‘Bio art’ is an emerging field of artistic practice at the boundary of art and science, using the tools and technologies of science to create artworks that explore the relationship between humans and nature.
Writer, curator and author of Bio Art: Altered Realities William Myers discusses the ethics and aesthetics of artists working with living organisms and life processes, addressing the possibilities and dangers posed by biotechnological advancements and calling into question the concept of nature itself. Myers is joined by contemporary artists Anna Dumitriu and Julia Lohmann.
Anna Dumitriu is a British artist whose work fuses craft, technology and bioscience to explore our relationship to the microbial world. She is artist in residence on the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at the University of Oxford, a visiting research fellow: artist in residence in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Hertfordshire, and an honorary research fellow in the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She has an international exhibition profile, having exhibited at venues such as Waag Society, Amsterdam, Art Laboratory Berlin, V&A Museum, London and The Picasso Museum, Barcelona.
William Myers is a writer, curator and teacher based in Amsterdam. His first book Biodesign (2012) identified the emerging practice of designers and architects integrating living processes in their work. His recent exhibitions include Matter of Life at the MU Gallery in Eindhoven, Biodesign in Rotterdam at the New Institute, and Cut/Paste/Grow at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn, New York. Currently William mentors masters students at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and serves as the jury chairman for the Bio Art and Design Awards in the Netherlands. Previously he worked for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Hunter College and The New Institute in Rotterdam (formerly NAi). He has delivered lectures at Harvard University, Centro Universitário Belas Artes de São Paulo, International University of Catalunya, Leiden University and Genspace, the first community biotech lab in the United States.
Maggots. Sheep stomachs. Seaweed. German-born designer and researcher Julia Lohmann investigates and critiques the ethical and material value systems underpinning our relationship with flora and fauna. She is Professor for Design at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg (HFBK) and directs her eponymous London-based design practice. Julia studied at the Royal College of Art, where she has also taught and is currently engaged in an AHRC-funded collaborative PhD scholarship between the RCA and the Victoria & Albert Museum. As designer in residence at the V&A in 2013, she established the Department of Seaweed, a transdisciplinary community of practice exploring the marine plant's potential as a design material. Julia Lohmann's work is part of major public and private collections worldwide and has received awards, bursaries and support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the British Council, Jerwood Contemporary Makers, D&AD, Stanley Picker Gallery, the Arts Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.