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.

PluginHUMAN (Betty Sargeant)


In the early 1900s the Panama Canal was forged through the jungles of Panama. This shipping channel became a major factor in the expansion of globalised trade. In many ways, Panama’s Canal Zone represents the epitome of the Anthropocene. Industrial progress rupturing unique ecosystems.

In this setting I was inspired by broken nature. I collected introduced butterfly species, leaves that had been stripped to their skeleton by destructive fungus, dead insects and plant matter. I prepared these samples and photographed their finer qualities under microscope. I also collected a selection of field recordings using a hydrophone, two contact mics and a stereo atmospheric mic. Most audio recordings in Panama’s Canal Zone contain the sounds of engines. Sounds from passing ships, tug boats, dredging machines, cargo trains and light aircraft form the backdrop to birdsongs, monkey calls and frog choirs. The clash of nature and industry is palpable. Finally, I collected data relating to the temperature, light, movement and moisture of different ecosystems. This was done using an Arduino and a series of environmental sensors.

I presented the photo-microscopy images, audio and environmental data in an Open Studio showing at the Digital Naturalism Lab on 17 August 2019. The outcome of this residency was later captured in a 3-minute single channel video work. This video features photo-microscopy and audio recordings from three consecutive environmental art residences that I undertook in 2019 – Digital Naturalism (Gamboa, Panama), LabVERDE (Amazon, Brazil) and the EV Residency (Rio, Brazil).

Video available at:


PluginHUMAN is an Australian art-technology duo featuring Dr Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer. They have exhibited in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. PluginHUMAN has an acute understanding of the role that technology plays in contemporary society. Their progressive work places people in the centre of a human to digital encounter. They won a Good Design Award [2018] and a Premier’s Design Award [2017] and are creators-in-residence at the Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University, Australia.

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.