SymBIOtica biological arts

21 Mar

SymbioticA is the first research laboratory of its kind, enabling artists and researchers to engage in wet biology practices in a biological science department. It also hosts residents, workshops, exhibitions and symposiums.

With an emphasis on experiential practice, SymbioticA encourages better understanding and articulation of cultural ideas around scientific knowledge and informed critique of the ethical and cultural issues of life manipulation.

The Centre offers a new means of artistic inquiry where artists actively use the tools and technologies of science, not just to comment about them but also to explore their possibilities.

Właśnie odbywa się tam nowa wystawa Visceral: The Living Art Experiment

Exhibition overview

SymbioticA and Science Gallery, Dublin begin a new experiment in January 2011 when science and art collide in Visceral: The Living Art Experiment.

VISCERAL will confront audiences with the delicate processes of modern biology to explore our changing understandings and perceptions of life in the light of rapid developments in the life sciences and their applied technologies. A range of award-winning work from 17 different artists will challenge visitors to consider the tension between art and science and the cultural, economic and ethical implications of biosciences today.

The exhibition will explore and provoke questions about scientific truths, what constitutes living and the ethical and artistic implications of life manipulation. The exhibition also marks ten years of intensive and challenging work carried out at SymbioticA.

Curated by SymbioticA’s Director Oron Catts and SymbioticA’s leading researcher Dr Ionat Zurr, Viseral will bring together more than a decade of work developed through SymbioticA’s art-science residency program at The University of Western Australia.

Works in the exhibition will include ‘Midas’ by Paul Thomas, which examines the space where skin and gold meet; ‘Silent Barrage’ by Neurotica, an architectural scale arrangement of pole robots that stimulate neuronal activity of cells and provoke epilepsy in a culture dish in response to audience movements; ‘The Vision Splendid’ by Alicia King, an installation of cultured tissue within an artist-designed bioreactor and The Tissue Culture and Art Project’s ‘Semi-Living Worry Dolls’ offer absolution through whispering your troubles to bioengineered worry dolls. The exhibition will also include the unique ‘Lab Out of Context’, where artists and scientists will create new work and research in view of Science Gallery audiences.

VISCERAL will be accompanied by a rich program of events and talks involving artists and scientists connected with the exhibition. Events will include a one-night-only sleep architecture performance by Lisa Goldberg, a sleep technician and a volunteer sleeper on the night of the 28 January and the following day the VISCERAL SYMPOSIUM which will review the cultural strategies that engage and scrutinise the life sciences, with a particular emphasis on hands-on artistic research embedded within a biological laboratory. Alternatively known as ‘one month of Fridays’, in acknowledgement of the regular Friday seminars SymbioticA has run over the past seven years, the VISCERAL SYMPOSIUM is a celebration of the variety of researchers and the repercussions of the research undertaken at SymbioticA over the years.

Art and biology, from a philosophical, art historical, geographical, political and scientific perspectives will be discussed by two of SymbioticA’s co-founders (Prof. Miranda Grounds and Oron Catts) and some of the researchers who have been SymbioticA residents over the last decade (Kira O’Reilly, Adam Zaretsky, Meredith Walsh, Adele Senior, Deborah Dixon, Marta De Menezes, Tagny Duff, Jennifer Willet and Ionat Zurr).

SymbioticA will also facilitate a workshop on lab techniques used by artists, and a series of artists’ talks during the intensive first weekend starting on the 29th January 2011.


It will include 15 artworks from ten years of SymbioticA’s residency program, featuring the following artists:

Biokino (Tanya Visosevic and Guy Ben-Ary)
Andre Brodyk
Boo Chapple
Tagny Duff
Lisa Carrie Goldberg
Abhishek Hazra
Nigel Helyer
Kathy High
Alicia King
Svenja Kratz
Neurotica (Philip Gamblen, Guy Ben-Ary, Peter Gee, Dr. Nathan Scott, Brett Murray) in collaboration with the Steve Potter Lab, Georgia Tech.
Perdita Phillips
Paul Thomas & Kevin Raxworthy
Tissue Culture and Art Project (Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr)
Paul Vanouse



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