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BioArt Final Thoughts

At the beginning of the semester I only thought of Bio-Art as a way to present living organisms in an art form. Either by munipulating and tweeking little things that will make someone think about what they think is going on. However this class has changed some of that idea. To me bioart is kind of like a science project. It presents current or new ideas and innovation for the public who may not be aware of it. Bio-art is not only limited to living things anymore. It may not even have any biology aspect until u think about the art-piece and it's message. For example, the world map made of chips and icing, made during the Bioart exhibition. At first it didnt look anything to do with bioart but if you think about it, you can connect food with people and how similar everbody around the world is. Just like the definition of art, i think that the definition of Bio-art is very fluid and is all up to the artist and viewers to interpret its meaning.

Bioart Final Assignment (Will Gobeli)

To me, bioart is a use of biology as an art form.  I believe that an element of living must be incorporated in some way into the final product.  Art can feature biology without actually being bioart.  An example would be nature photography.  This shows elements of biology, but isn't bioart.

I am happy with how the final exhibition turned out.  It came together after one.  The setup looked awesome.  I was very happy with my piece.  The effects of the disintegrating clay were better than I could have imagined.  I'm a little disappointed that the mold project didn't have success.  Overall, I think the whole class really pulled together to produce a great final product.  

BioArt Definition (Brianna Mattson)

1)To me, BioArt is the fusion of Biology and Art. To be more specific I would say that anything that uses art to show Biology or Biology to show Art can be considered "BioArt." To someone who is new to this concept I would tell them that seeing biology or representing it through art would be considered BioArt, and the other way around, if you were to see art in Biology, for example  bioluminescent bacteria, that too would fit the category of BioArt. My definition of BioArt surprisingly stayed about the same throughout the semester. At the beginning of the semester I believe I said it was seeing art through biology or seeing biology through art.


2) The BioArt exhibition was a great way for us to show what we really though BioArt was. I very much enjoyed brainstorming many different and some crazy ideas. Although some were not realistic it was still interesting to think about them and the fact that someone out there may in fact attempt it at some point. Myself and Feifei were partners in creating the "scent/color" association within the sensory group. We draped fabric (we used shirts from Michaels and cut them up/sewed them) over circular metal rings and left a small opening in the fabric. We made 8 such contraptions and hung them at "face height" in 2 rows, 4 in each row, lined up next to each other. We then proceeded to put particular scents that would usually be associated with their certain colors onto the fabric of one row of the hanging fabrics. We then mixed up the scents on the other row of the same colors. The intention of this piece was to get people thinking what we perceive to be "norms" and what our minds lead us to believe. From the piece I would hope that people get the idea that our bodies are complex pieces of art themselves and we should be aware that what we perceive to be "normal" isn't always the case. We must examine things not only with our obvious senses but with our minds as well. 

 I very much liked every other project I saw at the exhibition done by the other groups and those within my group. I loved the way the bioluminescent group presented their art, it was beautiful  and playful, great! I also loved the food group's edible world, one can think so many things from that one piece of art, that was one of my favorites. Overall, I think that the BioArt exhibition was as huge success in terms of the class portraying what BioArt is. However I would have liked to see more people at the show.


BioArt Definition - Sammy Dunne

At the beginning of the semester, I really had no idea what to expect from this course. I had never even heard the term BioArt before, and thats what inspired me to take the class. I remember assuming that the class was going to involve a lot of medical science imaging and art created from such things. This was not really the case at all, rather a multitude of different ways to create the fusion of biology and art. Throughout the semester, my definition has become clearer, but still a little abstract:

BioArt is the fusion of biology and art by using living media, such as plans, bacteria, cells, etc. to create intended artwork. Art, thus far, still remains very undefined. 

Assignment for November 4

During his visit with our class next week (November 4 in Regis W123) Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Director of the U of MN Center for Bioethics, will give a presentation on what ethicists do and then lead class discussion on the topic: Should Artists Be Allowed To Manipulate Life and What Manipulations Are Acceptable? To prepare for this discussion your assignment for this week is to consider this topic and come prepared to discuss it. Prepare for this discussion by reviewing all of the Bioart project on the class blog ( and think about them in the context of this discussion. Also decide where you place the limit, if you have one, on what should be allowed.

