As a scientist at UCLA in USA, Professor James Gimzewski specializes in genetic engineering and neuroscience. Over the last 10 years he has also operated as an artist in collaboration with his colleague, Professor Victoria Vesna. Together, they create interactive installations that mediate and visualize the floating field of consciousness located between scientific and artistic artifacts and practices.
Let me therefore turn to (perhaps) the most obvious part of the Biotopia exhibition, art - and its relation to science. It is part of the conceptual idea of the exhibition to ask questions about the role of the humanities in the wet zone.
More than anything, the exhibition addresses the questions of what happens to art in an age where technological and biological life forms challenge each other and establish even closer relations to each other? Biotopia examines how art evolves in this new situation, exposed or inserted (in)to a situation between bits and atoms, where very media-savvy-but-not-so-media-conscious, post digital humans move about. It is this situation which, very briefly defined, constitutes the ’wet zone' - a fluent field of conceptual movement.
“... part of the idea is to put the humanities in a position of having continually to renegotiate their relations with the sciences – and, in the process, to rearticulate what is unique to their own capacities...” (Massumi, 2002, p. 21)
Additional video available at: artsci.ucla.edu/BlueMorph/BIOTOPIAvideo.html/
All images are the copyright of the artist and cannot be used "in any way" without their expressed consent.
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