[rohrpost] Workshop: Art, Science, and Philosophy, University of Applied Arts Vienna, December 12, 2016 (2-6:15pm)

Ingeborg Reichle ingeborg.reichle at kunstgeschichte.de
Mo Dez 5 11:26:23 CET 2016

Workshop: Art, Science, and Philosophy

December 12, 2016

University of Applied Arts Vienna

Vordere Zollamtsstraße 3, 1030 Vienna, Room SR 24

14:00–14:15 Ingeborg Reichle, Welcome and Introduction

14:15–14.45 María Antonia González Valerio, Landscape, Environment and
Molecular Biology: Perspectives about Teleology

14:45–15:15 Virgil Widrich, Art & Science & the Small Bang Theory

15:15–15:45 Bernd Kräftner, "Don’t leave the kitchen!" A Recipe for
Art-Science Incubations

15:45-16:15 Herwig Turk, Labscapes and Landlabs: Re-Reading Environments

16:15–16:45 Coffee Break

16:45–17:15 Tanja Gesell, Present Absent: Biomolecular & Artistic
Structure Research

17:15–17:45 Christoph Bock, What if … we all know each other's genomes?

17:45–18:15 Frank Rösl, Personalized Medicine: A critical view from
the perspective of a basic researcher

18:15–18:45 Coffee Break

19:00   Angewandte Innovation Laboratory Talk: María Antonia González
Valerio, Art, Science and Technology


The workshop „Art, Science, and Philosophy” will bring together
philosophers, artists and scientists to rethink the concept of art and
the concept of nature and „human nature“ in the age of technoscience,
where the biological sciences become the new technological frontier.
The workshop and the Angewandte Innovation Laboratory Talk of the
Mexican philosopher María Antonia González Valerio is part of the
research collaboration “Question about the Limits: Art, Science, and
Philosophy” between the Department of Media Theory, University of
Applied Arts Vienna, and the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature,
National Autonomous University of México, Mexico City.

The collaboration project aims to initiate and develop a debate about
the relationship of ontology and aesthetics in the age of
technoscience from the perspectives of art, science, and philosophy:
During the twentieth century science and technology acquired a
dominant role in redefining the concept of life. Technology-driven
science and research rendered the basic physical and functional unit
of heredity, the gene, accessible to human manipulation, thus turning
biology into technology. The genetic code and computer code became
interchangeable, opening up new possible constellations for designing
the biological sphere. Simultaneously we saw big shifts in the
developments of the sciences in the least two decades, when
fundamental principles and ways of doing science and research in the
field of biotechnology began to erode, like the reproducibility of
experimental settings. Today research processes are getting more and
more outsourced, away from the laboratories of scientific institution
to new start-ups, turning the research process into a black box for
the scientist involved. On the other hand we see with the growing DIY
movement cutting-edge technologies getting into the hands on
non-professionals, and new genome editing technologies like CRISPR
cheap and easy to use revolutionizing the question about the ontology
of life.

