Background


While some of our resident scholars would place the initiation of this organization and its subjects as early as 200 A.D., ISSRE was in fact founded in 2015 by a group of concerned pseudo-scientists and their increasingly self-aware subjects who were all committed to the study and development of the super-species. At ISSRE, we have multiple branches of research, with an inter-species staff, dedicated to the preservation and survival of both super-species and the humans and humanoids who love them.



TIMELINE


2015

(Thanksgiving) Rumors reported first sightings of creature-like species in the rocky, damp fields of Connecticut 

Super-species II Excerpt from LRB on Vimeo.




2016

(June) The foot of the Sciapode, a canopy of flesh, was spotted arching above the tall spring grasses of woody Westchester, New York

(July–August) Confirmed Sightings Captured on film at Lighthouse Works Residency

Super-species Intro from LRB on Vimeo.


(September) Once notified, ISSRE gathers to commence research and establish desired outcomes for experimentation procedures


2017


2016–2017 (November- March) ISSRE scientist teams respond to sighting alerts, and begin to capture the creatures and observe them


(April 8th) Training Day. ISSRE team and creatures commence cross training and open the training camp
(June) First Public Exposition. Pannotti, Bird + AM = seabird and SN, at Geary Contemporary Gallery, “Material Mythos”


Panotti, Forest from LRB on Vimeo.

Prehistoric Bird and AM = SeaBird from LRB on Vimeo.

Super-Numerary Nipples (SN) from LRB on Vimeo.

(June) The Bronx Museum of the Arts displays reproduction of a molted shell Sciapode based on remains discovered within the grottos of Pompeii preserved from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 79AD
Part of: Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial,  curated by Christine Licata, Aylet Ojeda Jequin, and Heather Reyes, Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY










2017


(September) Demonstrations. ISSRE presents its findings from training camp and early super-species experiments from the laboratory in Chicago


(SH) Hoop Jump I, 3:20 HD video (color, sound) from LRB on Vimeo.

Word to the Wise, ACRE projects Space, curated by Ann Meisinger, Chicago, IL


(October) Education ISSRE Scientist, L*R*B delivers public presentation and lectures undergraduate design students on the research and findings of ISSRE in hopes of recruitment

(October-November) Panotti exposed. Video documentation and early experiments presented at Anytime Dept. Cincinnati, OH

(October---March) Panotti, Sciapode, and GM Invertus remains, found at Vesuvius, go on display in Brooklyn NY. Snow insinuates itself upon the creature remains, reminding us of the layers of ash that congealed, preserving human casts of ancient Roman bodies.  2017  Past Myth, Future Form, ART LOT, outdoor sculpture show with Anna Tsouhlarakis.         Curated by Aimee Burg and Natalia Zubko, Brooklyn, NY

(December) ZAZ10TS, New York, NY.  An international consortium of artists has taken over a new billboard at the corner of 41st St and Broadway. The first in a series of initiatives by producer Tzili Charney, “24:7” is a round-the-clock video art performance testing the power of the medium to meaningfully engage the public. ISSRE displays its Bestiary to thousands  

24_7 Laura Bernstein -A Bestiary- Video (web) from LRB on Vimeo.


2018 

(April) Becoming Beast exposition of new generation of ⅓ inch scale creatures bred and born at ISSRE training camp and laboratory : Nurtureart solo show: Becoming Beast, April 13th, 2018 Becoming Beast, NurtureArt, Brooklyn, NY, April 13th--May 6th

Becoming Beast (excerpt) from LRB on Vimeo.


(May-June) Bestial Field Recordings: 2015-2018, is on display at Lighthouse Works Residency. Fishers Island residents are exposed to diverse ranges of species with adaptive mutations that might otherwise remain invisible had they not been captured on film  

2017-2018 New Super Species developed. Thanks to a studio grant from Sharpe-Walentas, ISSRE and team were able to successfully produce a series of new hybrid creatures, Lamarckism BRIC Biennial Volume III: South Brooklyn Edition, The Impossible Possible, curated by Elizabeth Ferrer andJenny Gerow, BRIC House, Brooklyn, NY 


2019

(March) First Pseudo-scientific Performance and Circus. ISSRE team shares its pioneering work in the world of scientific performance and entertainment at BRIC Biennial and is supported by the Franklin Furnace Fund. BRIC Biennial Volume III: South Brooklyn Edition, The Impossible Possible, curated by Elizabeth Ferrer and Jenny Gerow, BRIC House, Brooklyn, NY


Supernumerary NipplesSN has been documented since Roman times as Artemis of Ephesus and was featured in legends prior to that time. Faithful to no one but self. The evolution of SN is attributed to increased femininity and fertility. Their breasts not only
distract predators from their uteruses, but also prevent fertilization by trapping unwelcome sperm in their mammary glands.





