, they trigger the LEDs with an infared sensor and Arduino. The plexi form references to our own mitochondria – our human obligate symbiont. An obligate symbiont is a creature dependent on another to survive.

When the LED lights are triggered the lilies produces nutrients while absorbing our exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) and the lilies emit oxygen for our healthy breath. Peace lilies survive in low light areas and are robust, though also now a domestic species, reliant on our industrial houseplant markets.

Obligate Symbiont Ken Rinaldo


Ken Rinaldo is internationally recognized for his interactive installations blurring the boundaries between the organic and inorganic and speaking to the co-evolution between living and evolving technological cultures. His work interrogates fuzzy boundaries where hybrids arise. Biological, machine and algorithmic species and their unique intelligences are mixing in unexpected ways and we need to better understand the complex intertwined ecologies that these semi-living species create. Rinaldo is focused on trans-species communication and researching methods to understand animal, insect and bacterial cultures as models for emergent machine intelligences, as they interact, self organize and co-inhabit the earth.

Rinaldo’s works have shown and commissioned by museums, festivals and galleries internationally such as: Nuit Blanche Canada, World Ocean Museum Russia, Ars Electronica Austria, Lille International Arts Festival France, la Maison d’Ailleurs, Switzerland, Vancouver Olympics Canada, Platform 21 Holland, Transmediale Berlin, AV Festival England, Caldas Museum of Art Colombia, Arco Arts Festival Spain, Te Papa Museum, Wellington New Zealand, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo in Seville Spain, Kiasma Museum Finland, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Pan Palazzo Delle Arti Italy, V2 DEAF Holland, Siggraph Los Angeles, Exploratorium San Francisco, Itau Museum Brazil, Biennial for Electronic Art Australia and the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Russia.

Rinaldo was recipient of an Award of Distinction in 2004 at Ars Electronica Austria for Augmented Fish Reality and first prize for Vida 3.0 Madrid for his work Autopoiesis, which also won an honorable mention in Ars Electronica in 2001. Augmented Fish Reality is a trans-species artwork in which Siamese fighting fish are able to move their tanks under their control.

In 2008 Rinaldo and Youngs were awarded a Green Leaf Award from The United Nations Environment Fund, for the Farm Fountain, an aquaponics project in which fish and bacteria feed plants, which humans then consume. He is the recipient of three Battelle Endowment grants as well as a cultural Olympian for the Vancouver Olympics in 2009, where they commissioned three Paparazzi Robots.

Rinaldo is a member of the Senior Academic Board for Antennae Magazine and author of Interactive Electronics for Artists and Inventors and his work has been featured on radio and TV internationally including: BBC, ORF, CNN,CNET, CBC & the Discovery Channel. Select publications include: Art and Electronic Media by Edward Shanken, Evolution Haute Couture Art and Science in the Post Biological Age edited by Dmitry Bulatov, Art and Science Steve Wilson, Inside Art E Sciencia edited by Leonel Moura, Politics of the Impure V2 Publishing, Digital Art by Christiane Paul, Information Arts by Steve Wilson, Contemporary Italy, NY Arts Magazine, NY Times, Art Press Paris, Tema Celeste Italy and Wired Magazine.

Rinaldo is a contemporary artist and professor teaching robotics, bio art, animation, 3D modeling and broad art practices & technology within the College of Arts & Sciences, The Ohio State University.

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