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Live Stage: Tactical Bioart in the Age of Biotechnology [us NYC]

Radars & Fences II: Tactical Bioart in the Age of Biotechnology :: March 5, 2009; 4:30 – 8:30 pm :: Information Law Institute, Room VH218, 40, Washington Square South, New York University, New York :: The conference is free but seating is limited. RSVP.

Radars & Fences II features five researchers and artists who have been at the forefront of the battle for the democratization of the life sciences over the last decade: Beatriz da Costa, Natalie Jeremijenko, Richard Pell, Claire Pentecost, and Paul Vanouse will present their own work and discuss with the public models of interdisciplinary engagement at the beginning of the “biological century.” The panel is moderated by Alex Galloway, Associate Professor, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, NYU.

In the age of genetics, biotechnology, and bioinformatics, life is increasingly fashioned and configured at the intersection of several discourses and practices, such as population genetics, molecular and informatic sequences, human enhancement technologies, and the therapeutic and agricultural applications of genomics.

Asides from raising crucial epistemological questions, these technoscientific practices compete for attention, credibility, and funding within the scientific community, the market place, and the public domain. But as the far-reaching implications of biotech research unravel, the opacity and secrecy surrounding the industry and the patenting of life become increasingly problematic. This is partly due to the difficult ethical questions raised by the life sciences, but also to the rapid extension of scientific knowledge production to a number of non-scientific environments.

As Bruno Latour (2001) has pointed out, the tendency of the experimental method to transcend its modern boundaries is the result of three distinct processes: 1) the end of the scientific laboratory as a secluded space available only to specialists; 2) the increasing agency of patients and ordinary citizens in formulating the scientific questions to be solved; 3) and the extension of the scale of scientific experiments to the whole planet, as in the case of global warming, AIDS, and so on.

Within this triple displacement, which turns the technoscientific experiment into a more and more collective endeavor, a thriving community of bioartists, researchers, and hobbyists have provided new analytical and activist models by which to intervene and participate in the life sciences. Through a broad set of hands-on interventions that provide a critique-in-action of both the political economy and the naturalization of the biotech industry, bioartists and researchers have fostered interspecies contacts, engineered hybrid life forms, and set up independent Biolabs. Together, they propose new scientific protocols and call for a wider, and far more direct participation among lay, artistic, activist, and academic publics.

This forum is being coordinated by doctoral candidate Marco Deseriis as part of a grant awarded by the NYU Council for Media and Culture with assistance provided by the Information Law Institute.

Schedule

4:30 – 4:40 pm Welcome

Ted Magder, NYU Council for Media & Culture; Chair, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU.

4:40 – 4:50 pm Conference Overview

Marco Deseriis, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU

4:50 – 6:30 pm Panel: Tactical Bioart in the Age of Biotechnology (Part I)

Beatriz da Costa, Associate Professor of Arts, Computation, Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Of Pigeons, Microbes and Humans: Earthly Encounters at the Species Boundaries.

Richard Pell, Assistant Professor of Art, Carnagie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Permitted Habitats and Endangered GMO’s: An introduction to the Center for PostNatural History.

Claire Pentecost, Associate Professor, School of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago. Fields of Zombies: Biotech Agriculture and the Privatization of Knowledge.

6:30 – 7:00 pm Evening Break (Refreshments will be served)

7:00 – 8:30 pm Panel: Tactical Bioart in the Age of Biotechnology (Part II)

Paul Vanouse, Assistant Professor of Visual Studies, University at Buffalo. Buffaloed and Bamboozled: DNA Hype in the Post-biological Era.

Natalie Jeremijenko, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, Department of Arts and Arts Professions, NYU. Living together: on the shocking realities of cohabitation, the human biome, the microbial imagination and wrestling the strongest animals in the world.


Feb 25, 14:13
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