Suzanne Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences.
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She works in a variety of mediums ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries including the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institute, the Phillips Collection, P.S.1 Museum, the JP Getty Museum, the Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charite in Berlin, the Center for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin, the Pera Museum in Istanbul, the Museum of Modern Art in Japan, and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
Her books include The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age, co-authored with the late sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, published in 2004 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Visual Culture and Bioscience, co-published by University of Maryland and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Her writings have appeared in Art and America, Seed Magazine, Nature Reviews Genetics, Art Journal, Tema Celeste and M/E/A/N/I/N/G. Her work has been the subject of reviews and articles in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, and Nature.
She has hosted twenty episodes of the Bio Blurb show, an Internet radio program originally on WPS1 Art Radio, in collaboration with MoMA in NYC, now archived on Alana Heiss’ Art On Air. She has been a speaker at Harvard University, the Royal Society in London, Cambridge University, Yale University, the London School of Economics, the Max-Planck Institute, Universitiy of Leiden, the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, Banff Art Center any many others.
Chairing SVA’s Fine Arts Department in NYC since 2005, Ms. Anker continues to interweave traditional and experimental media in her department’s new digital initiative and the SVA Bio Art Lab.
Laura Benítez Valero is a assistant professor, researcher and independent curator based in Barcelona.
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She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, specialised in Bioart within the area of Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, as well as a Master in Contemporary Philosophy and a Master in Aesthetics and Theory of Contemporary Art.
Over the past five years she has worked as an assistant professor and researcher, being a member of various R & D projects. She is a member of the teaching staff at EHEA official master’s Research master in Art and Design and has been a guest researcher at the Ars Electronica Archive and at the Museum Of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.
She also works as independent curator and is a member of the collective Leland Palmer, with whom she has developed exhibitions and research projects. Currently she is developing a research project on bio-resistance, and has curated a seminar entitled Bio-resistance, Transversality and Emancipation on contestational practises and bio-hacking (MACBA, December 2015) and is conducting the course Bioart. The Human Condition in the Contemporary Art as part of public programs of +HUMANS exhibition (CCCCB 2016).
Ursula Damm has become known for her installations dealing with geometry and its social impact on public space.
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Ursula Damm studied at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf (Meisterschüler of Günther Uecker), followed by postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media arts in Cologne under Valie Export.
Early sculptures were models of space and time, developed in a bodily experience. In the 1990s her installations were dealing with geometric patterns as interpretations of settlements. Since 1995 the installtions became interactive and respond to architectural aspects with video tracking technology. Aside Ursula Damm developed numerous installations on the relationship of nature, science and civilization like Venus I-IV , double helix swing (honorary mention ars electronica 2006) or the greenhouse converter (produced by Laboral, Gijon, Spain) and the outline of paradise. Her works are part of the collection of the Ludwig-Museum Koblenz, the art collection of Rhineland-Palatinate and the HEK Basel.
Her works have been presented internationally in various solo and group exhibitions, i.e. Goethe House New York; Translife Triennale at NAMOC in Beijing; “BIOS4” at Centro Andaluz de Arte Conemporáneo, Sevilla, Spain; Kunstsammlung NRW K20 Duesseldorf (Brunnenwand), Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen; Conde Duque, Madrid; Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne; Ars electronica 1999, 2006, 2011 and 2015; ISEA 2002 and 2006, Soft Control, Maribor, Solvenia and HEK Basel. Currently she finishes an interactive installation for the Metro-Station Schadowstrasse in Düsselodorf/Germany.
Since 2008 she holds the chair for Media Environments at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, where she set up the Performance Platform at the Digital Bauhaus Lab and a DIY Biolab.
Michael Dirnberger is interested in Bio-Inspired Computing and currently working on the Slime Mold Graph Repository.
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Coming from Austria he studied Physics at the Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Austria. After obtaining his diploma working on questions of theoretical physics, he moved on to pursue a Ph.D at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbruecken, Germany. There he developed a healthy interest in interdisciplinary research combining theoretical, computational and experimental approaches alike.
His current interests revolve around what can be learned about the interesting behavior of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum and the structure and function of the intricate networks it forms.
Martin Grube works as an Associate Professor at the Institute of Plant Sciences in Graz, Austria.
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He focuses his research on fungal and fungal-like organisms and their structures. This includes the biology and evolution of lichens as symbioses of fungi and also the forms developed by slime molds. Martin Grube was born in Munich 1965. He has studied biology in Graz and promovated with work on tropical lichens in 1995.
