Session 2: Homo Aestheticus

‘The new Green’? Art between Synthetic Biology and Biohacking
The creation of lifelike appearances is an ever-recurring historical fea- ture in art. By means of form, material or process, a touch of aliveness is staged, ideally favouring an empathic mind-set to bolster reception, aiming at involving the viewer viscerally. Contemporary artists who employ biotechnology are particularly ‘close to life’, and the discipline of Synthetic Biology is particularly well suited to upgrade art historical paradigms of ‘creation’. In parallel, the democratization of lab tools leads to their appropriation by tinkerers and tactical media activists who apply the critical potential of open source culture from the digital age of Media Art to DIY biology and biohacking. This paper discusses the notion of media adequacy with regards to materials and strategies today, as DIY biology seems to become the next pop culture, and the ‘happy hacker’ is preferred to the ‘evil engineer’.

Jens HAUSER
Univ. of Copenhagen, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies & Medical Museion, Denmark
Jens Hauser is a Paris and Copenhagen based art curator and media studies scholar focusing on the interactions be- tween art and technology in general, and on biomediality in particular. He is currently holding a postdoc research position both at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies and at the Medical Museion/Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. He has curated exhibitions such as L’Art Bio- tech (Nantes, 2003), Still, Living (Perth, 2007), sk-interfaces (Liverpool, 2008/Luxembourg, 2009), the Article Biennale (Stavanger, 2008), Transbiotics (Riga 2010), Fingerprints... (Berlin, 2011/Munich/2012) and Synth-ethic (Wien, 2011).

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Session 2: Homo Aestheticus

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