Studiolab Masterclass on Synthetic Biology 27–29th August
OPEN CALL for participants
Rapid response open call 10th–31st July 2012.
We call artists, designers, architects, musicians, biologists, ethicists, DIY biohackers, and biobrickers to join this unique opportunity to question, provoke and interrogate this area of research through artistic and scientific discourse. Young and emerging talent are encouraged to apply.
Are we entering in the age of living logic, where the programming, modelling and prediction of lifeforms is actually possible? This masterclass guides the participants towards the ethical, scientific and artistic challenges.
Synthetic biology research is based on the art of designing genetic material from the code up. Rather than slicing, dicing and splicing existing genetic material, new synthesising protocols allow the specification and production of genetic sequences; to order. Typing or constructing a genetic sequence in computer and ordering from an online supplier is a current, though expensive reality for researchers. Possibilities abound with known and unknown sequences. A simple modern day analogy would be to consider the evoloution of the printer. Beginning with printing words onto to paper that revolutionised transfer of ideas, to the modern day 3D printer that is revolutionising the way we transmit objects, we can now ‘print’ genetic material. Synthetic biology raises fundamental scientific and ethical questions; from the knee-jerk reaction to a Frankenstein-like monster virus, to questions of origin and evolution, there are simultaneously problematic and astounding potentials. Ars Electronic Futurelab, as part of Studiolab invite your participation to a masterclass in Biolab to take a look into the genetic strands of life and to consider the murky depths of the future.
Program curators: Matthew Gardiner, Christopher Lindinger.
We are offering up to 7 subsidised positions to attend this lab.
Follow the application proceedure below to be eligible to participate.
Short call application process:
Send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org
- A 200 word visionary statement (no more!) in English on personal thoughts about synthetic biology; an artistic idea, a metaphorical story, a philosophical perspective, or ethical perspective. Be concise and to the point.
- An optional image (640x480px JPEG 100k maximum)
- A link to your website.
- In the subject line, include the words living logic – your name e.g. Subject: Living Logic – Charles Darwin
- Contact information: a phone number, skype contact, email address.
The masterclass is structured to promote intimate interactions including informal lectures, practical experiments, and open discussion with the following mentors:
George Church (US)
George Church is Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Director of PersonalGenomes.org, providing the world’s only open-access information source for human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing, barcoding & automation. These lead to the first commercial genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations in DNA reading, writing & cell/tissue engineering resulted in 12 companies including medical genomics (Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, GoodStart,Pathogenica), synthetic biology (LS9, Joule, Gen9, Warp Drive) as well as new privacy, biosafety & biosecurity policies. He is director of the NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS and NAE, Hoogendijk Prize & Franklin Laureate for Achievement in Science.
Joe Davis (US)
Winner of 2012 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica, Hybrid Art
Joe Davis will give a masterclass delving into aspects of recent works like Bacterial Radio. Bacterial Radio, first part of ongoing project envisioning many different kinds of electrical circuits created with bacteria. Circuits are formed from bacteria modified with genes that impart electrical qualities to cells. Genetically modified bacteria and small amounts of growth media containing metal salts embedded in non-conductive materials and induced to plate electrical circuits. Bacterial Radio signifies artistic use of these materials to render music, voice and intellectual content off the air. Bacterial Radio represents safe and pollution-free alternatives to environmentally threatening practices.
Manuel Selg (AT)
Manuel Selg is a molecular biologist who is professor for molecular biotechnology at the Upper Austrian University of Applied Science. His interest in science communication and public outreach projects led to an involvement in building up the BioLab in the Ars Electronica Center. He designed workshops for pupils, focusing on creating a lab-learning experience outside of the school setting in a Center that crosses the borders of art and knowledge transfer. Synthetic biology is a field with many facets – creating tools using biological resources. Bacteria that have the ability to glow fluorescently in the dark can be created; however, the fragility of this alteration poses the question: How good are we as creators?
Markus Schmidt (AT)
Dr. Markus SCHMIDT has an educational background in electronic engineering, biology and environmental risk assessment. For almost 10 years now he has carried out environmental risk assessment, safety and public perception studies in a number of science and technology fields (GM-crops, gene therapy, nanotechnology, converging technologies, and synthetic biology). Markus will give an overview of art and biological practice, with a special focus on the Synth-ethic exhibition. See www.markusschmidt.eu
Jens Hauser (FR)
Jens Hauser is a Paris-based curator, author and arts and culture critic. With a background in Media Studies and Science Journalism, he focuses on the interactions between art and technology, as well as on trans-genre and contextual aesthetics. Several of his curated exhibitions have dealt with biotechnological art, such as Synth-ethic (Vienna, 2011), Fingerprints… (Berlin, 2011/Munich, 2012), Transbiotics (Riga 2010), sk-interfaces (Liverpool, 2008/Luxembourg, 2009), the Article Biennale (Stavanger, 2008), Still, Living (Perth, 2007) and L’Art Biotech (Nantes, 2003). In his current research at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, he investigates the biomediality and wetware paradigms.
About the program
Studiolab is a 3-year Europe-wide initiative that merges the artist’s studio with the research lab. Funded by the EC Seventh Framework Programme in 2011, Studiolab is a European network that provides a platform for creative projects that bridge divides between science, art and design. http://www.studiolabproject.eu
Ars Electronica Futurelab
Research and Innovation Group
The Research & Innovation group focuses on the Futurelab’s innovation and creativity processes in conjunction with outside resources. The group explores the most recent thematic fields at the nexus of art and research and maintains strategic networks with a considerable variety of leading academic and artistic institutions. http://www.aec.at/futurelab/
Ars Electronica Biolab
Certified as an S1 Lab (Biosafety level 1), permitted to handle organisms and genetically modified organisms GMOs within the S1 level. Equipment and facilities in the lab includes: Scanning Electron Microscope, Handheld microscope, Thermo cycler for DNA replication, Bio handling chamber (for handling of bio samples), Gel electrophoresis.
What is covered
Equipment, masterclass fees, materials, refreshments, access to the Ars Electronica Centre during the masterclasses. Plus an Ars Electronica 2012 Festival Pass.
What is not covered
Travel and accomodation. Participants must make their own arrangments for travel and accommodation to and from Linz for the period of the masterclass. We will provide suggestions for hotels in the area, though we are unable to provide bookings or offer any financial support.
Questions and press information
Please note that the program content is subject to change.
We will communicate any program changes with the selected participants.
Living Logic is part of Studiolab, a 3-year Europe-wide initiative that merges the artist’s studio with the research lab. Funded by the EC Seventh Framework Programme in 2011, Studiolab is a network that provides a platform for creative projects that bridge divides between science, art and design. The views and opinions here expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the European Community and the Community is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.