The following books are intended to provide you with a better understanding of art and synthetic biology, bio design and a-life art. There are more papers available on the Resources page.


Author: Stephen Wilson

ISBN: 9780500238684

Publish Date: 2010

Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd

Description: In the 21st century, some of the most dynamic works of art are being produced not in the studio but in the laboratory, where artists probe cultural, philosophical and social questions connected with cutting-edge scientific and technological research. Featuring around 250 artists from around the world, it presents projects from body art to bioengineering, from music and computer-controlled video performances to large-scale visual and sound installations, all of which challenge our assumptions about our relations with science, technology and the world around us.

Art and the Biological Sublime in the 21st Century

Editor: Regine Rapp, Christian de Lutz

ISBN: 978-1320652773

Publish Date: 2015

Publisher: Blurb

Description: This book provides a sustainable supplement to the [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies series which took place at Art Laboratory Berlin between 2013 and 2015. The whole program consisted of four group shows, several seminars and talks on contemporary art and the life sciences. Four exhibitions - the biosphere, organisms, the bacterial sublime, and proteo - featured renowned international artists working across the borders between the arts and different fields of biology. Next to a theoretical reflection about the exhibited artists the publication also includes artist statements and documents a number of outstanding events from the series - workshops and seminars with artists, biologists, and scholars, discussing synthetic biology, speculative design, DIY Bio, and practical exercises in citizen science.

Art in the Age of Technoscience : Genetic Engineering, Robotics, and Artificial Life in Contemporary Art

Author: Ingeborg Reichle, Robert Zwijnenberg

ISBN: 978-3211781609

Publish Date: Sept 2009

Publisher: Springer Wien New York

Description: Art historian Ingebord Reichle examines fascinating responses of contemporary artists when faced with recent scientific and technological advances. In the last two decades a growing number of artists has left the traditional artistic playground inventing new art forms like "Transgenic Art" and "Bio-Art" which have emerged from the laboratory. This first comprehensive survey presents a well-selected number of significant artworks and with over 280 colour illustrations provides a broad overview of this new and relevant development in art.

Art in the Biotech Era

Editor: Melentie Pandilovski

ISBN: 978-0949836526

Publish Date: January 2008

Publisher: Experimental Art Foundation

Description: In February 2004 the EAF (Experimental Art Foundation) presented Art of the Biotech Era – an exhibition, symposium & workshop. Since 2004 the EAF has expanded the Art of the Biotech Era project through various undertakings such as Eduardo Kac’s Biotech Art workshop in 2005 involving leading national and international artists and theorists presenting works exploring biotechnology and genomics and discussing the influence of this techno-scientific change of society, the ethical implications of genetic engineering and the concept of aesthetics in biotech arts. As a part of the project, the EAF has commissioned texts from over 20 national and international writers, published here together with images from artists working in the field.

Artificial Life : The Quest For A New Creation

Author: Steven Levy

ISBN: 978-0679407744

Publish Date: May 1992 (First edition)

Publisher: Vintage

Description: Living creatures grow, fight with each other, feed, reproduce and die. So do the 'organisms' that pioneers of artificial life create on computer screen. A simple programme can generate an unexpected mollusc-shell pattern. A flick of a switch can start up a flock of 'boids' (simulated flocking birds) which swerve around obstacles just like real birds. Populations of artificial ants, animals, biomorphs and computer viruses are increasing all the time. And once set in motion, they are on their own, spontaneous and incredidbly life-like. This extrordinary new world of artificial life has been developed by the alliance of geniuses and iconoclasts. Steven Levy explores their astonishing discoveries, our new understanding of intelligence and evolution, and the 'codes' which may govern real animals' behaviour.