This ground-breaking development went unnoticed in the art world: it
was not until the 1990s that artists began to make increased use
advanced technology to explore and create new art forms, such as
digital art or bioart. Science-based art emerged, enhancing
progressive encounters with science and technology and shifting the
terrain of art towards cutting-edge technologies and the
technosciences. With the rise of bioart, a variety of new materials,
such as DNA, bacteria, cells, tissue cultures, and transgenic
organisms, entered the art world as a means of artistic expression.
Obviously, this also made it necessary for artists to get acquainted
with new epistemologies and a new logic of producing reality within
the techno-scientific regime. By bringing their artistic endeavour
with cutting-edge technology to the public’s attention, science-based
art has provoked greater reflection on the limits of manipulating
and/or creating life with biotechnology, highlighting the new genome
editing technologies like CRISPR and new approaches in the field of
synthetic biology. Therefore, it is high time to shed some light on
the relationship of ontology and aesthetics in the age of
technoscience by focusing on the production of art that is related to
technoscience; not only because of the technologies it uses — and
recently also biotechnologies — but most importantly because from this
relationship a model emerges which is fruitful for understanding and
interpreting reality. Therefore, the question “What is art?” needs to
be posed in the light of an ontology that deals with technoscience and
the production of reality within biotechnologies. The philosopher
María Antonia González Valerio will frame the workshop with her
introduction and investigation about the revival and reappraisal of
natural philosophy in the light of biotechnology. Her approach, which
she calls “the ontology of immanence” engages above all with
predominant traditions that seek to answer the question as to the
essence of nature and its relationality either with reference to
language or to history. In the twentieth century these lines of
thought have resulted in nature being subsumed under culture, and this
is why it has repeatedly been deemed necessary to try to close off and
dislocate parts of nature. In recent decades the remnants of nature
left over from the grasp of culture have tended to be made over to
philosophical anthropology, which does not offer any solution to the
philosophical issues involved. A revival and renewal of natural
philosophy must engage with the recent findings of the technosciences
and biotechnology and relate them theoretically to the novel aesthetic
ontologies that now seek to interpret the world of sensate organisms
(plants and animals including humans).


Prof. Ingeborg Reichle, Department of Media Theory, University of
Applied Arts Vienna.

Prof. María Antonia González Valerio, Faculty of Philosophy and
Literature, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City.

Prof. Virgil Widrich, Department of Art & Science, University of
Applied Arts Vienna.

Dr. Bernd Kräftner, Department of Art & Science, University of Applied
Arts Vienna.

Herwig Turk, Department of Social Design, University of Applied Arts

Dr. Tanja Gesell, Department of Structural and Computational Biology,
Max F. Perutz Laboratories & University of Vienna.

Prof. Christoph Bock, CeMM Principal Investigator, Visiting Professor
at the Medical University of Vienna, Coordinator of the Biomedical
Sequencing Facility.

Prof. Frank Rösl, Head of the Division of Viral Transformation
Mechanisms, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.


Ingeborg Reichle is a media and cultural theorist writing on
contemporary art, new technologies, and new media with a focus on
biotechnology and artificial life. She is chair of the Department of
Media Theory, University of Applied Arts, Vienna. In 2004 she received
her Ph.D. from the Humboldt University Berlin with her dissertation
Art in the Age of Technoscience: Genetic Engineering, Robotics, and
Artificial Life in Contemporary Art, published 2005 in German and 2009
in English by Springer publishers, Vienna and New York. She is
co-editor of seven books, the most recent being IMAGE MATCH. Visueller
Transfer, "Imagescapes” und Intervisualität in globalen Bildkulturen
(Fink, Munich 2012). She completed her habilitation thesis in 2013
titled Bilderwissen – Wissensbilder: Zur Gegenwart der Epistemologie
der Bilder at the Humboldt University Berlin, where she was FONTE
professor from 2014 on. In 2010 she curated the BioArt exhibition
jenseits des menschen – beyond humans at the Berlin Museum of Medical
History at the Charité in the context of the conference Leben 3.0 und
die Zukunft der Evolution at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of
Sciences and Humanities in Berlin. Since 2000 she has been a guest
lecturer and guest professor at various international institutions,
including the School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York; the Department of
Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston; the
Life-Science Lab, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg; Timbusu
College, National University of Singapore; and the National Autonomous
University of México (UNAM), México City.