Shakespeare HornySH experiences perpetual itch.  To find relief SH thrusts against thick grasses. In Shakespeare’s work, men whose wives were unfaithful grew horns due to sexual frustration. Made a fool from infidelity.


Gluteus Maximus Invertus GM invertus, a giant swollen bum with carbuncle, usually
seen on all fours. GM prefers to live in rocky areas, as a protective measure, so bum might be mistaken for rock. GM’s character most resembles goat, with Bacchus-like behavior. Perpetually dehydrated.



Arthropod Mare
Am feeds by filtering particles from the water using its modified scaly leg. AM has no internal organs and at night, it glows with light. Its body is capable of squeezing through the width of its central face hole. AM filters
the infected seaweed that lines the seashores and is used as a binding agent in most processed foods.



The Sciapode Mono-pod or Umbrella Foot. Their single foot extends from the center of its body acting as a shield protecting it from the sun. It is known that the Sciapode has a
weakness for tomatoes. The smell alone can bring it to a state of arousal.

Panotti
The enlarged surface area of Panotti's ears helps regulate body temperature.
Flapping their ears keeps them cooler for longer, or conversely, in extremely cold weather their ears have the capacity to act as blankets to shield their body against the chills of the night.


Mono-Handler
MH is ambidextrous. Its giant hand extends from elbows that are fused and function as one unit. The hand is heavy and takes great discipline to raise. They use their fingers as net. Has charge over GM invertus.


Prehistoric Birdhas wings but cannot fly. Stands 10 feet tall.

Training Day

Training Grounds from LRB on Vimeo.


2018, single-channel HD video 14:35 min.
Documentation from Training Day at Floyd Bennett Field. Video incorporates audio recordings of twentieth-century psychologists and behaviorists, including B.F. Skinner, Harry Harlow, sexual educators, and news broadcasters. The video serves as a document introducing another order of animal: genetically modified super-humans performing the role of pseudo-scientist by probing, measuring, and testing “lower” creatures. Their efforts suggest a quest to capture, control, and deploy their biological findings to ensure their own survival, but the creatures also seem to perform tests of their own.

Tomatoa shape shifting nightshade fruit consumed as vegetable. The smell alone lures. Though In the Middle Ages, The tomato was thought poisonous because the acidity levels were so high they burned through the pewter plates on which tomatoes were most commonly served.











































Note from our founder: We are The Institute of Super-Species Research and Experimentation, who we call ISSRE. And for those of you who are not yet familiar with the work of ISSRE, we are a group of specialists who engage with strange and miraculous beasts. We base many of our methods on pre-enlightenment ancient and medieval modes of thought and symbolism because we believe that in looking to the past, we can help create alternatives for the future. We believe that ancient and medieval beasts MAY provide evolutionary paths to help humans adapt, dare I say, thrive, within extreme weather conditions on an earth that may no longer support human physiology.  On that note, I'd like to introduce my colleagues and distinguished team members:

Laura Bernstein, Founder


Pseudoscientist ER87

ER87 is a Volcanologist and Geophysicist with a certificate in Plinian Evacuation Training and implementation as well as Bosnian 4D Mapping. She leads cognitive awareness courses for understanding the “Critical Zone” : how to prepare, respond and react to changes in the Earth’s atmosphere one breath at a time. Over 7k followers on LinkdIN.


Pseudoscientist ER87 (excerpt) from LRB on Vimeo.




P.T. Trainer


To say that P.T. Trainer is an adventurer would be an understatement. She has been carried on the tips of Panotti’s flying ears and has racedwith a fleet of Sciapode during a blizzard. P.T. Trainer is the founder of Motion-Movement Methods for Creature Companions, working at the intersection of entertainment, spectacle, protection, detection and behavior modification.


