Major artworks developed in Australia are to feature in an exhibition investigating questions of life and death. Corpus Extremus (LIFE+), on show at Exit Art in New York, presents work by artists using bio and media- technologies.
Running from February 28 to April 18, 2009, Corpus Extremus (LIFE+) includes works researched and developed during residencies at SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts – a pioneering art/science research lab at The University of Western Australia.
About Corpus Extremus (LIFE+)
The implementation of biotechnological advances into everyday life creates a new stage in evolution. Recent innovations in science and technology give ground to the possibility of the creation of new organisms – hybrids, cyborgs and extended human bodies.
Corpus Extremus (LIFE+) confronts and challenges our conventional understanding of the body, poses ethical questions about life, death and the ownership of life. Utilising art and science as creative stimuli to each other, many of the works in the exhibition are composed of living matter, and others engage in a dialogue with electronic media.
Core SymbioticA residents on show
A cabinet of curiosity, NoArk II explores the disarray that life-forms created through biotechnology present to the refined orders of biological taxonomy.
The Tissue Culture & Art Project (Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr) present a collection of museum specimens alongside an experimental vessel designed to maintain and grow a mass of living cells and tissues. In a sense, this is a unified collection of unclassifiable sub-organisms. The first version of NoArk was awarded second place in the prestigious VIDA 10.0 in Spain, 2007. www.tca.uwa.edu.au
In Silent Barrage a robotic body (made of 36 networked kinetic objects) is controlled by a biological "brain", or neural network that is grown and nurtured miles away in Dr. Potter’s Lab in Atlanta. Silent Barrage is a project by Guy Ben-Ary and Philip Gamblen, with Peter Gee, Dr. Nathan Scott and Brett Murray hosted by SymbioticA in collaboration with Dr. Steve Potter Lab (Dr. Steve Potter, Douglas Swehla & Stephen Bobic) at Georgia Institute of Technology. It has its world premiere at Exit Art.
The Living Screen is a performance/ installation that features a series of self-created Nano-Movies projected onto actual living screens grown from skin and blood cells. The work, created by BioKino (Guy Ben-Ary and Tanya Visosevic), draws from the carnivale and refers to early cinema. www.biokino.net
Ex-Residents – Paul Vanouse’s research project at SymbioticA: Latent Figure Protocol along with work by previous residents, Adam Zaretsky and Jennifer Willet will also feature in Corpus Extremus (LIFE+).
About Exit Art
Holding an independent vision of contemporary culture, Exit Art has a substantial reputation for curatorial innovation and is seen as a model artistic centre for the 21st century. Located in New York, USA, Exit Art has a rich 25 year history stemming from its commitment to supporting artists whose quality of work reflects the transformations of our culture. www.exitart.org
SymbioticA is an artistic laboratory dedicated to the artistic research, learning and critique of life sciences. It is the first research laboratory to enable artists to engage in wet biology practices and collaborate with scientists in a biological science department. Established in 2000 it is located within the School of Anatomy & Human Biology at The University of Western Australia. SymbioticA has an international reputation for groundbreaking and pioneering research and practice in the field of art and the life sciences and has hosted over fifty residencies since its establishment. www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au The Australian contingent’s participation in Exit Art has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
Image: "Exit Art" - Corpus Extremus (LIFE+) exhibition. Courtesy of Exit Art.