Ohio State University > Department
of Art > Art & Technology
Aspects of Art & Technology:
Living, Biological and Eco Art
of our dreams are going to come true. So we will have to have the
right kinds of dreams. That is why science needs artists like me." –
“The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of
DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic
bacteria and there would be no music.” – Lewis Thomas
5 Credit hour studio course focused on Bio Art: art that is inspired
by and/or uses the materials of biology, biotechnology, genetics, ecology,
plants, animals and other life forms, be they living, semi-living or
artificial. The historical background and current artistic strategies,
as well as the social, political and ethical issues brought up by artwork
created in this field will be explored in readings, lectures, discussions,
fieldtrips and student artwork developed in the course.
alters our food, animals, health, earth and our relationships to
these things. Artists, technoartists, DIY biologists and environmentalists
have been developing creative strategies to participate, interact,
inform, intermingle with, interrupt and critique the culture of technoscience.
Bio Art is an umbrella term used to describe this work. Artists whose
work engages biology or the environment are also engaging technoscience.
As artist Claire Pentecost writes in her essay in, Tactical
art corresponding to the earthworks of a previous generation integrates
new technologies, cognizant that technology, as much as anything,
sets the terms of the human relationship to the natural."
Course Meeting Time and Location
and Thursday, 2:30 - 5:18 Hopkins Hall, room 152
(Check the schedule though, there are a few field trip meetings in
Youngs, Associate Professor of Art
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -
best way to contact me
Department (614) 292-5072 - a place to leave messages for me.
Mailbox: 258 Hopkins Hall
Office: Hopkins Hall, room 152. Appointments by email
- To create art engaged in the concepts
and practices of Bio art and/or Eco art
- To gain a understanding of the theories
and artistic strategies used by Bio artists and
a demonstrated abiliity to utilize, remix, discuss and invent
- To professionally mount and exhibit
a unique Bio / Eco artwork in the end of the quarter Art & Technology
Two completed art projects, 1 research notebook,
participation in the end of the quarter Art and Technology exhibition,
regular attendance and participation in class activities and discussions.
An average student can expect to work an average of 9 hours per
week on class work outside of class time.
We will have weekly readings for discussion. They will be available
or in the library. Check
the schedule for details.
20 points – Project 1 - HyperNature
20 points – Field
Notes - your observations, sketches, maps,
reflections, notes and ideas connected to
the topics in this course and your art projects.
20 points – Active participation in class activities
and discussions, as well as general class citizenship.
points – Final project - a living, bioart or ecoart inspired
artwork completed and exhibited in the
Art and Tech show during the final week of classes.
Don't miss class. Don't arrive late or leave early. You
are expected to come to class on time, ready to work, discuss or present,
depending on what is scheduled that day. Your final grade will be lowered
by one full letter upon your third absence - and again for each additional
absence. 3 late arrivals or early departures = 1 absence. Absences are absences, whether or not you have a note. Please use your 2 allowed absenses wisely and please contact
me by email or message to the Art Dept office if there are extenuating
circumstances. You are responsible to find out what you missed
and to complete any missed work. There are only 20 days of this class,
don't miss out!
critiques are very important and will be
the beginning of class on the due date of each project. If your
assignment is not complete for the critique your grade on that assignment
will be lowered by one full letter for each class day it is late. You
are required to attend critiques even if your work is not complete.
Critiques are not for my benefit; instead, they are the best method
to learn about artmaking - from a diversity of fellow artmakers.
Any student who feels he/she may need an accommodation based on
the impact of a disability should contact me privately, as soon as
possible, to discuss your specific needs. Accommodations will be coordinated
through the Office for Disability Services at 614-292-3307 in 150 Pomerene
on student conduct
are expected to abide by the Ohio
State University's Code of Student Conduct. Any violations will
be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.
Policy on animal use in your art
If you are conducting any research (artmaking is research) using
animals, you are required to get approval
from the Institutional
Animal Care and Use Committee IACUC.
"All testing, instructional and research proposals utilizing
living vertebrate animals must be submitted for evaluation by the
IACUC. Animal Use Protocol (AUP) submissions must also be submitted
when utilizing dead vertebrate animals or animal parts if the animal
was both sacrificed and procured solely and specifically for a
research, teaching, or testing purpose."
Many projects we do will not be of concern, or require any paperwork,
but are required to inform the office of our projects so they may
make the decision as to whether further approvals will be needed.
Our contact for this is Anthony Yonkura, who is happy to review
your project concept by email or
phone 614-292-4494 – This must be done before you
begin the project.
