[artinfo] BIOMEDIALE

Tania Goryucheva tangor at xs4all.nl
Sun Oct 10 11:02:39 CEST 2004

 From Dmitry Bulatov, Kaliningrad Branch of the National Center for 
Contemporary Art, Russia:

Dear collegues,

I would like to represent to you the international anthology "BioMediale.
Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture", the joint project of the
Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Russia)
and the National Publishing House "Yantarny Skaz" (Russia). At the
background of great quantity of popular scientific literature devoted to
the research into genomics this edition is the first project in Russia
aimed at understanding and complex research of the influence of bio- and
genetic technologies on various components of the contemporary
socio-cultural process (information, law, ethics and philosophy,
mythology, mass culture, contemporary art, etc). One of the most important
tasks of the book was to draw readers' attention to the strategies of
contemporary art and to stress their peculiarities at the general
background of cultural reflexions regarding the development of bio- and
genetic technologies. By means of considering these strategies we intended
not only to record the development of such artistic phenomena as Ars
Genetica, Ars Chimaera, Tissue Culture and Art, but also to work out the
notion of perspective artistic activities aimed at cultural adaptation of
the influence of genomic and close to genomic research on contemporary society.

The anthology (Russian/English, 500 pages, illustrated) is divided 
into several theoretical parts, which are supplemented with practical 
materials (wet art gallery), short cv, bibliography and webliography.

Short on-line version of the anthology


Full reference to this book:
"Biomediale. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture". Edited and 
curated by Dmitry Bulatov. The National Centre for Contemporary art 
(Kaliningrad branch, Russia), The National Publishing House "Yantarny 
Skaz": Kaliningrad, 2004. ISBN 5-7406-0853-7

Short Reviews:

"This project is an important one because it makes clear the social and
aesthetical impact of life sciences on society in general."
Birgit Richard, art theorist, Guest editor of "Kunstforum International"

"If life is not longer understood as a natural event, as fate, as Fortuna,
but rather as time artificially produced and fashioned, then life is
automatically politicized, since the technical and artistic decisions with
respect to the shaping of the lifespan are always political decisions as
well. The art that is made under these new conditions of biopolitics - under
the conditions of an artificially fashioned lifespan - cannot help but take
this artificiality as its explicit theme."
Boris Groys, Professor of Philosophy, Art and Media Theory at the Academy of
Design (Karlsruhe, Germany)

"Biomediale is an essential project contributing to the development of a
vocabulary for and a critique of contemporary currents in biotechnology. As
the organic realm is re-engineered from the molecular level up in order to
better fit the imperatives of global capitalism, works such as Biomediale
provide a much needed critical perspective that is beyond the rhetorics of
corporate utopianism and reactionary deep ecology."
Critical Art Ensemble, USA

"The issues which biotechnologies of all kinds raise are relevant not only
to science research, the pharmaceutical industry, or medical practice;
biotechnology also affects social and cultural perspectives on science and
technology, political and ethical perspectives on human nature, and the
importance of non-specialist education and open discussion. The Biomediale
project is an important step in recognizing the pervasive relevance of
biotechnology generally."
Eugene Thacker, Professor at the School of Literature, Communication and
Culture, New Media Department (Georgia, USA)

"The importance of publishing this anthology at this time can hardly be
overestimated. We are at a turning point in culture where the imagination
and skill of artists, engineers and scientists are contributing to a
re-definition of what it is to be human, what is the nature of Mind, and how
we might re-configure the environment to accommodate new forms of
communication and social interaction."
Roy Ascott, Director of the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive
Arts (CAiiA, University of Wales, UK)

"Besides being original, the anthology touches upon transgenic changes,
quite a topical and now even morbid issue, that is morbid not only in art
but in world culture; and if we look further it deals with a broader and
more general problem - new anthropology. There has been little research,
either artistic or cultural-philosophical, in this sphere before, and all
the more in Russia this is a pioneering project."
Dmitry Prigov, poet, Pushkin Prize winner

Key Words:

The Third Modernism
Artificial Life
Generative Art
Ars Genetica
Ars Chimaera
Tissue Culture and Art

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