[-empyre-] Living Experiments

Adam Nocek anocek at uw.edu
Tue Sep 17 03:04:09 EST 2013

Hi all,

A wonderful discussion this week. I thank you all for participating! I
thoroughly enjoyed -- and I am continuing to enjoy -- all your posts on
bioart and related fields. I'm especially intrigued by the discussion on
"aesthetics." I think that bringing together Neal White, Jennifer Fisher,
among others, into conversation with Brian Massumi and A.N. Whitehead et
al. is challenging and important work. More thoughts later.

I'd like to extend a special thanks to Oron Catts and Rich Doyle for their
wonderful contributions this week!

This week I'd like to welcome four new guests into the fold: Adam Zaretsky
(who is no stranger!), Phillip Thurtle, Maja Kuzmanovic, and Nik Gaffney.

Here is a bit of bio for each of our guests:

Phillip Thurtle is director of the Comparative History of Ideas program and
associate professor in History at the University of Washington. Thurtle is
the author of The Emergence of Genetic Rationality: Space, Time, and
Information in American Biology 1870-1920 (University of Washington Press,
2008), the co-author with Robert Mitchell and Helen Burgess of the
interactive DVD-ROM BioFutures: Owning Information an Body
Parts (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), and the co-editor with
Robert Mitchell of the volumes Data Made Flesh: Embodying
Information (Routledge, 2003) and Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human
Body (University of Washington Press, 2002). His research focuses on the
material culture of information processing, the affective-phenomenological
domains of media, the role of information processing technologies in
biomedical research, and theories of novelty in the life sciences. His most
recent work is on the cellular spaces of transformation in evolutionary and
developmental biology research and the cultural spaces of transformation in
superhero comics.

Adam Zaretsky, Ph.D. is a Wet-Lab Art Practitioner mixing Ecology,
Biotechnology, Non-human Relations, Body Performance and Gastronomy. Zaretsky
stages lively, hands-on bioart production labs based on topics such as:
foreign species invasion (pure/impure), radical food science
(edible/inedible), jazz bioinformatics (code/flesh), tissue culture
(undead/semi-alive), transgenic design issues (traits/desires), interactive
ethology (person/machine/non-human) and physiology (performance/stress). A
former researcher at the MIT department of biology, for the past decade
Zaretsky has been teaching an experimental bioart class called VivoArts at:
San Francisco State University (SFSU), SymbioticA (UWA), Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute (RPI), University of Leiden’s The Arts and Genomic
Centre (TAGC), and with the Waag Society. In the past two years he has
taught DIY-IGM at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and New York University
(NYU).  He also runs a public life arts school: VASTAL (The Vivoarts School
for Transgenic Aesthetics Ltd.) His art practice focuses on an array of
legal, ethical, social and libidinal implications of biotechnological
materials and methods with a focus on transgenic humans.

http://www.youtube.com/VASTALschool <http://www.youtube.com/VASTALschool>

Maja Kuzmanovic holds a Master of Arts in Interactive Multimedia and her
specialization is interactive film and storytelling. She is currently
director of the Brussels-based laboratory, FoAM, where she works with
various art and technology collectives and explores novel modes and
resources of cultural expression. She was involved in the development of
the Design Technology course at the Utrecht School of the Arts. She
previously worked as Artist in Residence at the Center for Mathematics and
Computer Science in Amsterdam, and the National Center for Information
Technology in Sankt Augustin, Germany. In 1999, Kuzmanovic was named by
MIT’s Technology Review Magazine as one of the top 100 young innovators of
the year. Her current interests span alternate reality storytelling,
patabotany, resilience, speculative culture and techno-social aspects of
food & food systems.

Nik Gaffney is a founding member of the Brussels-based laboratory, FoAM, as
well as a media-systems researcher. Gaffney has previously worked as a
graphic designer and programmer for Razorfish AG in Hamburg and Moniteurs
in Berlin. His studies covered the fields of computer science, cognitive
science and organic chemistry at Adelaide University. As one of the
founders of the artists' collective, mindfluX, he worked on installation
pieces, performances and the editing and distribution of the electronic
magazine mindvirus. Gaffney has been an active collaborator in the
performance group Heliograph, helping shape their vision for hybrid arts
performance. He is a member of and prominent contributor to farmersmanual,
a pan-european, net-based, multisensory disturbance conglomerate, whose
'ship of fools' filled the canals of Venice with sound during the 2001
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