Laz LaRue

Dates 8/17-8/24

Project: Connected experience with feelings & wires

Bio: I’m a lowkey software engineer, part-time goofbal, and full-time bricoleur with an interest building some physical representation of two human connections with wires, colorful headbands, and guages.

Dr Betty Sargeant from PluginHUMAN

Whilst at DiNaCon (August 14-20) I will collect unique fauna and water samples and take images of their microscopic biological structures. I will also record bio data, including audio, and the movement of gases and moisture, from inside trees and waterways. This data will be used to create PUL$E, a new digital art installation by PluginHUMAN (Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer).

PUL$E places audiences in the centre of a multi-sensory experience that’s controlled by the life force of trees. Through this project we aim to forge deep connections between people and our natural environment, raising questions around ecological conservation in the age of economic rationalism. The development of PUL$E is being fed by a wide range of field trips (to the Amazon, Panama, Taiwan, remote Australia etc) where PluginHUMAN are collecting data from significant local trees and waterways.

The PUL$E installation will feature the internal microscopic structure of significant international trees. This data will be enlarged and printed onto acrylic sculptural forms. The printed acrylic sculptures will be lit by full-colour programmable LED lights. The light show will be controlled by bio data collected from the significant international trees. This bio data will reflect the gas, movement, moisture and sounds from inside the trees. Audiences will be surrounded by environment-controlled audio, visuals and aromas in an immersive art encounter.

More info at:

Connect via Instagram: @PluginHUMAN

Connect on Facebook: @PluginHUMAN

Tully Arnot

23-31 August

I’m an Australian visual artist, working with kinetic sculpture (cheap servos, Arduino, pretty low tech) , video, performance, photography etc. My practice deals with how people interact with both the environment and technology, especially at the intersections of these. I work a lot with simulations of nature.

Recent work has been documentary based, I hope to explore the jungle and speak with a lot of researchers, and build some kind of speculative narrative about interactions with the environment. Also keen on some en plain air electronics tinkering 🙂

Stuff online at

Sid Drmay

Dates: 14/08/2019-28/08/2019

Project: The Sustainable Zine: Being a zinester for many years I’ve noticed how unsustainable zines can be depending on how they are produced. At Dinacon I plan on using natural dyes and inks on natural materials to explore all the ways that Panama and it’s nature can create colour and story. The goal is to make a zine inspired by Dinacon and the experiences in Gamboa that will eventually fade and degrade until it doesn’t exist at all except in pictures, much like memories!

Sid Drmay is a nonbinary queer multidisciplinary artist based in Hamilton, ON. They use textile art to explore growing up online, nosebleeds, queerness and transness and all the weirdness that comes with that. They love weaving, embroidery, screenprinting, their two cats, and sour gummy candies.

Michal Sahaf

August 4th – 10th 2019

I’ve recently finished my PhD on plant biomechanics. I studied physics and teach it, but find a lot of things fascinating, including plants, art, cats, humans and other sentient beings. I like making things, thinking about things, and things that make me think.

Life of Leaf: The project I have in mind is a structure made mostly out of what can be found in the woods and some connective tissue. It will include sub-structures at various scales, which change in time as the plant elements in it grow or decay. Plants dynamics have many timescales, from seconds to years, and I aim to find a way to incorporate plant motion and function into a cool and totally useless thing that will be fun to look at.

I’m also curious to see unique patterns in local plants, and collaborate with other people who work on projects I can relate to.

Emily Volk

Weaving fish scale "fabric"

Dinacon 2019 Dates: August 16-25th

Project: Interactive sculpture, “Fabricated foliage.” I will be researching, augmenting, and replicating jungle flora to create an interactive, responsive sculpture that emulates the sounds of rustling leaves, though with non-natural materiality. As a back-up to this project, I will be experimenting with fish scale structures and making an interactive, mobile sculpture using structures inspired by particular natural fish scales. As a back-up-back-up, I am coming to Dinacon ready to be inspired, and ready to make!

