DESMA 9: “The unnatural, that is too natural:” Artistic Explorations in Synthetic Biology

DESMA 9: “The unnatural, that is too natural:” Artistic Explorations in Synthetic Biology

Anna Dumitriu

Artistic Explorations in Synthetic Biology with Anna Dumitriu
12 May 2021 - 9:00am

Anna Dumitriu will discuss her collaborative projects "Fermenting Futures" and "Biotechnology from the Blue Flower", which focus on the potential of synthetic biology to offer solutions for existential issues such as climate change and food security. She will discuss the methodologies of yeast and plant biotechnology, and explore what influences how we define unnatural or natural. Finally, she will reflect on 'Murphy's 10th Law' which is "Every solution breeds new problems" in the context of arguments against scientific progress.

Anna Dumitriu is an award winning internationally renowned British artist who works with BioArt, sculpture, installation, and digital media to explore our relationship to infectious diseases, synthetic biology and robotics. Past exhibitions include ZKM, Ars Electronica, BOZAR, The Picasso Museum, HeK Basel, Science Gallery Detroit, MOCA Taipei, LABoral, Art Laboratory Berlin, and Eden Project. She holds visiting research fellowships at the University of Hertfordshire, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and Waag Society, as well as artist-in-residence roles with the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at the University of Oxford, and with the National Collection of Type Cultures at Public Health England. She was the 2018 President of the Science and the Arts Section of the British Science Association. Her work has featured in many significant publications including Frieze, Artforum International Magazine, Leonardo Journal, The Art Newspaper, Nature and The Lancet. Current collaborations include the Institute of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology at BOKU – Universität für Bodenkultur in Vienna, the EU H2020 CHIC Consortium, the University of Leeds and the Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells at HelmholtzZentrum in München.

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