Through the Scope of Life: Art and (Bio)Technologies Philosophically Revisited

Through the Scope of Life: Art and (Bio)Technologies Philosophically Revisited

María Antonia González Valerio, Polona Tratnik, Ingeborg Reichle, Claudia Schnugg

Online Panel Discussion
17 Feb 2024 - 10:00am

Join us for a panel discussion featuring María Antonia González Valerio, Polona Tratnik, Ingeborg Reichle, and Claudia Schnugg as they explore the themes and insights of "Through the Scope of Life: Art and (Bio)Technologies Philosophically Revisited," a book co-authored by María Antonia González Valerio and Polona Tratnik.

This book offers intriguing philosophical inquiries into biotechnological art and the life sciences, addressing their convergences as well as their epistemic and functional divergences. Rooted on a thorough understanding of the history of philosophy, this work builds on critical and ontological thought to interpret the concept of life that underscores first-hand dealings with matter and experimentation. The book breaks new ground on the issue of animality and delivers fresh posthumanist perspectives on the topics addressed. The authors embark on a deep ontological probe of the concept of medium as communication-bridging and life-bearing. They also take on the concept of performativity as biotechnological art.

The book includes concrete, well-documented case studies and shows how certain narratives and practices directly impact ideas surrounding science and technologies. It will interest philosophers in art and technology, aesthetics, ontology, and the life sciences. It will also engage art practitioners in art and science, curators and researchers.

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María Antonia González Valerio holds a PhD in Philosophy. She is a full-time professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her academic pursuits are situated within the intersection of ontology and aesthetics, as well as the interdisciplinary realm of arts, sciences, and humanities, with a specific focus on art involving biomedia. As the director of the Seminar Arte+Ciencia, she facilitates collaborative engagements between artists, academics, and scientists, fostering interdisciplinarity that yields graduate education, specialised theoretical research, artistic creations, and exhibitions. Additionally, she is a curator and the driving force behind the artistic collective Bios ex Machina. She is the author of the books (selection): Through the Scope of Life. Art and (Bio)Technologies Philosophically Revisited (Springer, 2023), Cabe los límites: Escritos sobre filosofía natural desde la ontología estética (México: UNAM/Herder, 2016), Un tratado de ficción (México: Herder, 2010), and El arte develado (México: Herder, 2005).

Polona Tratnik holds a PhD in philosophy. She is full professor at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana and senior researcher at the Institute IRRIS for Research, Development and Strategies of Society, Culture and Environment, where she leads a project on political functions of folktales. Her recent publications include: Art as Capital: The Intersection of Science, Technology, and the Arts (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) and The European Avant-Garde – A Hundred Years Later (ed., Brill, 2024).

Ingeborg Reichle is a Berlin-based contemporary art historian and curator at the intersection of art and technoscience. In 2004 she gained her Ph.D. from the Humboldt University Berlin with the dissertation Art in the Age of Technoscience: Genetic Engineering, Robotics, and Artificial Life in Contemporary Art (Springer 2009). In recent years she served as Full Professor in the Department of Media Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria, and as founding chair of the Department of Cross- disciplinary Strategies (CDS), where she designed an integrated BA study program on applied studies in art, science, philosophy, and global challenges. Recent curatorial projects include the sci-art program NaturArchy at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service and the sci-art program NanoARTS by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. In 2022 she joined the Board of Trustees of the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and since 2023 she serves on the Board of Trustees of Fritz and Trude Fortmann Foundation for Building Culture and Materials.

Dr. Claudia Schnugg is curator and artscience scholar based in Austria. Her ongoing practice in the field of art and science is twofold: as scholar she is researching artscience collaborations, investigating effects and impact of such art-science exchange on actors, organizations involved and the relevance of the outcome. In 2019 she published her book Creating ArtScience Collaborations with Springer/Palgrave Macmillan. ArtScience programmes she curates at institutions such as European Space Agency/ESTEC, Helmholtz Center München, the EC funded ITN network RepliFate, BIFOLD at TU Berlin, and Resonances IV “NaturArchy” of the SciArt Project at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission in Ispra. Most recent exhibitions are CORALS – Marco Barotti (Berlin, 2023), Intersecting Realities (Timisoara, 2023), Cosmic Elements: Star-Pacing Songs (Beijing, 2023), Cosmological Elements (Shanghai, 2022). Claudia is member of international juries for art prices, residency projects, and scientific boards for artscience projects.