Speaker: Jennifer Johung, associate professor of art history, and director of the Art History Gallery at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Title: Vital Dependencies: Bio-Art, Architecture and Infrastructures of Care
Time and place: April 4, 2012, 6 pm, Williams 301
Synthetic biology builds or modifies organisms at the molecular level in order to generate life, while tissue engineering grows biological substitutes at the level above the cell. These current biotechnologies are expanding our determinations of vitality and challenging us to retool our understanding of how, and our expectations of how long, each of us might live. Attending to these changing qualifications of life, a burgeoning range of contemporary art experiments in synthetic fabrication join company with the Tissue Culture and Art Project, as well as protocell and breeding architectures, in order to intervene in the generation and maintenance of new living forms. As these artistic and techno-scientific practices converge, the encounters and exchanges between various scales of matter metabolize infrastructural relationships and precarious dependencies that care for, and potentially regenerate, cellular to human life.