From the Laboratory to the Studio: Interdisciplinary Practices in Bio Art

Suzanne Anker. Astroculture (Shelf Life), 2010. Inkjet print, 24×36″

From the Laboratory to the Studio: Interdisciplinary Practices in Bio Art

From anatomical studies to landscape painting to the biomorphism of surrealism, the biological realm historically provided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, bio Art has become a term referring to intersecting domains of the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in bio art is to summon awareness of the ways in which biomedical sciences alter social, ethical and cultural values in society. Coming to the fore in the early 1990s, bio art is neither media specific nor locally bounded. It is an international movement with practitioners in such regions as Europe, the U.S., Russia, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Several sub-genres of Bio Art exist within this overarching term:

  1. Artists who employ the iconography of the 20th- and 21st-century sciences, including molecular and cellular genetics, transgenically altered living matter, reproductive technologies and neurosciences. All traditional media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing are employed to convey novel ways of representing life forms.
  2. Artists who utilize computer software, systems theory and simulations to investigate aspects of the biological sciences such as evolution, artificial life and robotics through digital sculpture and new media installations.
  3. Artists employing biological matter itself as their medium, including processes such as tissue engineering, plant breeding, transgenics and ecological reclamation.

This interdisciplinary residency will take place in the new Fine Arts Nature and Technology Laboratory located in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea gallery district. Participants will have access to all of the facilities. Each student will be assigned an individual workstation. In addition, the Nature and Technology Lab houses microscopes for photo and video, skeleton collections, specimen collections, slide collections, an herbarium and aquarium as well as a library. Studio hours are: Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm; Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. Demonstrations include microscopy, plant tissue engineering, molecular cuisine and the production of micro eco-systems. Field trips and visiting speakers will include artists, scientists and museum professionals. Students may work in any media including the performing arts. Faculty will include Suzanne Anker and Brandon Ballengée.

NOTE: A portfolio is required for review and acceptance to this program.

How to apply 
For further information or questions regarding SVA’s Summer Residencies contact:
Keren Moscovitch
Program Coordinator
Division of Continuing Education
Tel: +1 212-592-2188

From the Laboratory to the Studio: Interdisciplinary Practices in Bio Art

School of Visual Arts
Fine Arts Nature and Technology Lab
Bio Art Summer Residency
May 29-June 29, 2012
4 undergraduate credits