Shada Ahrar- Art Exhibition

Walking through the exhibition was an interesting experience. As I walked through the exhibition I noticed that the walls of the exhibition were all white. This made the artwork stand out. I really enjoyed walking through the exhibition and seeing the different pieces of artwork. I thought that is was neat how a series of artwork from the same artist was presented on one wall or on one section of the wall. The first pieces of artwork I saw were the "Mirror and Window" series. There were five of these pictures. It seemed that the artist was trying to catch what people do when they walk past a window; do they look through it, do they look at their reflection, or do they just walk right past it? I also thought that the artwork with the animal cut outs of different everyday objects was fascinating. I especially liked the piece where there were penguin cut outs on different boxes, and how we could see what were in the boxes from the penguin cut outs.

 The one piece that caught my eye was "Emily in the Sanctuary." This piece grabbed my attention because of the beautiful stain glassed window. However, when I got closer to the piece I no longer noticed the stain glassed window I noticed how mess the room in the piece was. There were two pieces to "Emily in the Sanctuary." One piece, the first piece that I looked at, contained a beautiful stain glassed window in a messed room. The second piece contained another beautiful stain glassed window in a clean and organized room. I thought this piece was interesting because the stain glass window caught my eye from far away, but when I got closer different aspects of the photo caught my eye.

Jess Kessler - The Boxes by Areca Roe

     I thought that boxes was a very striking piece. It was a picture of a basement with boxes and the boxes had penguins cut out of them. Areca's animal series made me think. The box one mostly because I spent most of my childhood moving back and fourth between cities, so boxes hold a dear place in my heart. Also because one of my favorite comedians makes fun of grammar, by comparing box to ox (oxen to boxen).
     But on a more environmental issue, the pieces make me think of the connection between nature and civilization, and how that bond is weakening. Not as many people sit out and watch the sun rise over the horizon as they used too. I thought it was cunning how she cut out silhouettes of the animals instead of using a real, physical animal itself.
      I thought the use of the gallery was kinda cold. It was a very large space that felt empty to me. I understand of giving each artist their own space to express themselves, but it sent chills down my spine. I have been to the Louvre and it was warm and welcoming, maybe because it was just ninety degrees outside. But they placed the art in order of themes and culture. Maybe its just me. 

The Human Canvas- Sammy Dunne

As it's title describes, the BioArt project that I have chosen is turning the body itself into a work of art. We see this particular project every day of our lives, exposing itself in the forms of piercings and tattoos. This 51 minute documentary goes deep into analyzing the body as a canvas through manipulation of the skin. Within 1 minute 30 seconds of this film, I had to turn it off. My weak stomach stood no chance against the descriptive images of needles puncturing skin and scallop knives splitting tongues. Although I could not finish the video (indeed, barely start it) it proposed an interesting angle to BioArt. I started to think of different traditions in cultures, including lip-disks, neck rings, bindis, etc.. as being forms of art. Changes to the body are some of the most personal ways for the self -the artist- to distinguish themselves and establish a uniqueness. Here is the link to the video, I caution you, it is not for the weak stomached. You also must have a Youtube account to verify that you are over 18 in order to watch it. 




Embrasing Animals (Randy Lee) 10/14

This may another very controversial piece of Bio Art I found on the internet. It showcases rats that were genetically engineered with human DNA. Since the artist feels that rats and humans were so closely similar in some of their natural properties such as metabolism, she decided to mix their DNA so people will think about how similar they are and see them more like "cousins" and not just as "pets" or lab rats. In my opinion crossbreeding is an issue that requires moral thinking to initiate, especially when human DNA is involved. Even though this might be a small type of cross-breeding, it may have some people arguing whether it has a place in art or not.

A Blast to the Past?? Jess Kessler

     Although some people might not view an aquarium as art, I do. Thinking about it, my mind went back to the past (kinda like in Back to the Future, Christopher Lloyd style) and discovered one of my childhood favorites, Sea Monkeys! "Sea Monkeys" are actually a species of brine shrimp. The eggs that they hatch from have crystals in them, which allow the tiny shrimp to stay alive while dry for up to two years. The scientists who studied these shrimp created new chemicals and food in order to keep them alive in a common household. Pretty cool if you ask me.

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