Speculative Biologies: New Directions in Art & Biotechnology

Ingeborg Reichle
Fine Arts and Media Art, Media Theory
2018S, Vorlesungen (VO), 2.0 semester hours, course number S01952

Description

Moving from the studio into the laboratory has provided the visual arts with a variety of new materials in recent years — bacteria, cells, tissue cultures, or transgenic organisms — as a means of artistic expression. But at the same time this has also made it necessary for artists to become acquainted with new epistemologies and the logic of the techno-scientific regime, which governs experimental bench work through protocols, techniques, methods, instruments, and equipment, as well as a complex set of human and non-human agents and, most notably, with patents and the flow of global capital. With the emergence of BioArt, biotechnology became part of the art world and provoked broader reflection on the epistemological status of biofacts and the ethics of turning biology into technology. Whereas in the early days BioArt primarily sought to reveal the state of the art of biotechnology, current practices interrogate the limits, boundaries, frontiers, and frameworks within which life can exist. Traditional distinctions between the natural and the artificial, subject and object, human and non-human agents no longer hold when confronted with the enormous ecological challenges that exist today, spawning new narratives about speculative biology, which is becoming a major issue in art and design. The lecture series will discuss a number of current approaches for bringing art, design, and speculative biology into a fruitful liaison, and offer insights into the way biotechnology is perceived and utilised today which is deeply rooted in current forms of capitalism and mass consumer culture. Speculating about how “life” and “nature” might be in the near future, is an apposite cross-disciplinary approach to rethink collectively how we want our future to be and what kind of aspirations will be possible, probable, or even feasible under the auspices of turbo capitalism and mass consumerism.

Examination Modalities

You have to attend the lecture each week, unless you have a very good reason for your absence. Attendance will be registered on a sign-in sheet at the beginning of each class. To participate effectively in class it is expected that students have read the works on the required reading list. Students are required to use concepts and themes from the reading assignments in their final exam. Each student will take a final oral exam (20 minutes) at the end of semester.

On March 13, 2018, topics for the lectures will be assigned to students and information provided on topics and issues that will be covered during the course of the term. Documents and materials will be available online at Base Angewandte from March 1, 2018 onwards. Please be ready to give your full attention to the lecture each time we meet.

Key Words

Bioart, Media Theory, actionist art

Dates

13 March 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1 (preliminary discussion)
20 March 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1
10 April 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1 (guest lecture: Rachel Mayeri)
17 April 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1
24 April 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1
08 May 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1 (guest lecture: Thomas Feuerstein)
15 May 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1
29 May 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1 (guest lecture: María Antonia González Valerio)
05 June 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1
12 June 2018, 13:45–15:15 Lecture Room 1
19 June 2018, 10:00–15:00 Abteilung für Medientheorie, RAD 2 (examination)
26 June 2018, 10:00–15:00 Abteilung für Medientheorie, RAD 2 (examination)

Fine Arts: Specialisation in Photography (2. Section): Medientheorie (2.0 ECTS)

Fine Arts: Specialisation in Painting (2. Section): Geisteswissenschaftliche LV nach Wahl (2.0 ECTS)

Design: Specialisation in Graphic Design (2. Section): Media Theory and Semiotics (2.0 ECTS)

subject Fine Arts / Art and Communication Practices (1. Section): Aus Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften (2.5 ECTS)

subject Fine Arts / Art and Communication Practices (2. Section): Aus Kunst und Kulturwissenschaften, (davon min. 4 SSt SE) (2.5 ECTS)

subject Textile Design / Textiles - Art, Design, Styles (1. Section): Aus Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften (2.0 ECTS)

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)

subject Handicrafts / Design, Architecture and Environment (2. Section): Aus Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften, (min. 4 SSt SE) (2.5 ECTS)

Art Education: subject dae (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis (2.0 ECTS)

Art Education: subject dex (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis (2.0 ECTS)

Art Education: subject kkp (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis (2.0 ECTS)

Art Education: subject tex (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis (2.0 ECTS)

TransArts - Transdisciplinary Arts (Bachelor): Theoretical foundations (2.0 ECTS)

co-registration: possible (2.0 ECTS)

Individual courses: possible (2.0 ECTS)