Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER)

Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER)

Stelarc, Rebecca Messbarger, Piroska Kopar, Siddharth Ramakrishnan, Patricia Olynyk

Join us for a LASER talk as a part of the Medicine and Media Arts series
16 Jul 2021 - 3:00pm

Watch the Live Stream Here

New advances in medicine, transgenics, and biomechtronics have generated genetically-modified “superhumans,” cyborg fantasies, and new evolutionary futures in the fields of art and medicine and also the cultural imaginary. Whether participating in bio-elective surgeries, performative dissections, or experimenting with invasive genetic editing, manipulations of the human form summon Mary Shelley’s cautionary tale, which serves as a metaphor for our darkest fears involving human evolution and knowledge. This event will feature four subject experts on the spectacular body in art and medicine. Transhumanist artist, Stelarc, who has used himself as an experimental canvas for exploring alternate anatomies, will discuss the obsolete body and its potential for technological alteration. Scholar, author, and medical historian, Rebecca Messbarger will respond to these notions, and also discuss increasing scientific analysis of criminal and saintly bodies via dissection in the Early Modern period. MD, surgeon, and medical ethics specialist, Piroska Kopar will also respond to the ethics of bio-elective surgeries in contrast to the delivery of acute care surgery. Siddharth Ramakrishnan will respond from the perspective of neuroscience....

The Art|Sci Center is excited to announce the launch of a new initiative that bridges the fields of medicine and media art. The Medicine + Media Art Initiative is a multi-layered artistic and scholarly endeavor that serves as a national and international hub for the artistic exploration of contemporary medical science and biotechnology. The fellowship will act as a conduit for advancing new projects and artistic research that reimagine the medicalized body, corporality, notions of embodiment, posthumanism, and the effects of our environment on our sense of bodily presence and well-being in the world.

In a time of pandemic conditions, the exchange between media art, medicine and the medical humanities in particular foregrounds the critical role of art practice in negotiating the human experience. And while medical science has evolved over time in culturally specific ways that are not value-neutral, media art and its related discourse have advanced the social, ethical, and humanistic investigation of medicine. Embedded in this network lies the interconnected categorizations of gender, race and class—intersectionality—as media art and medicine explore the corpus and its hidden landscape under the skin.

Through lectures, exhibitions, symposia, and the production of original creative work, The Medicine + Media Art Fellowship will bring together various collaborative partners that include: UCLA’s Art|Sci Center, the California NanoSystems Institute, and School of Medicine; the Sam Fox School of Visual Art, the School of Medicine, the Institute for Public Health, and Medical Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis; Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS, Bremen, Stuttgart; Angewandte University of the Arts, Vienna; Ars Electronica; Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Science and Technology (ISAST); Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSA); and Inter-Society for Electronic Arts (ISEA).