María Antonia González Valerio is a philosopher working in the
fields of aesthetics and ontology with a focus on biotechnology and
the arts. Since 2007 she is a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy
and Literature, National Autonomous University of México (UNAM). She
is the author of three books: Prolegómenos a una filosofía natural.
Escritos de ontología estética (Herder, 2015), Un tratado de ficción.
Ontología de la mimesis (Herder, 2010), and El arte develado (Herder,
2005). She is co-editor of five books, the most recent: Pròs Bíon:
Reflexiones naturales desde el arte, la ciencia y la filosofía (UNAM,
2014). She is the coordinator of the art collective BIOS Ex machinA
(workshop for the fabrication of the human and the non-human) and the
head of the interdisciplinary research group Arte + Ciencia (Art +
Science) based at UNAM. María Antonia González Valerio founded Arte +
Ciencia in 2011 and it seeks to produce art and knowledge (art
research) at the intersection of the humanities, arts, and sciences.
Arte + Ciencia has organised several exhibitions including Sin
origen/Sin Semilla (the first transgenic and biotechnological
exhibition in México), MUCA Roma-MUAC, UNAM, México, 2012–2013;
Bioartefactos: Desgranar lentamente un maíz MACO, Oaxaca, México,
2014; and Bestiario del día final, Quinto Piso, México, 2015. It has
organized workshops that reflect on the collaboration between art and
science: “Artistic investigations into Robots and Plants” (2015),
“Antropología del cerdo” (2015), “Vida maquinaria: Limitaciones y
transgresiones en la relación arte-vida-sociedad” (2014), and “From
Bioethics to Bioart: The Question about the Limits” (2014).

Virgil Widrich is a director, screenwriter, filmmaker, and multimedia
artist. He works on a large number of films and multimedia projects,
sometimes as part of a creative team, and is especially known for his
short films and multimedia works. In 2004 Virgil Widrich was a member
of the Ars Electronica jury and he chaired of the Austrian Film
Directors’ Association until 2007. He is also a member of the Academy
of Austrian Film. From 2007 to 2010 Virgil Widrich taught the class of
digital arts as a professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Since 2010 he is the chair of the Department of Art & Science with a
post-graduate Master Programme in art and science. He is one of the
founders and managing directors of the multimedia company
Checkpointmedia GmbH and owner and managing director of Virgil Widrich
Film- und Multimediaproduktions G.m.b.H.

Bernd Kräftner is an artist and researcher. He studied medicine, has
worked as a filmmaker and a writer, and since 1998 he explores the
messy interfaces between science and society. He has carried out
various transdisciplinary research projects funded, for example, by
the Austrian Ministry of Science; the Wellcome Trust’s SciArt
Programme, London; the ZKM, Karlsruhe, and the Humboldt University,
Berlin. He was co-curator of the science exhibition The True/False
Inc, Vienna 2006. From 2008 to 2010, he was the principal investigator
of the research and art project “Pillow Research: Multiple Diagnoses
and Hidden Talents”, sponsored by the Translational Research Programme
of the Austrian Science Foundation, and additionally he is principal
investigator of the science and art project (2010–2012) “'In the Event
of?' Anticipatory and Participatory Politics of Emergency Provision",
sponsored by the Arts & Science Call 2009, Vienna Science and
Technology Fund (WWTF). Bernd Kräftner has conducted numerous
transdisciplinary research projects on and at the interfaces of
science, society, and art, he is the founder of the research group
Shared Inc. (Research Centre for Shared Incompetence), and is a senior
lecturer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in the
Departments of Art & Science and Digital Art.

