Bio-Art International: Biotechnology, Genetics, and Contemporary Art
Mason Hall 2436
Tu 4:00-7:00pm
3 Credit Seminar
Meets with Anthrcul 628.001

Bio-Art is the rubric for art forms produced by using biotechnology and/or genetics to create, manipulate and/or transform living things. Over the past two decades, biology has emerged as one of the newest, and most controversial, art media, although there is a centuries-long history of artists engaging the life sciences. Artists around the world have turned their studios into laboratories, and vice versa, to deliberately create living things--including DNA portraits, transgenic collages, hybrids, clones and mutations--as works of art. They have had to learn biological research skills as well as collaborate with scientists in order to do so. These new art forms cross and confuse the boundaries between "the artificial" and "the natural," provoking new and different understandings of "nature" and "art" alike. The ethical questions provoked by Bio-Art have also complicated the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, art and law. This seminar situates BioArt in the contexts of the history of art and science, laboratory practice, and media theory, and explores the artistic, scientific, and international socio-cultural environments past and present that have made Bio-Art conceptually and technologically possible. We will look closely at the art and writings of a number of Bio-Artists from around the world who are shaping the field today.