Agi Haines’ work is focused on the design of the human body.
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How might people respond to the possibilities of our body as another everyday material and how far can we push our malleable bodies while still being accepted by society?
After completing her masters in the Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art, she is now studying for a PhD within an interdisciplinary research group called CogNovo. Working amongst various artists and scientists who are all focused on creativity and cognition, her inspiration comes from the weird and wonderful things that exist inside us. Questioning how our morbid curiosity for the viscera of life might affect the future of design, not only for the environment but also for us as sentient sacks of flesh within it?
Interspecifics collective (MX) is a nomadic multispecies collectivity experimenting in the intersection between art and science.
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They embrace hybridized practices among different disciplines and living organisms, open knowledge and precarity as a challenge. Their current lines of research are based in the use of sound to understand the bioelectrical activity of different bacterial consortiums, plants, slime molds and humans using DIY and cus- tom-made sets of hardware we call ontological machines.
The work of the duo has been supported by International Cities for Advanced Sound, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Fundación Telefónica, Fundación BancomerBBVA and Fundación Alumnos47 in México as well as by Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and Universität der Künste Berlin in Germany. It has been shown at FACT Liverpool, European Congress for Artificial Intelligence in York, Spektrum and Acud Macht Neu in Berlin, ICAS Festival in Dresden and TJINCHINA in Tijuana México. Both were awarded by the Waag Society Amsterdam in its last edition of HacktheBrain. Currently the duo is in the process of publishing the book »Ontological Machines« edited by Tierra Adentro.
Leslie García works developing electronic art and digital media projects. She’s the co-founder of media electronic collective DreamAddictive, Astrovandalistas and Interspecifics. Former researcher associated at the Nucleo Laboratorial Nano de la Escola de Belas Arte – UFRJ Rio de Janeiro. She is currently the coordinator of the MusicMakers Hacklab_DF and Bio art edu- cational program B10S, and artistic researcher of the Media Enviroments department at the Bauhaus University in Weimar under the direction of Professor Ursula Damm.
Paloma López is a poducer and researcher. She holds a master degree in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University of London. She as been part of several produc- tion teams such as Mutek Mx and Distritall Film Festival. She’s the coordinator of the Music- Makers HackLab_DF and Bio art educational program B10S, and a European Cities for Advanced Sound Fellow.
William Myers is a writer, curator, and teacher based in Amsterdam.
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His first book Biodesign (2012) identified the emerging practice of designers and architects integrating living processes in their work. It was published by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and Thames & Hudson in London. His new book Bio Art: Altered Realities (2015) profiles art that uses biology in new ways or responds to recent research in the life sciences that disrupts our notions of identity, nature, and the definition of life. William’s recent exhibitions include Body of Matter and Matter of Life at the MU Gallery in Eindhoven, Biodesign in Rotterdam at The New Institute, and Cut/Paste/Grow at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn, New York.
Currently William mentors masters students at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and serves as the jury chairman for the Bio Art and Design Awards in the Netherlands, granting €75.000 each year to create new works. Previously he worked for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Hunter College, and The New Institute in Rotterdam (formerly NAi, Premsela and Virtueel Platform).
He has delivered lectures at Harvard University, Tate Modern, Centro Universitário Belas Artes de São Paulo, International University of Catalunya, Leiden University, and Genspace, the first community biotech lab in the United States.
Dani Ploeger is interested in the spectacles of sex, violence and waste in technoconsumer culture.
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His artwork encompasses computer programming, electronics hacking, cultural theory and performance. He has made a smartphone app that is available from adult app store MiKandi, undergone an operation in which electronic waste was installed in his abdomen by a body piercer, and anonymously distributed a DVD with a terror video.
His artwork has been shown at festivals including transmediale (Berlin), WRO Media Art Biennale (Wroclaw), RIXC (Riga), and Arse Elektronika – a festival of sex and technology (San Francisco). Reviews and features of his work have appeared in The WIRE, Times Higher Education, VICE, La Libération, and on ARTE television and Deutschland Radio, among others. Dani’s writing on culture and technology has been published in various books, as well as journals such as Leonardo and the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media.
Dani is a Research Fellow at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama,
University of London, and Principal Investigator of the art-science research project Bodies of Planned Obsolescence: Digital performance and the global politics of electronic waste (AHRC grant ref: AH/L01582X/1). He lives and works in London, UK, and Vlissingen, Netherlands.
