Chair Persons: Marie-Pier Boucher & Jennifer Willet
Presenters: Tagny Duff & Paul Vanouse
Biotechnology forces a restaging of the ecology of our relations with other species: with biotechnology we are now able to breed, to birth, generational life forms that serve as tools, subjects and embodied technologies that in turn interact with and alter our bodies, and the planet’s ecology. This panel will propose alternative models (artistic and theoretical) to the proliferation of digital metaphors in describing biotechnological protocols. Drawing upon the transformative power of bioart in creating new conceptual and practical tools found in biological materiality, our discussion will revolve around a large collaborative project called BioARTCAMP. BioARTCAMP is best described as a bioart camping expedition in the Canadian Rocky Mountains where the Rockies will serve as a dramatic incarnation of an external ecology for six artists, two scientists and two theorists to build a working biotech laboratory as part of a durational performance.
Bioart intrinsically invites us to engage the complexities of the manipulation of life towards human ends by forcing us to consider the moral and ethical implications that the artist (and viewer) must ascribe to the materiality of the work. In the form of a debriefing after a bioart camping trip, our discussion will focus on the performative relationships biological laboratories possess with external ecologies. These performative relations, we will show, amount to the consideration of biotechnologically shaped environments in terms of connections between milieus of interiority and milieus of exteriority, in terms of topological connections; biotopologies. We will investigate (1) how biotopological practices affects living’s spatial conditions; (2) how the production and manipulation of living organisms (Biodegradable Incubator, Animal Enrichment, Deep Woods PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)) in open ecologies affect the evolution of biotechnologies and their direct links with larger ecological concerns and; (3) how these interventions reconfigure our modes of understanding biological materiality. In brief, our panel will draw upon a science/art collaboration in order to discuss biotechnologies’ spatial, ecological, material and ethical implications.
Our panel will draw upon a science/art collaboration in order to discuss biotechnologies’ spatial, ecological, material and ethical implications. incubatorartlab.com/home/projects/bioartcamp
- The BioARTCAMP is hosted by Jennifer Willet from INCUBATOR: Hybrid Laboratory at the Intersection of Art, Science and Ecology at The University of Windsor Canada and The Banff Centre, Canada.
- Marie-Pier Boucher is a PhD student in the department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University. Her work draws upon pragmatism, complex systems theory, and bio- and neurosciences in addressing architectural and spatial practices. She collaborates as a theorist and co-editor on Adaptive Actions (Madrid Abierto, Spain, 2010 and Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Canada, 2010) as well as on BioARTCAMP (Banff Centre for the Arts, 2011). She serves on the editorial committee of InfleXions, an open-access journal for research-creation. Her research residencies include: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany (2010) and SymbioticA, Center for Excellence in Biological Arts, University of Western Australia, Perth (2006).