P.T Trainer (excerpt) from LRB on Vimeo.




Pliny


Philosopher and method biographer, Pliny has devoted her life’s work and study to embodying the Roman Statesman and Navel Commander Pliny the Elder. Pliny will premier her Encyclopedic Sound Score: Audible Tracings: from Pliny the Elder’s Natural History 78 AD (2019) which transcribes the vocal expression of ancient and medieval beasts.

Pliny (excerpt) from LRB on Vimeo.



costume by Laura Bernstein
MP16c

Clairvoyant and interpreter of images received in the form of visions. Her collection, Visions of the Strange and Miraculous (1111 CE), unravels moral symbolism embedded within ancient and medieval texts. Her explorations focus on natural phenomena, both geologic and planetary as they relate to otherworldly creatures. Versed in the ancient art of falconry, she regularly performs her work with her winged companion Hildegard.


MP16C (excerpt) from LRB on Vimeo.

image credit: XYZ
Hybrid SP

HSP is an amalgamation. Called by the Greeks "shade-footed ones," and hailing from "All-Ears Islands," HSP is super- species, existing as ancient icon and future solution. HSP is currently undergoing Reverse Role Playing Reversal with P.T. Trainer.

Hybrid S.P. (excerpt) from LRB on Vimeo.


ET87



ET87 is a field recorder and illustrator for ISSRE, who specializes in Bio Chakra and Evolutionary Anatomy Painting.
ET87 has won the Audubon-NYE-Borges, “Being" award for plien-air painting.              
Lamarckism

Their physicality references French biologist Jean-Baptiste de Monet Lamarck's theory from Philisphie Zoologique (1809), that acquired traits are inheritable, a favorite example being the necks of giraffes gradually elongating as generations stretched to reach higher leaves.  These forms blur the line between the domestic and wild as they combine images of the past with speculations of the future.

A Speculative Performance Presented by The Institute of Super-Species Research and Experimentation



Paola Di Tolla, Encyclopedic Sound Score: Audible Tracings from Pliny The Elder's Natural History, 78 AD (2019), 5:00, mp3


March 27th, 2019, 7:00 PM BRIC House Stoop, 647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.  In this performance piece, a group of distinguished pseudoscientific specialists assemble to conduct and report their research on a series of strange and miraculous beasts reminiscent of those described and illustrated within Pliny the Elder’s Natural History written 77-79AD. Drawing from the fantastical worlds of medieval bestiaries while employing the methods of 20th century behavioralists and circus performers, the group of specialists work toward imagining alternatives for surviving in a climate that no longer supports our current human physiology. The specialists, Nikki Calonge, Simone Kearney, Hanna Novak, Emily Reilly, Emily Taibleson and Paola Di Tolla are all performers and artists in their own right with distinct and authentic practices and were commissioned by artist and director Laura Bernstein to produce content under the auspices of their assigned characters. This program took place in conjunction with the BRIC Biennial: Volume III, South Brooklyn Edition, On view through April 7th, 2019.  This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by the Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

A Speculative Performance Presented by The Institute of Super-Species Research and Experimentation with works and performances by:

Laura Bernstein as Producer and Director of The Institute of Super-Species Research and Experimentation (ISSRE)-------Author of Primer Video (ISSRE), 4:50 HD video (color) 2019, artist and designer of wearable sculptures and costumes. 

Nikki Calonge as P.T. Trainer---------------Choreographer, Make Into Pets, March 23, 2023AD (2019), Body and flight.

Simone Kearney as MC16c--------Author of Visions of The Strange and Miraculous 1111 CE, (2019), Falcon feather, Ink spat from the ass of a bird, parchment paper.

Hanna Novak as Hybrid S.P.----------------Author of Last Love Letter to Pliny the Elder (2019), stylus on wax tablet, archival transfer to iMac, Final Cut Pro 10.

Last Love Letter to Pliny the Elder (2019) from LRB on Vimeo.


Emily Reilly as Pseudoscientist ER87-----------------Dramaturg and Author of Schematic Analysis Figures I--IV, 2040, (2019), science from the future.

Paola Di Tolla as Pliny-------------Author of Encyclopedic Sound Score: Audible Tracings from Pliny The Elder's Natural History, 78 AD (2019), 5:00, mp3.

