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Interdisciplinary Practices in Bio Art

May 17 – June 18, 2021

Tuition: $3000

4 undergraduate studio credits

From anatomical studies to landscape painting to the biomorphism of surrealism, the biological realm historically pro- vided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, bio art has become a term referring to intersecting domains of the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in bio art is to summon awareness of the ways in which biomedical sciences alter social, ethical and cultural values in society.


Coming to the fore in the early 1990s, bio art is neither media specific nor locally bounded. It is an international movement with several sub-genres within this overarching term: 1) Artists who employ the iconography of the 20th- and 21st-century sciences, including molecular and cellular genetics, transgenically altered living matter, reproductive technologies and neurosciences. All traditional media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing are employed to convey novel ways of representing life forms. 2) Artists who utilize computer software, systems theory and simulations to investigate aspects of the biological sciences such as evolution, artificial life and robotics through digital sculpture and new media installations. 3) Artists employing biological matter itself as their medium, including processes such as tissue engineering, plant breeding, transgenics and ecological reclamation.


This interdisciplinary residency will take place in the new Bio Art Laboratory located in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea gallery district. Participants will have access to BFA Fine Arts Department facilities. Each participant will be assigned an individual workstation. In addition, the Bio Art Laboratory houses microscopes for photo and video, skeleton collections, specimen collections, slide collections, a herbarium and an aquarium as well as a library.


Demonstrations include microscopy, plant tissue engineering, molecular cuisine and the production of micro eco- systems. Field trips and visiting speakers will include artists, scientists and museum professionals. Participants may work in any media including the performing arts.


Faculty and guest lecturers have included Suzanne Anker, Mark Bridgen, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Joseph DeGiorgis, Kathy High, Ellen Jorgensen, Oliver Medvedik, James Walsh and Jennifer Willet.


NOTE: A portfolio is required for review and acceptance to this program. Residents who wish to borrow equipment from the Fine Arts Digital Lab are required to provide proof of insurance with rental endorsement, listing SVA as a co-insured. Participants will be held responsible for payment of any loss, theft or damage incurred to the equipment. SVA provides information on affordable insurance plans.


Safety is our priority. Therefore, we will be monitoring the current health situation and travel restrictions before confirming any programs. In addition, specific facility access will be subject to health and safety guidelines adopted by the College.


For further information or questions regarding SVA's Summer Residencies email residency@sva.edu.

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