Oron Catts to give lecture on his work with Tissue Culture and Art - "Growing Neolifism"

Oron Catts to give lecture on his work with Tissue Culture and Art - "Growing Neolifism"

The Sanctuary for Independent Media

March 19, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tissue engineering and regenerative biology are usually discussed in relation to biomedical research and applications. However in the last decade we witness a shift; there is a growing interest in exploring spin-off tissue engineering and regenerative biology technologies for other ends, such as consumer products, art and design.  This talk will outline these developments in areas such as in vitro meat and leather, actuators and bio machine interfaces, speculative design and contemporary artistic practices such as those by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr's Tissue Culture and Art. 

Oron Catts will draw on his extensive experience of using tissue engineering for non-medical and artistic ends to speculate about what lead to these applications and their possible future development and applications. Avoiding utopian and dystopian postures, opting instead to present scenarios open to be contestably challenged, this talk will also highlight some philosophical and ethical considerations stemming from new technological approaches to life, relating fields such as synthetic biology and metagenomics.


Oron Catts is an artist, researcher and curator whose pioneering work with the Tissue Culture and Art Project which he established in 1996 is considered a leading biological art project.  He is the founding director of SymbioticA, (which he co-founded in 2000) an artistic research centre housed within the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia.

Under Catts’ leadership SymbioticA has gone on to win the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art (2007) the WA Premier Science Award (2008) and became a Centre for Excellence in 2008. In 2009 Catts was recognized by Thames & Hudson’s “60 Innovators Shaping our Creative Future” book in the category “Beyond Design”, and by Icon Magazine (UK) as one of the top 20 Designers, “making the future and transforming the way we work”. His work has been widely exhibited internationally in venues such as NY MoMA, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and National Art Museum of China.

Catts was a Research Fellow in Harvard Medical School, a visiting Scholar at the Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University, a Visiting Professor of Design Interaction, Royal College of Arts, London, and a Visiting Professor at the School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Helsinki where he was commissioned to set up Biofilia - Base for Biological Art and Design. Catts’ ideas and projects reach beyond the confines of art; his work is often cited as inspiration to diverse areas such as new materials, textiles, design, architecture, ethics, fiction, and food.

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