Introduction to BioArt
Sept. 22 - Introduction
to course and each other. Overview of course concepts, related
exhibitions and artists. Terminology and categorization: Stephen
Wilson's links for artworks at the intersection of Biology: Microbiology,
Bioengineering, Stem Cells; Biology: Animals & Plants; Ecology;
Body & Medicine and A
Profusion of Terms, by Sam Bower
Sept. 27 - Discuss reading: Next
Nature Intro, by Bruce
Sterling. Present HyperNature assignment and
related projects, including:
3:30 we will visit the related exhibitions at
the Wexner Center for the Arts
Sept. 29 - Student presentations of HyperNature
proposal to the class and examples of their past work.
and eco art strategies
Oct. 4 - Field trip to the Olentangy
River Wetlands Research Park. 352 W. Dodridge St. Columbus, OH Download
Map of park. We will meet at the Heffner Wetland Reesearch and Eductaion
building in the lobby. Dodridge road is closed where the bridge crosses
the Olentangy river, so you'll need to go via Olentangy Drive - car
detour map here And Biker/walker
detour map here. Note that we will
meet there at 3pm to give extra time.
Oct. 6 - Students present progress on their HyperNature
projects to each other. Discuss reading: Ecovention
- Section 2 - Activism to publicize ecological issues / monitoring
ecological problems. Lecture on related artist projects,
chimeras, clones, transgenics and the mediagenic
Oct. 11 - Discuss reading: GFP
Bunny, by Eduardo Kac.
Additional, optional reading on the subject: "I
Love my Glow Bunny" in
Wired.com and "RIP:
Alba, the Glowing Bunny", in Wired.com. Lecture on
related artists, including:
Oct. 13 - Critique HyperNature project.
Genetic art as a challenge
Oct. 18 - Discuss/brainstorm about final artwork. Discuss
and Genetic Art, chapter 14 in Green Light, Toward an Art of
by George Gessert. Book is on reserve
in the Fine Arts Library.
Oct. 20 - Students present project proposals to class.
using, communicating and collaborating with animals
Oct. 25 - Ken Rinaldo will
do a guest lecture today about his interspecies artwork. Discuss
reading about Joe Davis: Art as a Form of Life, in Scientific American.
event - Wed. Oct. 26, 7pm - Elliot
Hundley artist talk at the Wexner Center for the Arts
Oct. 27 - Discuss reading: Creating, Culling and
Caring, by Amy M. Youngs. Lecture/discussion
about other artists working with animals, including:
Biophilia and Biomimicry
Nov. 1 - Field trip to the Biological Sciences Greenhouse
and Insectory. We will meet in class at our normal time and walk
over there together.
Nov. 3 - Lecture/discussion on biophilia related work.
Afterwards, we will have individual meetings to discuss your work and
progress in this class.
DIY Biotech vs. funded
technoscience: the power and politics of creating and manipulating
Nov. 8 - Project
progress presentations. Bring your work or
documentation of it to show to class and ask for feedback from peers.
event - Tues Nov 8, 7pm -
Alexis Rockman's artist talk at the Wexner Center for the Arts
Nov. 10 - Discuss Reading: Amateurity
and Biotechnology, by Natalie Jeremijenko, download PDF
from Readings section in Carmen content. We will discuss today.
See these related artists/programs:
Related article in the Journal
Nature - Culture:
Artists in the Lab, by Martin Kemp
(sign into OSU Library required)
Ethical issues in
Nov. 15 - Visiting artist Doosung
Yoo presents his work.
event - Wed. Nov 16, 7pm -
Paula Haye's artist talk at the Wexner Center for the Arts
Nov 17 - No class meeting today, instructor is out
of town. Reading: Artificial
Life and the Lives of the Non-human, by Carol Gigliotti, Pg 17 - 22
in Antennae. Related artists to check out:
Nov. 22 - We will work in focus groups on finalizing
the final projects, plus I will meet with you individually
Nov. 24 HOLIDAY NO CLASSES
Final works exhibited
Nov. 29 - Final Critique! - Also, turn in your
Field Research notes so I can grade and give back to
you on Thursday.
Nov 29 - Art and Tech show setup day. Drop
off artwork from 12:30 to 2:30. Installation is from 3:30 to 7pm.
Dec. 1 - Come to the opening from 5 to
8pm to celebrate!
Dec. 2 - Clean up show from 4 to 5pm. Make sure to
return equipment to classroom services by 5pm!
schedule is subject to change - I'll keep you posted
Gessert, George, Green Light: Toward
an Art of Evolution, MIT Press, 2010.