Maja Smrekar is an Slovenian intermedia artist interested in the phenomenology of perception and the concept of life.
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She was born in Slovenia in 1978 and graduated from the Sculpture Department of Fine Art Academy in Ljubljana in 2002. Currently she is finishing a MA at the New Media Department.
Among others, she has been collaborating with Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana for the last eight years and with Aksioma Institute for the last five years. Under their production she has been executing projects, connecting the intersections of humanistic and natural sciences into interdisciplinary art works.
In 2010 she organized the international festival HAIP10/New Nature which focussed on a interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration ethics between scientists and artists. The festival took place at the Multimedia Centre Cyberpipe in Ljubljana where she has been active as an artistic director for two years.
She has been awarded by the Cynetart festival 2012 at the European Centre for Arts Hellerau in Dresden (Germany), received a honorary mention at the Ars Electronica festival 2013 in Linz (Austria) and the Golden Bird Award 2013, the national award for special achievements in the field of visual art in Ljubljana (Slovenia). Maja Smrekar lives and works between Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Berlin (Germany).
Hans-Günther Döbereiner is a Professor of Biophysics at Universität Bremen, Germany, interested in cell motility, network structure and foraging behavior of slime molds.
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He follows a modular approach to describe the hierarchical organisation of cells. Typical modes of motility and behavior can be understood as phases with distinct phase transitions between them tuned by specific signalling pathways. Transitions in slime mold behavior may represent universal decision processes based on simple heuristics.
Hans-Günther Döbereiner was born 1963 in Nuremberg and studied Physics in Erlangen. After receiving his Ph.D. in Biological Physics from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, in 1995 he worked at the MPI of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, on the morphology of membranes.
After exploring cell biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, NYC, USA, as a Heisenberg Fellow, he assumed in 2006 his current position in Bremen were he started working on slime molds. Recently, he has been a Visiting Professor at the Mechanobiology Institute in Singapore.
Theresa Schubert is a post-media artist and researcher at the intersection of art and science.
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She investigates the role of creativity and collaboration from a post-human perspective. Her research stems from the areas of biological-based art, digital art and DIY practices and addresses topics of self-organisation, stigmergy, randomness, morphology, and pattern generation. Her work combines audiovisual and hybrid media to conceptual and immersive installations or site-specific interventions whereas she treats nature’s phenomena not only as inspiration but as a material and critical process.
Currently Schubert works as artistic researcher at the Bauhaus-University Weimar under Prof. Ursula Damm. She has received national/international acclaim for the production of a unique body of work, which have been shown at Ars Electronica Linz, ArtLaboratory Berlin, Arge Kultur Salzburg, KIBLA Maribor, KW Kunstwerke Berlin, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Electrofringe Festival, Istanbul Biennale, European Media Art Festival, amongst others. She is the co-editor of the book Experiencing the Unconventional. Science in Art (World Scientific 2015).
Sascha Pohflepp (*1978, Cologne) is a German-born artist, researcher and writer whose work has been known to probe the role of technology in our efforts to understand and influence our environment.
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His interest extends across both historical aspects and visions of the future and his practice often involves collaboration with other artists and researchers, creating work on subjects ranging from synthetic biology to geo-engineering and space exploration.
Grants and residencies include an EPSRC grant in 2011, residencies in the NSF-funded Synthetic Aesthetics project, at Art Center College Pasadena in 2010, an honorary residency at Eyebeam, New York City in 2014 and a fellowship at Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Notable exhibitions include Talk To Me at MoMA New York, Hyperlinks at the Art Institute of Chicago, Micro Impact at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam, Pre-History of the Image at STUK Kunstencentrum Leuven, Åzone Futures Market at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and an online project for opti-ME* at Auto Italia South East in London.
Sascha’s work has earned two Honorary Mentions from the VIDA Art and Artificial Life Awards and in June 2015 was shortlisted for the Berlin Art Prize.
From 2004 to 2007 Sascha was contributing editor to We-Make-Money-Not-Art and his writing has since been published on various platforms including Volume, Under/Current and 60pages. Since 2013 he has been an editor with AVANT.org magazine. His essay on the notion of living machines is part of the book Synthetic Aesthetics on MIT Press.
He holds a diploma from The Berlin University of the Arts (UDK) and an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art (RCA) London, where he has also been leading the annual synthetic biology project from 2011 to 2013.
Sascha lives and works between Berlin and Southern California where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in art practice at UC San Diego.