Master of Electronic Art

Spatiality and Interaction

Introduction | Week: 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9. 10 . 11 . 12 |

Bioart/Moist Reality

Week eleven


Whereas historically Art and Biology conjured up images of detailed artist studies of fauna and flora now artists work directly with living material.

1959 Aromoarama for Behind the Great Wall film, 1960 A scent of Mystery used the Smell-o-vision system, 1981 Odorama scratch and sniff cards for Polyester, were early attempts to integrate smell and entertainment that never really caught on. Recent developments in the areas of bio-technology and chemistry have accelerated an interest in exploring senses other than sight. Developments in biosensors have very wide application, from watches that read blood level to fertility bras. Bio-identification and bio-surveillance or biometrics (verification of identity based on physiology or behaviour of that person) have obvious security and law enforcement applications.  

Science and technology enabled us to observe, transform and manipulate bodily functions.   New body imaging technologies like CAT & PET, MRI opened up new view of the body. Bionics enables creation of new hybrids between human and machine. Although tissue to material interface is still to be overcome, the creation of separate bionic components is a possibility. While this field of research has potentially great medical implications, it is also a field ridden with ethical problems.    Artists practicing in the field of biological and medical research can engage in deconstructive analysis, the analysis of practical and ethical implications as well as in the experimentation of 'live' materials.

Stelarc , Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau , Patricia Piccinini , Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr , Eduardo Kac , Critical Art Ensamble , George Gessert , Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr , Marc Quinn , Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey , Suzanne Anker ,   Christopher Ebener & Uli Winters , Joe Davis , Jon Tower, David Kremers , Knut Mork, Cultural Terrorist Organization , David Goodsell , John Dunn & Mary Anne Clark , Gail Wight , Gary Schneider , Kevin Clarke , Sonya Rapoport , Gina Czarnecki , Thomas Grunfeld , Simon Robertshaw ,   Michael Spano,   Newton Harrison , Richard Lowenberg , Athena Tacha , Ken Rinaldo , Hubert Duprat , Tony Bellaver , Carsten Holler , Marc Bohlen , Leif Brush , Eric Samakh & David Rokeby , Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz , Demitri Terzopoullos , Louis Bec ,


Peter Weibel, organisor of the 1993 Ars Electronica


Primary Reading

Czeglady, Nina Intimate Perceptions

Langton, Christopher 1989 Artificial Life


Kac, Eduardo Transgenic Art , originally published in Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol 6, No 11, December 1998


on bioart & technology

The Arts Catalyst


Ars Electronica Life Science 1999 & Next Sex 2000

Coakley, J 2004 Welcome to the World of BioArt , the Space ABC Arts Online


Critical Art Ensamble The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machine , in Druckrey, T (ed) 1996 Electonic Culture.   Technology and Visual Representation , Aperture, NY,   pp 390-403

Gessert, George   A History of Art Involving dna

Grau, Oliver 2003 Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion , The MIT Press, Cambridge/ Massachusetts, London/England, ch8

BioTech Hobbyist Magazine

Joy, Bill Why The Future Doesnt Need Us

Kac, Eduardo (ed)   2005   Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond , The MIT Press

Kac, Eduardo GPF Bunny , in Dobrila, Peter T and Kostic, Aleksandra (eds) 2000 Eduardo Kac: Telepresence, Biotelematics, and Transgenic Art , Kilba, Maribor,, pp 101-131

Nadarajan, Gunalan 2006 Ornamental Biotechnology and Parergonal Aesthetics , in Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond, MIT Press

Dorothy Nelkin The Gene as a Cultural Icon, Art Journal 55:1

John van Neumann - computer pioneer

New Technologies , Wired, September 1996

Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr The Art of the Semi-Living Art and Partial Life: Extra Ear - ¼ Scale

Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr 2001 Growing Semi-Living Sculptures: The Tissue Culture 7 Art Project

Paradise Now exhibition

Pescovitz, D Reality Check

Ramos, Vitorino & Filipe, Almeida, Artificial Ant Colonies in Digital Image Habitat

Ramos, Vitorino   On the Implicit and on the Artificial - Morphogenesisand Emergent Aesthetics in Autonomous Collective Systems


Regis, E Future Weapons

Anders Sandberg Bionics


Society for Developmental Biology

Sommerer, C & Mignonneau, L (eds) 1998 Art @ Science, Springer Vienna, NY

Barbara Stafford 1984 Voyage into Substance: Art, Science, Nature, and the Illustrated Travel Account, The MIT Press



Thacker, Eugene Biophilosophy for the 21 st Century

Wilson, S 2002 Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science and Technology , The MIT Press, Cambridge/Massachusetts & London/England

Whitelaw, Michael 2004 Metacreation: Art & Artificial Life , The MIT Press


on senses

Ackerman, Diane A Natural History of the Senses

Biomertics Research


Freeman, Walter J 1991 The Physiology of Perception , Scientific American, vol 264:2, Feb 1991, pp78-85

