Aaro Murphy selected for the Tokyo & Art Science Research Residency
posted by Milla Millasnoore on 5 August 2022

Our open call for the Tokyo & Art Science Research Residency 2022 received again several excellent applications. We want to thank each applicant for their interest in the Tokyo Art & Science Research Residency. The selection committee consisted of members of the BioClub Tokyo, The Finnish Institute in Japan and the Bioart Society. The residency will be hosted by BioClub Tokyo in partnership with the Finnish Institute in Japan.

The selection committee selected installation artist Aaro Murphy for the residency. Murphy works with sound, scent, animation, and glass. His work takes form as time-based installations and kinetic sculptures, exploring boundaries between the organic and synthetic.

Murphy will dedicate his residency to researching urban scents found in Japan. Setting up a research studio at the BioClub Tokyo, Murphy will collect scents from Tokyo during smell walks and site visits. Experimenting with various extraction methods from distillations, and macerates to tinctures, the aim is to create a library of materials and smells synonymous with the city. Murphy will simultaneously research Headspace technology and machine olfaction. What interests Murphy in this scent capture technology is its potential for reconstructing spaces virtually through smell.

“I am very excited to be selected for this year’s residency, it is a unique opportunity to dig deeper into my olfactory research and explore the city of Tokyo through smell”, says Murphy.

A recurring theme in Murphy’s practice is the ability of machines and complex mechanisms to adopt spatial agency and performative potential – shifting between robotic beings and instruments. Murphy is currently a research fellow at the Studio for Immediate Spaces, Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, researching architectural olfaction and digital scenting systems. For the past three years, Murphy has been developing a series of audiofactory instruments that project sound and smell. A series of custom glass-blown flutes with synthetic aromas inside programmed to play autonomously over time. The Tokyo Art & Science Research Residency is a unique opportunity for Murphy to merge scientific research with the sculptural installations he makes.

Murphy will commence his residency in autumn 2022, according to the pandemic-related travel conditions.