Growing new Bio Art & Design - 28 November 2014 - 22 February 2015
Pigeons, human stem cells, fungi, cut-flowers – about anything that lives can serve as working material for bio art and design. In Matter of Life, guest curator William Myers presents nine much-discussed research projects at the intersection of life sciences, art and design.
We can, for instance, look at a line of cells from the brain of a zebra finch, at the proliferating cancer cells of an otherwise healthy artist and at blue carnations that are allowed to take part in evolution again. We are witness to the creation of a real FATBERG, are presented with barbecue sauce made of genetically modified ingredients and with sprays that allow us to delete or obfuscate our DNA traces at will.
With their curiosity, uninhibited creativity and critical reflection, artists Arne Hendriks & Mike Thompson, Jalila Essaïdi, Charlotte Jarvis, Center for Genomic Gastronomy, BCL and Heather Dewey-Hagborg make bio art & design the most exciting and topical art form of the moment. Among them five participants of the Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award, conceived by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative, the Centre for Society and Genomics, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, and Waag in 2010. This was the precursor of the prize won this year by the three teams that are now presented: the Bio Art & Design Award 2014, a competition for young artists and designers who move the boundaries of art and science with promising biotechnological projects.
Studio PSK intervenes in evolution to create the perfect pigeon with The Economics of Evolution: The Perfect Pigeon; with Fungi Mutarium, Julia Kaisinger and Katharina Unger give us edible fungi you can grow at home on toxic waste like plastic; and with Naval Gazing, Špela Petrič introduces new maritime habitats where the cultures of people, plants, fish and crustaceans meet.
More than ever, art is as diverse as life itself. What connects the works that are being shown in MU is a sense of urgency. Each project invokes penetrating questions about who we are as humans, as living beings, and where the developments in the life sciences are leading us.