Here I will introduce the field of biological Arts (AKA Bioart) illustrating it through case studies from my own practice, as part of the Tissue Culture & Art Project, and the projects conducted at SymbioticA Laboratory at the University of Western Australia.
SymbioticA is the first research laboratory of its kind, enabling artists and researchers to engage in wet biology practices in a biological science department. With an emphasis on experiential practice, SymbioticA encourages better understanding and articulation of cultural ideas around scientific knowledge and informed critique of the ethical and cultural issues of life manipulation. The Centre offers a new means of artistic inquiry where artists actively use the tools and technologies of science, not just to comment about them but also to explore their possibilities.
Established in 1996 by Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, the Tissue, Culture & Art Project is a pioneering collaboration that explores the use of living cells as a medium for artistic expression. For over twenty-five years we have developed artworks, curated exhibitions, written essays and created performances, throughout the world, that focus on the impact of biotechnology on society. Our projects have dealt with lab-grown food, tissue cultured clothing, semi-living sculptures and the changing relationship between humans and nonhumans.