Fritz,   J,   Way, T & Barner, K 1994 Haptic Representation of Scientific Data for Visually Impaired ,   Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories A.I. duPont Institute/University of Delaware

Alan Hirsch

Interactive Brain-wave visual analyzer

Kohl, James Phermones

Kress-Rogers, Erika (ed) 1997 Handbook of Biosensors & Electronic Noses , CRC Press, Boca Raton

Wilder Penfield

van Mensvoort, Koert What you see is what you feel

Schachtel, E 1963 Metamorphosis , Routledge, London

Richard Vogt Taste of Smell Course Syllabus

on nature

Evernden, Neil 1992 The Social Creation of Nature, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

Williams, Raymond Problems of Materialism & Culture

on body and medicine

Birke, Linda & Hubbard, Ruth 1995 Reinventing Biology , Indiana University Press, Bloomington

Czeglady, Nina Appropriation of Medical Discourse

Doyle, Richard On Beyond Living: Rhetorical Transformations

Foucault, M Birth of the Clinic

Foucault, M History of Sexuality

Flannery, Maura 1998 Images of the Cell in 20 th Century Art and Science, Leonardo 31:3

Galisen, Peter Picturing Science, Producing Art

Gallagher, C & Laqueur T W The Making of the Modern Body

Haraway, Donna Cyborg Manifesto

Haraway, Donna The Promises of Monsters

Harding, Sandra Whose Science?   Whose Knowledge?

Hayles, N K How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics

Latour, B & Callon, M Laboratory Science

Lupton, Deborah 1994 Medicine as Culture, Sage, London

Margulis, Lynn

Masters, Judith Revolutionary Theory in Birke, Linda & Hubbard, Ruth 1995 Reinventing Biology , Indiana University Press, Bloomington

Stafford, Barbara Body Criticism

Stelarc Parasite Visions: Alternate, Intimate and Involuntary Experiences

Treichler, P A, Cartwright, L & Penley, C Visible Woman

Turner, Bryan S Regulating Bodies

Wilson, S Body and Medicine in Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology

Wolff Purcell, Rosamond Special Cases: Natural Anomolies and Historical


The X-ray Century

on body & technology

Anstey, J We Sing the Body Electric: Imagining the body in Electronic Art

Bodies and Their Spaces links

Critical Art Ensemble  Flesh Machine Molecular Invasiion

Fuller, Gillian Perfect Match: Biometrics and Body Patterning in a Networked World , Fibreculture, Issue 1

Huffman, Kathy Rae CyberIntimacy: >From Net Nookie to Coffee Talk


Morse, M What do Cyborgs Eat? in Druckrey, T (ed) 1997 Electronic Culture , Aperature, NY

SymbioticA The Tissue Culture & Art Project

Thacker,   Eugene 2000 Redefining Bioinformatics: A Critical Analysis of Technoscientific Bodies , Enculturation, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring

Vesna, V Bodies Incorporated: Theoretical Appropriation for Somatic Intervention


Woodward, K From Virtual Cyborgs to Biological Time Bombs in Druckrey, T (ed) 1997 Electronic Culture , Aperature, NY


on aesthetics & bio

Gould, S J 1996 The Shape of Life , Art Journal, 55:1

Hennessy, M 1996 Science Pour l'Art

Hoffman, R 1996 Just a Little Bit Unnatural , in Art Journal 55:1

Koch, A S & Tarnai, T The Aesthetic Viruses , in Emmer, M (ed) The Visual Mind


Malina, R Moist Realities

Elliot M Meyerowitz & Enrico Coen

Root-Bernstein, R 1996 Do We Have the Structure of DNA Right? Aesthetics, Assumptions, Visual Conventions, and Unsolved Problems, Art Journal 55:1, p48


on genetic engineering

Gessert, G 1993 Notes on Genetic Art , Leonardo, vol 26, no 3, pp 205-211

Levy, E 1996 Contemporary Art and the Genetic Code , Art Journal. Special Issue

Flusser, W 1998 Curie's Children , Art Forum, 26:7


on genetic music

Clark, M A Genetic Music: An Annotated Source List


on art & ecology

Cembalest, R 1991 The Ecological Art Explosion, Artnews, Summer, pp 96-105

Dion, M 1993 The Origin of the Species: Alexis Rockman on the Prowl , Flash Art, October


Dion, M & Rockman 1996 Concrete Jungle , Search Uno Books, NY

Matilsky, B 1992 Fragile Ecologies , Rizzol, NY

Wired Description of Mud Drawings



| Course co-ordinator : Dr Paul Thomas |

| C u r t i n . D e p t . o f . A r t | C u r t i n . U n i v e r s i t y . o f . T e c h n o l o g y |
| D e s i g n e d . Amanda Alderson & . M a i n t a i n e d . b y : Dr Paul Thomas |
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