Beyond New Media Art

Author: Domenico Quaranta

ISBN: 9781291376975

Publish Date: May 2013

Publisher: Link Editions

Description: “Beyond New Media Art” is the revised, updated version of a book first published in Italian with the title “Media, New Media, Postmedia” (Postmedia Books, Milan 2010). Through the circulation of excerpts, reviews and interviews, the book produced some debate outside of Italy, which persuaded the author to release, three years later, this English translation. “Beyond New Media Art” is an attempt to analyze the current positioning of so-called New Media Art in the wider field of contemporary arts, and to explore the historical, sociological and conceptual reasons for its marginal position and under-recognition in recent art history. On the other hand, this book is also an attempt to suggest new critical and curatorial strategies to turn this marginalization into a thing of the past, and to stress the topicality of art addressing the media and the issues of the information age.

Bio Art: Altered Realities

Author: William Myers

ISBN: 9780500239322

Publish Date: October 2015

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Description: In an era of fast-paced technological progress and with the impact of humans on the environment increasing, the concept of “nature” itself seems called into question. Bio Art explores the work of “bio artists,” those who work with living organisms and life processes to address the possibilities and dangers posed by biotechnological advancement. A contextual introduction traces the roots of bio artistic practice, followed by four thematic chapters: Altering Nature, Experimental Identity and Mediums, Visualizing Scale and Scope, and Redefining Life. The chapters cover the key areas in which biotechnology has had an impact on today’s world, including ecology, biomedicine, designer genomes, and changing approaches to evolutionary theory, and include profiles of the work of sixty artists, collectives, and organizations from around the world. Interviews with eight leading bio artists and technologists provide deeper insight into the ideas and methods of this new breed of creative practitioners.

BioArt and the Vitality of Media

Author: Robert Mitchell

ISBN: 978-0295990088

Publish Date: May 2010

Publisher: University of Washington Press

Description: In BioArt and the Vitality of Media, Robert Mitchell analyses different issues related to BioArt, an artistic expression that encompasses artworks using both living materials (DNA, microorganisms, cells, tissues) and traditional media (such as painting) as a way of engaging with the "problematics" of biotechnology. Mitchell's contribution is foremost theoretical and provides methodological tools for research on BioArt.

BioDesign : Nature + Science + Creativity

Author: William Myers

ISBN: 0500516278

Publish Date: 1 septembre 2012

Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd

Description: BioDesign presents recent design and art projects that integrate with living systems. These works introduce visionary strategies for improving ecological performance, the aesthetic possibilities enabled by new biotechnology and provocative experiments that illuminate the opportunities and dangers in manipulating life for human ends.​​

Biohackers, The Politics of Open Science

Author: Alessandro Delfanti

ISBN: 9780745332819

Publish Date: 10 May 2013

Publisher: Pluto Press

Description: Biohackers explores fundamental changes occuring in the circulation and ownership of scientific information. Alessandro Delfanti argues that the combination of the ethos of 20th century science, the hacker movement and the free software movement is producing an open science culture which redefines the relationship between researchers, scientific institutions and commercial companies.

Biomediale : Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture

Editor: Bulatov Dmitry

ISBN: 5-7406-0853-7

Publish Date: 2004

Publisher: The National Publishing House Yantarny Skaz

Description: 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 society.

Code - The Language of Our Time

Editor: Gerfried Stocker, Christine Schöpf

Publish Date: 2003

Publisher: Hatje Cantz

Description: "CODE - the Language of our Time" is the theme of Ars Electronica 2003, an encounter with the role and influence of digital code within and upon art and society. Three thematic domains "Code=Law, Code=Art, Code=Life" provide a framework for this artistic, political and scientific confrontation with core issues. How strong is the regulative and normative power of the structures and rules that computer programs and their standards implement and enforce? What possibilities exist to get around them? How do software and digital codes define the essence and identity of media art as "art created out of code" - that is, as a generative artform that has been derived and developed from computational processes? To what extent can this be captured and represented by means of criteria immanent to art? What paradigms relevant to our future can be derived from artistic and scientific speculations about the emerging epoch of bio-information and genetic engineering? What answer can be voiced in opposition to the rhetoric of programmable life? Via interdisciplinary encounter and confrontation - the strategy Ars Electronica has been utilizing productively since 1979 - a series of symposia as well as numerous exhibitions, performances and interventions will be presented not in an effort to establish purportedly conclusive answers but rather to bring out the enduring nature of the issues raised thereby. After all, art ultimately exists to pose questions.

