Fuel and Queen Mary of London University present The Lab, a new commissioning  platform for science-inspired artistic explorations that seek to understand and  communicate the leading questions of our times. 

Fuel has been forging collaborations between contemporary performance artists and  academic researchers for many years. Fuel’s work in this area was recognised by a  grant from the Wellcome Trust through their Sustaining Excellence Fund. Since 2019,  Fuel has been working with Dr. Magda Osman to seek out new models for  collaborations between artists and researchers and seeking out higher education  institutions to partner with who share our passion for stimulating conversations and  firing imaginations through the crossover of science.  

In 2020, Fuel, Queen Mary of London University, and Wellcome Trust put out a call for  scientists whose research engages in public health, who were looking for new ways to  share their ideas through our new commissioning platform, The Lab. Fuel set up 5  selected scientists to meet 20 artists from different creative disciplines to let sparks fly  and see how each practice might inspire the other. After a period of development, Fuel  commissioned 3 international partnerships to remotely create science-inspired digital  projects.  

See below for more information on projects currently under development:  

Project Title: Belongingness
Scientist: Dr. Sandra Romero (Mexico)
Artist: Raquel André (Portugal) 

Belongingness is a global conversation about how we identify with each other and what  that might tell us about ourselves. Putting themselves under the microscope,  performance artist Raquel André and genetic scientist Dr. Sandra Romero purchased  commercial ancestry tests to understand what it might mean to belong. Making contact  with their 3,000+ newly-identified global relatives, artist and scientist held a series of  interviews to learn about why participants are taking genetic tests and together,  understand the complex interconnections that define their identities.


Project Title: The Vaccinium Project 
Scientist: Dr. Laura Bystrom (UK) 
Artist: T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss (Canada) 

Combing cultural heritage and new chemistry storytelling, ethnobotanist and storyteller  T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss and food enterprise and plant scientist Dr. Laura Bystrom are  developing an augmented reality platform that enables audiences to interact with  botanical features and chemical structures that are relevant to the Vaccinium species  that are used and important to the indigenous community of Skwxwu7mesh peoples of  the Pacific Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Together, their aim is to stimulate a  dialogue about scientific research and indigenous knowledge, helping audiences to  understand the possibility of respectively bringing these practices together while  keeping traditional knowledge and community sacred.

Vaccinium Project is part of New Conversations, a programme funded and delivered by  the British Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Farnham Maltings, and the High  Commission of Canada in the UK. 

+ more to be announced.