Herwig Turk is a media artist, working in installations, photography,
film and digital media at the intersection of art and science, with a
particular focus on the biosciences. He creates his artworks in the
context of interdisciplinary discourses and in close collaboration
with scientists and researchers. From 2010 to 2013 he was Artist in
Residence at the IMM (Instituto da Medicina Molecular), Lisbon. From
2003 to 2009 he collaborated with Paulo Pereira, Director of the
Centre of Ophthalmology at IBILI (Institute of Biomedical Imaging and
Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra). Recent
exhibitions of Herwig Turk’s work include shows at the MAK Museum für
angewandte Kunst, Vienna, the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, the Neues
Museum Weserburg, Bremen, the TESLA Labor für Medienkunst, the Georg
Kargl Gallery, Vienna, and the Transmediale festival, Berlin. His work
is currently on show at the MMKK (Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten) in
his solo show Herwig Turk. Landschaft = Labor (September 29, 2016 –
January 8, 2017). Since 2014 Herwig Turk teaches as a senior artist at
the Institute of Social Design, University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Tanja Gesell is a postdoctoral scientist at the Department of
Structural and Computational Biology, University of Vienna and a free
artist. She holds master’s degrees in biology and fine arts from the
University and the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf, with a major in
experimental sculpture and minors in aesthetics, philosophy and art
history. In 2003 Rosemarie Trockel also chose her as a
“Meisterschüler”. In 2009, she obtained her Ph.D. in molecular
biology at the University of Vienna with her dissertation A
Phylogenetic Definition of Structure. Before her maternity leave,
Tanja Gesell also did research as a mobility fellow at Harvard
University and at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and
as a Marie Curie Fellow at the European Bioinformatics Institute in
Cambridge, UK. Tanja Gesell is a cofounder of and lecturer in the new
Connectivity Seminar at the University of Vienna. In this seminar
connections between various natural science disciplines, the
humanities, and the arts are established with regard to the aspect of
structure. Her research approach is using scientific and artistic
practice for examining the structural concepts that underlie molecular
research. Tanja Gesell’s current research includes the fields of
biomolecular structure, phylogeny, comparative genomics as well as
artistic research, information-visualization and fine art itself.

Christoph Bock is a principal investigator at the CeMM Research Center
for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His
research focuses on dissecting the role of epigenetics in cancer and
on developing high-throughput technologies for precision medicine. He
is also a guest professor at the Medical University of Vienna’s
Department of Laboratory Medicine, scientific coordinator of the
Biomedical Sequencing Facility at CeMM, and an adjunct group leader
for bioinformatics at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics.
Christoph Bock obtained his PhD summa cum laude from Saarland
University and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in 2008,
followed by three years of postdoctoral research at the Broad
Institute of MIT and Harvard University, where he contributed to the
NIH Roadmap Epigenomics project. At CeMM, he co-initiated and leads
Genom Austria, the Austrian contribution to the International Network
of Personal Genome Projects, and he is a principal investigator in
BLUEPRINT (International Human Epigenome Consortium). Christoph Bock
has received several research awards, including the Max Planck
Society’s Otto Hahn Medal (2009), a New Frontier Group grant by the
Austrian Academy of Sciences (2015–2020), and an ERC Starting Grant

Frank Rösl is a scientist and since 2002 head of the Division of Viral
Transformation Mechanisms, Research Programme "Infection, Inflammation
and Cancer", German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg. This field of
research received considerable publicity when Harald zur Hausen was
awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008, his mentor
and colleague with whom Frank Rösl worked together for more than 15
years. Frank Rösl has been a professor at the faculty of Theoretical
Medicine, University of Heidelberg since 2001. His research fields
are: innate immunity and viral escape mechanisms; metabolic aspects,
intracellular energy sensoring; papillomaviruses and non-melanoma skin
cancer, vaccine development. In 1986 he received his doctorate from
the Department of Molecular Biology of DNA Tumor Viruses, German
Cancer Research Center. His habilitation thesis in 1994 was in
virology at the faculty of Theoretical Medicine at the University of
Heidelberg. Because knowledge and innovation evolve not only within a
well-defined field, but rather through transgressing boundaries and
through developing open and creative communication, Frank Rösl
endeavours to bring art, science, and the humanities together to
enable epistemic transfers. From 2008 to 2011 he was a member of the
interdisciplinary research group “Bildkulturen” at the
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin, and
in 2008 was co-applicant of the research project “Transfer-Knowledge –
Knowledge-Transfer. On the History and Contemporary Relevance of
Transfers between the Life Sciences and Humanities (1930/1970/2010)”
in collaboration with the Center for Literary and Cultural Research
(ZfL), sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and
Research (BMBF) from 2009 to 2013.

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