Wilson, Stephen, Art+Science
Now, Thames & Hudson, 2010.
Mitchell, Robert, Bioart and the Vitality of Media, University
of Washington Press, 2010.
Da Costa, Beatriz and Philip, Kavita, Tactical
Biopolitics, Mit Press 2008.
Kac, Eduardo, ed. Signs
of Life: Bio Art and Beyond, MIT Press, 2007.
Bulatov, Dmitry, Biomediale:
Contemporary Society And Genomic Culture, Kaliningrad 2004.
Anker, Suzanne and Nelkin, Dorothy, The
Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age, Cold Spring Harbor,
N.Y: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2004
Pollan, Michael, Botany
of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World. New York: Random
Spaid, Sue Ecovention,
Current Art to Transform Ecologies, Contemporary Arts Center,
Haraway, Donna J., When Species Meet, University of Minnesota Press,
Birrell, Ross, ed. Art and the Animal Revolution, Art
& Research: a journal of ideas, contexts and methods. Volume 4.
No. 1. Summer 2011
Catts, Oron, ed. The
Aesthetics of Care? Nedlands, Australia: School of Anatomy and
Human Biology, University of Western Australia, 2002.
Catts, Oron, Biofeel, BEAP
Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth, 2002, exhibition
catalogue published by the Curtain University of Technology, edited
by Paul Thomas
Vandana Shiva, Biopiracy:
The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge, South End Press, 1997.
Steve Baker, The
Postmodern Animal, Reaktion Books, 2000
Britton, Sheilah and Collins, Dan ed, The
Eighth Day: The Transgenic Art of Eduardo Kac, The Institute
for Studies in the Arts, Arizona State University, 2003.
Vilem Flusser, Curie's
Children, * First published in: Art Forum, October 1988, p.
Roy Ascott, ed. Engineering
Nature: Art & Consciousness in the Post-Biological
Intellect Books, 2006.
Chalmers, Catherine American
Cockroach, Aperature 2005
Serpell, James, In
the Company of Animals: a Study of Human-Animal Relationships,
Cambridge University Press 1996.
Cronon, William, ed. Uncommon
Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. New York
and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996.
Haeckel, Ernst Art
Forms in Nature, Dover Publications; Rev Ed edition
1974, originally published in 1904 - that version is in
the public domain and online
and Genetics Bibliography, Compiled by George Gessert
Blogs and Resources
The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. Online journal, 2007 - ongoing.
Is this Bioart?
making art with living systems
Make Money Not Art
Wilson's links for artworks at the intersection of Biology: Microbiology,
Bioengineering, Stem Cells; Biology: Animals & Plants;
Ecology; Body & Medicine
Parco Arte Vivente "Park of Living Art" in
Turin, Italy. An outdoor exhibition center, an interactive museum and a
center of research interested in the dialogue between contemporary
art, science, nature, biotechnologies and ecology.
Festival, at the Museum of Natural History
in Vienna, Austria, May 2011
Visceral: the living art experiment, Science Gallery Trinity College, Dublin,
Ireland, Feb. 2011
Presidio Habitats -
art exhibition for animals in San Franscisco,
CA. 2010 - 2011
Dead or Alive: Nature becomes Art, Museum of Arts
and Design, New York, NY 2010
UK, 2008 and Luxembourg, Belgium 2009
Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age Moscow,
4 Spain, 2006 Report in English
Electronica, Linz, Austria 1999
et BIOTECHNOLOGIES, Conference and book, Montreal, Canada 2005
Animal, Mass MOCA, Massachusetts 2005
at the Biennale of Electronic Arts, Perth, Australia, 2002
Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution, New York, 2000
Electronica, Linz, Austria 1999
Apply to these upcoming shows / conferences
Re-envisioning Art, Technology and Nature - Deadline November
15, 2011. Exhibition September 20, 2012 - January 6, 2013.
This is the Eighteenth International Symposium on Electronic
Art, ISEA2012 happening in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a
symposium and series of events exploring the discourse of global
proportions on the subject of art, technology and nature.
an exhibition celebrating the intersection of art + technology -
The Pearl Conard Art Gallery at The Ohio State University [Mansfield
Campus] seeks artists working at the intersection of art
+ technology for CONFLUX, a group exhibition to occur during Winter
Quarter 2012. All genres of new media art are welcome, including
robotics, multimedia, animation, bio art, digital imaging, locative media,
rapid prototyping, digital video, net art, interactive media, and
Submissions Due 12.5.11. See prospectus for
Do you know of other related opportunities? email
me and I'll include here.
Youngs | Art & Technology | Department
of Art | The Ohio State University