DA4GA continues as Bio Art & Design Award

We are pleased to announce that the Designers & Artists for Genomics award continues in 2014 under a new name, the Bio Art & Design Award, with additional partners.

The aim of our successful initiative remains the same: to stimulate emerging artists and designers to delve into the world of bio-art, and produce new work in close collaboration with the most prestigious Life Sciences research institutes in the Netherlands. Since 2010, the award highlights and explores the exciting and novel possibilities between design, artistic practice and life sciences. The Netherlands Genomics Initiative ends its last four-year term and has found the Netherlands Research Council committed to continue its role. Mu in Eindhoven is the new coordinator and prime exhibition partner of the competition.

The Bio Art & Design Award is a product of collaboration between NWO (Dutch Research Council – Earth and Life Sciences, Humanities, The Hague), ZonMW (Medical Research Council, The Hague), MU Artspace (Eindhoven), Waag Society (Amsterdam) and Raamsteeg2 (Leiden). The name Designers and Artists for Genomics Award was used in the years 2010-2013.

Bio Art & Design Award

Living artworks in Leiden

Until 15 December 2013, the exhibition of the winners of the Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award is on display at Raamsteeg2 in Leiden.By the way, take a little rest if you feel tired. Just the day after the opening, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant already published a nice review by Casper van Veen: “This exposition in Leiden shows the works at the intersection of art and science. What can living cells in a display tell us about the world we live in?”

The exhibition shows the work of Charlotte Jarvis (‘Ergo Sum’), Haseeb Ahmed (‘Fish Bone Chapel’) and Laura Cinti & Howard Boland (‘Living Mirror’) made in collaboration with three scientific institutes, Netherlands Proteomics Centre, Netherlands Toxigenomics Centre and FOM-Institute AMOLF respectively.

DA4GA expo Leiden

Charlotte Jarvis says in the article: “Look, this is him”, while showing a video of a heart cell. “He has grown from stem cells out of my bottom. Can you see it beating?” Jarvis decided in 2012 to create a ‘self portrait’ from stem cells, cells that can grow into any kind of cell – you just have to program them well. Also read this blog about the project.

Da4GA expo 2013 Leiden

Artist-researcher Haseeb Ahmed chose a complete different approach within the same theme. His Fish Bone Chapel revives the memento mori-theme. Zebrafish are, because they are acting like an embryo the first five days of their existance, not official life forms. They are therefore often used in medical testing. Ahmed used toxics to mutate the skeletons of zebrafish. All substances he used are part of our daily life. Ahmed: “I believe that these substances can exist because of a human-centric world view. We use toxics without thinking what they can do to animals and our environment.”

Da4GA 2013 expo

In the last chamber, the artist duo Howard Boland and Laura Cinti present their Living Mirror. It just looks no more than a flickering light, but this is deceptive. The artists collected bacteria and placed them in a magnetic field. When shining a light through them, these micro organisms themselves are creating the flickering effect, that is almost organic. “For our live, we are depending on these life forms. That’s why this projection is a living Mirror of the human species just as well.”

(With thanks to De Volkskrant, translation by Waag Society)

New bio-art installations at next DA4GA exhibition

Last year, the following three projects were awarded with the Designers & Artists for Genomics Award: Living Mirror, Fish Bone Chapel and Ergo Sum. The four winning artists have worked in the past six months with scientists in the lab on unique installations with stem cells, light-emitting GMOs and zebrafish. The three installations can be seen at Raamsteeg2, a new platform in Leiden providing a meeting place for art and science, starting from 14 September 2013.

Programme 14 September 2013
At 17.00 hrs the opening of the exhibiton starts (with drinks). Belgian cultblogger Régine Debatty (of We Make Money Not Art) interviews the winning artists on the spot. Also on show: a mini photo expo with portraits of the DA4GA artists of earlier editions. Plus: you can buy the interesting book Bullet Proof Skin by Jalila Essaïdi with a discount! Join the opening festivities for free by sending a mail to opening@naturalis.nl. Seats are limited!

(Curious about the cooperation between artists and scientists? At 21.00 hrs there will be a live talkshow at the ‘De Nacht van Kunst & Kennis’ (Night of Arts & Knowledge), with guests from the arts, science and design world. Early Bird tickets for the complete programme, including this talkshow (in English!) and the afterparty at the Stadsgehoorzaal, are for sale here for 7,50 euro per person.)

Saturday 14 September 2013
starting at 17.00 hrs

Raamsteeg 2
2311 PL Leiden