Bio: Emily Volk is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, now embarking on the world. Her research and curiosity spans science and art disciplines. Specifically, her prior research delves into bioinspired engineering designs. In undergraduate research, she has extensively studied the mechanics of fish scale structures, with application to novel flexible armor designs and biomimetic swimming robots. Importantly, Emily believes that science is nothing if not shared, and continually works to creatively infuse data-driven projects with aesthetics to appeal to a wide audience. This passion has led to great collaborations in the Boulder, Colorado community, including events, conference panels, immersive performances, public installations, data-driven storytelling, and innovative course design. She is so excited to launch out of university and into Gamboa, Panama, to meet all of you thinkers and makers, all while frolicking outside!

Leoni Voegelin

16. August – 31. August 2019

We are Janne Nora Kummer, Tomas Montes Massa, Lena Maria Eickenbusch and myself: we found each other as a group within the ¨Spiel && Objekt¨ MA program, sharing the desire to develop an ecologic & non-anthropocentric view of arts. Our research motivation drives us to explore the interaction between the biodiversity of the rainforest with the behaviour of light, using these local biosolar entanglements as inspiration to create a techno-vegetal monster. Relevant milestones for us are monstrous & cyborg thinking, kinetic sculptures and object-oriented theatrical narratives. We imagine a solar-powered, Arduino-motored, light-searching hybrid creature, a wired-photosynthetic robot that aesthetically condenses our research and friendly coexists in the jungle. Speculating on the fusion of organic material and new technologies is for us an artistic urgency, and therefore we are eager to prototype and meet this critter!

Nacho Sanguinetti

13 – 21 August 2019

My name is Nacho Sanguinetti. I’m a berlin based neuroscientist and improv theater /comedy performer. I study the neuroscience of play behavior.

I’m joined in Gamboa with my Improv partner Trevor Silverstein with whom I plan to collaborate with and perhaps do some improv permormances.

My plan for Dinacon is the following:

Project 1:

Biological origins of musicality

Music is clearly one of the most important aspects of human cultural life. However, there is very little known about the biological origins of musicality (For a recent review: Kotz, Ravignani, Fitch, 2018). Even though youtube is a treasure trove of animals responding to music , few scientific studies have addressed this very interesting issue (for examples: Patel et al., 2009). Given this amazing opportunity to explore the Gamboa Jungle, a place with such animal diversity, I decided to study wild animals listening to music.

I plan setup he following pilot experiment: a speaker playing music in the jungle while cameras and microphones record possible animal behavior close to the speaker. Are animals curious about human music? Are some animals more curious than others? Do they synchronize movements to the rhythm, do they vocalize, sniff etc? Can we record them to produce more animalistic music that will engage them? (Looking for Collaborations).

Backup plans include : Concentrate on a single species, Agoutis?. Record animal vocalizations and do more controlled playback experiments.

Project 2:

Short Film

I am joined in Gamboa by my artistic partner Trevor Silverstein, with whom I plan to shoot a fictional short film.

Trevor Silverstein

(Aug 13-21)

I’m a filmmaker/comedian from the USA but based in Berlin, Germany. I’ll be shooting a short film with another Dinacon particpant, Nacho Sanguinetti.

Kristina Dutton

Bio: I’m a composer, musician, and interdisciplinary artist whose work focuses on film and collaborative live multimedia performances with dance and visual artists. My personal projects are inspired by science and a love of the natural world. I also have experience with field recording in the tropics, and I co-founded an experimental school that offered free art classes in exchange for environmental restoration work.

PROJECT: My collaborator Lisa Schonberg and I will compose new music and sound work based on observation and field recordings as part of a larger ongoing project. We will illustrate contrasting ecological variables through our recording and composition processes. We will use hydrophones, ultrasonic mic, contact mics, and shotgun mic, and build the compositions using found instruments, a Critter and Guitarri Organelle keyboard, and Ableton Live. If there is mutual interest, we can create this work as a sonic aspect of another researcher’s work at Dinacon. We also want to interview (and with permission film) participants at Dinacon about larger questions related to artists and scientists producing work together.