Tania Goryucheva on Thu, 7 Oct 2004 10:37:09 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> BIOMEDIALE publication announcement

>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 

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 

To popularize the issues of bio- and genetic technologies in contemporary 
art the Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts 
(Russia) in cooperation with the National Publishing House "Yantarny Skaz" 
(Russia) are going to hold a series of presentations of the this anthology 
in Russia and abroad. As a curator of this project I will be glad to 
accept interesting proposals and ideas related to the presentation of the 
book at museums, universities, galleries, centres, libraries, etc. I would 
be delighted, if you could pass the information about this anthology to 
critics and art critics, museums, galleries, libraries, sci-art 
organisations and archives.

Sincerely Yours,

Dmitry Bulatov

Author and compiler of the anthology, curator of special projects at the 
Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Russia)

"BIOMEDIALE. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture"
Edited and curated by Dmitry Bulatov bulatov@ncca.koenig.ru
English-Russian, 27 x 21 cm, 500 pp., 412 ill., 50 col. ill, hardcover. The
National Centre for Contemporary art (Kaliningrad branch, Russia), The
National Publishing House "Yantarny Skaz": Kaliningrad, 2004
ISBN 5-7406-0853-7

The book is divided into several parts:
- Science, technology and perspectives (the newest trends)
- Society and genomic culture (philosophic and social aspects)
- Art and genomic culture (historical aspects, mass culture)
- Contemporary art and new art strategies (ALife, Ars Genetica, Ars
Chimaera, Tissue culture and Art)

With essays by artists and theorists:
Birgit Richard (Germany), Sven Druehl (Germany), Critical Art Ensemble
(USA), Pavel Tischenko (Russia), Boris Groys (Russia), subRosa (USA),
Svetlana Borinskaja (Russia), Ricardo Dominguez (USA), Steve Wilson (USA),
Eugene Thacker (USA), Roy Ascott (The Great Britain) , Louis Bec (France),
Dmitry Prigov (Russia), Christa Sommerer (Japan), Mark Bedau (USA), Alan
Dorin (Australia), George Gessert (USA), Brandon Ballangee (USA), Vsevolod
Makeev (Russia), Marta de Menezes (Portugal), Valery Podoroga (Russia),
David Kremers (USA), Valery Shumakov (Russia), Adam Zaretsky (USA), Joe
Davis (USA), Eduardo Kac (Brasil), Dmitry Bulatov (Russia), Ionat Zurr
(Australia), Oron Catts (Australia), Melentie Pandilovsky (Macedonia),
Abraham Jorish (Russia).

Among the project participants are:
George Gessert (one of the bio- and genetic art pioneers), David Kremers
(one of the artists working in gene engineering sphere), Joe Davis (artist
working in the sphere of synthetic protein), Christa Sommerer & Laurent
Mignonneau (theorists and practiotioners of bio-software-art), Luis Bec (one
of the outstanding theorists of Artificial Life), Eduardo Kac (one of the
pioneer of the transgenetic art) and others. The anthology theory core is
supplemented with the parts containing wet art gallery, bio-notes,
bibliography and webloigraphy (information embracing the editions devoted to
the subject), and a glossary.

Published with the assistance of:
The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
The National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow
Goethe-Institute, St.Petersburg
Institut Francais - Alliance Francaise de Saint-Petersbourg
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
ZKM Center for Art- and Mediatechnology, Karlsruhe
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Harvard Medical School,
Art&Science collaborations, INC, New York

How to purchase this book:
Requests should be sent to: bulatov@ncca.koenig.ru (full info).

If you want to put the baner of this edition on your web-page:

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:

"Such an anthology as this forms an essential part of documenting the
current relationship between technologically-based Bio-science and the Art
which employs its techniques or comments upon its applications and outcomes.
Not only will it allow future artists and theorists to understand what has
come before, it allows the current generation to assess contemporary thought
on our changing relationships to "Nature" and humankind's Biological
Alan Dorin, Director at the Centre for Electronic Media Art, the Monash
University (Clayton, Australia)

"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)

"The book provides a great overview of the field and is an excellent source
for teachnig as well."
Dr.Christa Sommerer, Professor at the IAMAS Institute of Advanced Media Arts
and Sciences (Gifu, Japan)

"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

"If the emergence of transgenic art worldwide, the publication of this book
in Russia is a major contribution to the development of this new art form
and the social debate on the cultural implications of biotechnology."
Eduardo Kac, Chair of the Art and Technology Department at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago (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)

"I can't overstate the importance of this project. Contemporary Society and
Genomic Culture is about nothing less than making art of evolution."
George Gessert, artist, USA

"The emerging field of biological art (or as we prefer to call it Wet
Biology Art Practice) is in a need of an anthology such as this one. There
were very few serious attempts to map the contemporary practice of artists
dealing with the tools of modern biology, this anthology seems to be the
most comprehensive; it includes artists who are dealing with different
aspects of modern biology beside genetic engineering."
Ionat Zurr, Oron Catts, artists, "SymbioticA" research laboratory at the
School of Anatomy and Human Biology, the University of Western Australia
(Perth, Australia)

"We are living in an era of genetic technology that offers us metaphors and
mirrors to look at ourselves and our values. I have no doubt that this
boldly eclectic and cutting edge international anthology will expand on and
give insight into the potential range of the impact of the developments in
biotechnology on identity and consciousness."
Kathleen Rogers, Senior lecturer at the Department of Arts and Media at the
Surrey Institute of Art and Design (Fernham, UK)

"Communication with other species has yet to work. But do not domestication,
zootechnics, animal cognition studies and the search for paralanguages, and
extraterrestrial biology testify to an irresistible need for interchange
with the other belonging to a species originating elsewhere?"
Louis Bec, researcher, Coordinator of Art and Technology for the French
Ministry of Culture, Expert in new technologies at the Council of Europe

"Let me say that Biomediale: Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture
promises to be an important contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship,
one which will make a significant impact on the international intellectual
and artistic community. The intersection of biology and genomics with
contemporary art will prove as important in art as genomics has proved to be
in science."
Mark Bedau, Professor at the Reed College, Department of Philosophy
(Portland, Oregon, USA)

"Biology and biotechnology have become major issues for the contemporary
society. This anthology provides, for the first time, an insight on the
impact of modern biology in the art of today."
Marta De Menezes, "artist in residence" at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre,
Imperial College (London, UK)

"The beginning of this century requires a cultural and artistic response
towards the development of emerging disciplines such as biotechnology and
genetics, as they are being extremely potent with social, ethical,
philosophical, and cultural implications. Being such these fields cannot be
treated solely in scientific labs, but have to become a part of a much wider
cultural discourse. Therefore I can only greet the undertaking of the
actions for publishing of this Anthology, as this will further nurture the
stimulation of the work of artists and culture theorists."
Melentie Pandilovski, Director of the Experimental Art Foundation, Lion Arts
Centre (Adelaide, Australia)

"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

"The fact that not only loyal and diligent employees at private and state
corporations work on such technologies but also crazy bohemian artists sets
my mind at rest. At least because the latter aspire to inform people about
their works as much as possible, thus being radically different from the
Leonid Levkovich-Masliuk, Senior Editor of the weekly magazine Computerra
(Moscow, Russia)

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

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