Project

Trust Me, I'm an Artist

Developing ethical frameworks for artists, cultural institutions and audiences engaged in the challenges of creating and experiencing new art forms in biotechnology and biomedicine in Europe.

The aim of this project is to investigate how artists and cultural institutions can best engage with biotechnology and biomedicine in order to drive innovation in artistic production, ways of presenting artworks, and developing new audiences in Europe. The main goal is to provide artists, cultural institutions and audiences with the skills to understand the ethical issues that arise in the creation and exhibition of artworks made in collaboration with biotechnology and biomedicine.

Additionally, the project will provide science and technology collaborators with new ethical frameworks for successfully working with cultural and creative players. By giving confidence to stakeholders, we will open up opportunities for artists and creative organisations to work in new partnerships across Europe and internationally. Artists tend to work at the forefront of innovation and push boundaries whilst engaging in ethical and philosophical challenges that resonate through society around new technologies. This project has the potential to situate them at the forefront of the latest research. The high impact outputs will prompt new ways of thinking about how art, biotechnology, and biomedicine can intersect, and bring together diverse stakeholders and audiences to create new ways of working at the cutting edge of art, science, and technology

Performances
“Trust Me, I’m an Artist” involves a series of practical and discussion-based participatory workshop activities. A major series of performative events (before a live audiences) will also take place wherein a specially selected artist will propose an ethically complex artwork to a specially formed ethics committee (following the rules and procedures typical for the host country). The ethics committee will then debate the proposal and come to a decision, the artist will then be informed of the ethics committee’s decision, and, alongside the audience, they can enter into a discussion about the result. The project will also involve a major symposium, a touring exhibition, a series of publications, a website, and a distributable format designed to give other cultural institutions, artists groups, community groups, students, and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue by creating their own DIY Trust Me, I’m an Artist events, leaving a strong legacy for what we learn.

Publication
This project builds on the strong foundations laid by the previous "Trust Me, I'm an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art and Science Collaboration" project. The book of the project is available here.

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The project is supported by funding from Creative Europe and is a collaboration between Waag Society, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, The Arts Catalyst, Kapelica Gallery, Medical Museion, and Leonardo Olats. The lead artist on the project is Anna Dumitriu and the lead ethicist is Professor Bobbie Farsides.

Duration of the project: 
30-12-2014 to 30-12-2016