Emily Taibleson as ISSRE Field Researcher and Illustrator----------Author of Bio Chakra Evolutionary Anatomy Paintings: Figure I Sciapode, Figure II Shakespeare's Horny, Figure III Panotti, Figure IV The Molting of Hazmats, (2019), 9" x 12" watercolor and ink on paper, scanned for digital projection.

Photographer: Maria Baranova-Suzuki
Videographer: Rebecca Rom-Frank and David Sherman

This program took place in conjunction with the BRIC Biennial: Volume III, South Brooklyn Edition
This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.















These video recordings capture creatures posing, preening, courting and marking their territory within various natural environments. The video was taken by a group of scientists called the Super-species Hazmat (“S-s H”). Within these moving images, we see evidence of S-s H and their interjections. S-s H is a community devoted to conducting cross-disciplinary tests between humans and beasts, basing their scientific method on medieval (pre-enlightenment) modes of thought. Tests are performed with the intention to create a hybrid creature-like species capable of adapting to survive the Age of No Ozone.
The anatomical anomalies of the forms derived from these ancient and medieval bodies confuse distinctions between the domestic and the wild. What was produced from the earth, and what was created through conflations of the imagination? What is real and what is imaginary? When does something become real? What if bodies in the future look like bodies from the past?
Through genetic engineering, we have the capacity to create such hybrid species. Half human, half creature, these forms recall the fantastical beasts recorded by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, 77—79 AD, and later produced in the Nuremberg Chronicle, written by Hartmann Schedel and published in 1493. Pliny’s Natural History records the traits and functions of a number of creatures through text and illustration.
The shape of these bodies--captured on film--cause speculation on how the landscape might change and how the anatomy and physiology of our bodies may need to adapt and change to withstand environmental elements. These forms draw from the past while projecting onto the future, reflecting our own emotional state of unknowing while asking: "what makes something human?".

Bestial Field Recordings: 2015-2018

Lighthouse Works Residency, Fisher’s Island, NY









lecture, Super-Species Hazmat (S-s H) RA87,


Napolean, Philadelphia, PA






S-sH reproduction of creatures from grotto III of Vesuvius 79 BCE

2017 
Past Myth, Future Form, ART LOT, outdoor sculpture show with Anna Tsouhlarakis. Curated by Aimee Burg and Natalia Zubko, Brooklyn, NY

Panotti, Mirror, The Imaginary

2017

4:15 Three-channel video, sculpture  installation (color, sound). Dimensions variable. 
Papier-machet, Tyvek, fake teeth, fake eyelashes, sculpey, plastic, wire, wood. Tv monitors, headphones, wooden bench. 
the barometric pressure is all over the place, with Daniel Glendenning, Anytime Dept., Cincinnati, OH





3D Model of Shakespeare’s Horny Head I

2017
Plaster, burlap, plastic, paraffin, steel piping, acrylic paint, paper; with (SH) Hoop Jump I, 3:20 HD video (color, sound).  
Word to the Wise, ACRE projects Space, curated by Ann Meisinger, Chicago, IL







Molted Shell of Sciapode watching a video of Sciapodae


2017
Molted shell of Sciapode watching a video of Sciapodae is a vignette exploring the evolutionary anatomy of the Sciapode and its ecological relationship to the world. First described in the Natural History written by the Roman statesman Pliny The Elder in (77) AD, the Sciapode has one foot, which extends from the center of its body and is used to shade its body from the sun. The video footage captures observations made by a group of scientists called the Super-species Hazmat (S-s H). S-s H is a community devoted to conducting cross-disciplinary tests between humans and beasts. Tests are performed with the intention to create a hybrid creature-like species capable of adapting to survive the Age of No Ozone (AONO). S-s Hazmat bases their scientific methods on pre-enlightenment (medieval) modes of thought.



3:50 HD video (color, sound) on loop
Sculpture; wood, wire mesh, iron pipes, plaster, burlap, felted wool, papier-mâché, mixed paper, plastic, laminated illustration of Google image search Sciapode.

5’ H x 2.5’ W x 4’ L


Molted Shell of Sciapode watching a video of Sciapodae

The Sciapodae's Tomato from LRB on Vimeo.
Mark
www.rarabernstein.com