Molecular Aesthetics: Living Systems in Art and Biodesign

Ingeborg Reichle
Fine Arts and Media Art, Media Theory
2017W, Proseminar (PS), 2.0 semester hours, course number S01950

Description

The subject of the seminar will introduce students to selected approaches in Bioart and Biodesign as well as to the do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) practices employed. A number of current art and design projects will be addressed that create art using living matter. Another focus will be on new cross-disciplinary approaches in design, which seek to implement biological principles in the design process and even try to integrate living organisms as essential components thereby initiating collaboration between designers and biologists. Current approaches in Biodesign aspire to go beyond the biology-inspired approach of bionics and biomimicry, and aim at transforming and applying structures, procedures, and developmental principles of biological systems to technology and technical applications. Biodesign not only seeks to improve industrial and mechanical systems through introducing concepts and shapes based on nature, it also wants to replace these systems with biological processes. We will also turn our attention towards current DIY biology practices, like biohacking or biopunk. For about a decade now DIY biology practices have contributed to open source policies in the sciences on a global scale, with the aim of making science available to everyone who is interested in engaging, for example, in genetic engineering, synthetic biology or genome editing like CRISPR - including non-professionals. The course will also examine a number of science-based Bioart projects to develop a critical understanding of the role of art in the twenty-first century. Science-based Bioart has provoked greater reflection on the limits of manipulating and/or creating life within a regime of biotechnology, and contributed to rising awareness about the new relationship of ontology and aesthetics in the age of technoscience. We will focus on the production of art that is related to technoscience; not only because of the cutting-edge technologies it uses but most importantly because from this relationship a model emerges which is fruitful for understanding the production of reality with the realm of biotechnologies.

Examination Modalities

You have to attend the lecture each week, unless you have a good reason for your absence (e.g. illness or other difficulties). To participate effectively in class required readings are expected. Each student is also required to a written research essay (12-15 pages) about a given topic or about your own topic, after discussing the topic with the lecturer.

Comments

It is important for seminar participants to attend the introductory session on October 10, 2017. The topics for the lectures will be assigned and information provided about the subjects and issues that we will deal with over the course of the term. Documents and materials will be available online at BASE Angewandte.

Key Words

Biodesign, bioart, technoscience

Dates

10 October 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7 (preliminary discussion)
17 October 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7 (preliminary discussion)
24 October 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
31 October 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
07 November 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
14 November 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7 (guest lecture: Lucie Strecker)
21 November 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
05 December 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
12 December 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
19 December 2017, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7 (guest lecture: Günter Seyfried, Georg Tremmel)
09 January 2018, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
16 January 2018, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7 (guest lecture: Tanja Gesell)
23 January 2018, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7
30 January 2018, 16:15–17:45 Seminar Room 7

Course Enrolment

Until 20 October 2017, 12:00
via email: ingeborg.reichle@uni-ak.ac.at

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subject Textile Design / Textiles - Art, Design, Styles (2. Section): Aus Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften (mind. 4 SSt SE) (2.5 ECTS)

subject Handicrafts / Design, Architecture and Environment (1. Section): Aus Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften (2.0 ECTS)

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Individual courses: possible (3.0 ECTS)