In 2009, bio artist Adam Zaretsky and Waag Society researched and discussed Life Sciences during his residency with a wide audience, but also with artists, designers and scientists.
It has been called a breakthrough technology within what is called Life Sciences: the research into the genetic code of life and the use of genetically modified organisms within health care, the food industry and defense. Hardware, software and wetware (the genetic building blocks of living organisms) are combined in new applications that raise urgent questions about aesthetics and ethics, about usefulness and necessity, about the borders between life and death.
These converging codes (hard, soft and wetware) and the cultural and social implications forms a new area of research for Waag Society. Life Sciences will have an enormous impact on society. During the period of his residency, Adam Zaretsky together with Waag Society organized courses that showed what it means to work both artistically and scientifically with living organisms and materials. It offered a contribution to the discussion of the impact of Life Sciences on our daily life.
An important aim was to make this form of art-science accessible for a broader public and offer tools to the public to form their opinions and experiment. Courses, lectures and other activities in the public space and the way Adam Zaretsky presented these all contributed to the demystification.
For this residency the temporary VivoArts School for Transgenic Aesthetics Ltd. (VASTAL) was established. VASTAL organized several courses, lectures and performances in 2009. The videos of this residency can be found in a dedicated video channel on Vimeo.