[-empyre-] Introduction: Between Biology and Art Welcome Byron Rich

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Sat Feb 11 12:14:19 AEDT 2017

We will begin our Introductory posts for the topic Between Biology and Art this weekend joined by Byron Rich.  Byron and I will be setting the foundation for our discussion over the next three and a half weeks. These generative iterations create grounds of tension for creative and critical engagement within the fields of biological and artistic research and production.
Historically we all recall the case of Steve Kurtz, SUNY Buffalo and Critical Arts Ensemble member who in May of 2004 was accused of bio-terrorism because Homeland Security agents mistook his biologically based performance inspired by the global GMO contaminated food system.

This is not the first time we have hosted bio science artists into our –empyre-soft skinned space. In February 2013 we hosted a memorial discussion in honor of artist Beatriz DaCosta. Beatriz was a leading voice in socially activist artistic work in the areas of biology, engineering, and technology.

I was inspired to host this topic this month because at this past summer’s ISEA conference in Hong Kong I noted so many young artists who were doing research.
Inspired by all of them empyre invites new media artists, researchers, historians and others to join us to investigate current topics such as germs,
fermenting, probiotics, skin, ecologies and many more intersections between biology, technology, and new media practices.

Hope these comments will inspire some of our subscribers to write in. And I am thrilled that Byron has so valiantly agreed to start things out with me.  Here is his biography: 

Byron Rich (CA) is an artist, professor and lecturer born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His work exploring speculative design, biology futures and tactical media has been widely shown and spoken about internationally. He pursued a degree in New-Media at The University of Calgary before finding himself in Buffalo, New York where he obtained an MFA in Emerging Practices at The University at Buffalo. He now teaches Electronic Art & Intermedia at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. 

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

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