Computational Modeling of Genetic and Biochemical Networks

Editor: James M. Bower, Hamid Bolouri

ISBN: 9780262524230

Publish Date: January 2004

Publisher: MIT Press

Description: The advent of ever more sophisticated molecular manipulation techniques has made it clear that cellular systems are far more complex and dynamic than previously thought. At the same time, experimental techniques are providing an almost overwhelming amount of new data. It is increasingly apparent that linking molecular and cellular structure to function will require the use of new computational tools. This book provides specific examples, across a wide range of molecular and cellular systems, of how modeling techniques can be used to explore functionally relevant molecular and cellular relationships. The modeling techniques covered are applicable to cell, developmental, structural, and mathematical biology; genetics; and computational neuroscience. The book, intended as a primer for both theoretical and experimental biologists, is organized in two parts: models of gene activity and models of interactions among gene products. Modeling examples are provided at several scales for each subject. Each chapter includes an overview of the biological system in question and extensive references to important work in the area.

Digital Performance

Author: Steve Dixon

ISBN: 9780262042352

Publish Date: February 2007

Publisher: MIT Press

Description: The past decade has seen an extraordinarily intense period of experimentation with computer technology within the performing arts. Digital media has been increasingly incorporated into live theater and dance, and new forms of interactive performance have emerged in participatory installations, on CD-ROM, and on the Web. In Digital Performance, Steve Dixon traces the evolution of these practices, presents detailed accounts of key practitioners and performances, and analyzes the theoretical, artistic, and technological contexts of this form of new media art.Dixon finds precursors to today's digital performances in past forms of theatrical technology that range from the deus ex machina of classical Greek drama to Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk (concept of the total artwork), and draws parallels between contemporary work and the theories and practices of Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism, Expressionism, Futurism, and multimedia pioneers of the twentieth century. For a theoretical perspective on digital performance, Dixon draws on the work of Philip Auslander, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, and others.To document and analyze contemporary digital performance practice, Dixon considers changes in the representation of the body, space, and time. He considers virtual bodies, avatars, and digital doubles, as well as performances by artists including Stelarc, Robert Lepage, Merce Cunningham, Laurie Anderson, Blast Theory, and Eduardo Kac. He investigates new media’s novel approaches to creating theatrical spectacle, including virtual reality and robot performance work, telematic performances in which remote locations are linked in real time, Webcams, and online drama communities, and considers the "extratemporal" illusion created by some technological theater works. Finally, he defines categories of interactivity, from navigational to participatory and collaborative. Dixon challenges dominant theoretical approaches to digital performance--including what he calls postmodernism’s denial of the new--and offers a series of boldly original arguments in their place.

Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age (Part 1: Practice)

Editor: Dmitry Bulatov

ISBN: 978-5-94620-054-7

Publish Date: 2009

Publisher: National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad

Description: In 2009 the 'Evolution Haute Couture' project won the National Innovation Prize (Moscow, Russia), awarded annually for achievements in contemporary visual arts. The first volume of this anthology is a printed catalogue with descriptions, technical info and photographs of art projects, as well as a unique collection of 45 documentary films on 2 DVD-ROMs about artworks recently created using the latest twenty-first century technologies: artificial life, robotics, bio and genetic engineering. The medium in these artworks is living or lifelike matter, and the properties of living organisms and technologically reproduced artefacts are combined to produce the method. The anthology gives a comprehensive overview of the current stage of contemporary techno-biological art. It provides a panorama of artistic strategies for granting and withdrawing the gift of authenticity. The analysis of these strategies opens up new possibilities for creative production and cultural commentary.

Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age (Part 2: Theory)

Editor: Dmitry Bulatov

ISBN: 978-5-94620-073-8

Publish Date: 2013

Publisher: National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Kaliningrad

Description: How can the radicalization and redundancy of science and technology progress be defined? What is the evolutionary potential of 21st Century technology trends such as robotics, IT, biomedicine, and nanotechnology? Each of these trends actualizes traditionally formed boundaries of the beginning and end of human existence, the demarcation of norm and pathology, and the distinction of the non (or semi) organic model or entity. The aim of this book is to show how artists are creating new forms and new identities not as the protagonists of a historically-determined technological narrative, but as its creators.

Experimental Life, Vitalism in Romantic Science and Literature

Author: Robert Mitchell

ISBN: 978-1421410883

Publish Date: 12 December 2013

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Description: If the objective of the Romantic movement was nothing less than to redefine the meaning of life itself, what role did experiments play in this movement? While earlier scholarship has established both the importance of science generally and vitalism specifically, with regard to Romanticism no study has investigated what it meant for artists to experiment and how those experiments related to their interest in the concept of life. Experimental Life draws on approaches and ideas from contemporary science studies, proposing the concept of experimental vitalism to show both how Romantic authors appropriated the concept of experimentation from the sciences and the impact of their appropriation for post-Romantic concepts of literature and art. Robert Mitchell navigates complex conceptual arenas such as network theory, gift exchange, paranoia, and biomedia and introduces new concepts, such as cryptogamia, chylopoietic discourse, trance-plantation, and the poetics of suspension. As a result, Experimental Life is a wide-ranging summation and extension of the current state of literary studies, the history of science, cultural critique, and theory.

Field_Notes - From Landscape to Laboratory - Maisemasta Laboratorioon

Editor: Laura Beloff, Erich Berger, Terike Haapoja

ISBN: 978-952-93-2313-5

Publish Date: Sept 2013

Publisher: Printon Printinghouse Ltd Estonia

Description: Every second year the Finnish Society of Bioart invites a significant group of artists and scientists to the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Lapland/Finland to work for one week on topics related to art, biology and the environment. “Field_Notes – From Landscape to Laboratory” is the first in a series of publications originating from this field laboratory. It emphasizes the process of interaction between fieldwork, locality and the laboratory. Oron Catts, Antero Kare, Laura Beloff, Tarja Knuuttila amongst others explore the field and laboratory as sites for art&science practices.

Flesh Factor

Editor: Christine Schöpf, Gerfried Stocker

Publish Date: 1997

Publisher: Springer

Description: Are human beings machines? Neuroscience, biology and experimental psychology are coming up with findings suited to answering that question in the affermative. Can the soul be relegated once and for all to the realm of fiction? Does the application of biological systems to computer architectures which imitate the function of the human brain necessitate a reformulation of previously valid dichotomies such as Nature/Technology and Mind/Machine? What position does the individual assume - one like that of art - in a totally networked world? At this very moment, the adventures of freely selectable identities and constructed personalities of the Internet communities are being overshadowed by a biological quantum leap: as the first cloned mammal, Dolly the Sheep, marks the beginning of a developmental process that places body sampling and biogenetic avatars into our foreseeable future. The closer the future edges toward our very person, and the more directy it confronts us with the reality of what were previously only futuristic conceptions, the more pressing become questions concerning our own conception of self. During the Festival Ars Electronica 97 artists, theoreticians and scientists dedicate themselves to the task of focusing the global cultural perspective from the collective down to the individual level. "FleshFactor" thus stands for an investigation of what may well be a new human factor - the information machine which, in light of recent events and scientific findings, we are.

Genetic Art

Editor: Karl Gerbel, Peter Weibel

Publish Date: 1993

Publisher: PVS-Verleger

Description: Ars Electronica 93 dealt with the science of artificial life, with the origins of life and with the question of how life was able to come into being, how it developed and what forms it might possibly take in the future. Chances and risks of this new branch of science were discussed during symposia on the topics of artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and immortality. Works from various different fields (bio-genetic art, virtual creatures, genetic manipulation, robots...) were brought together under the collective term of "Genetic Art". A large part of these works simulated processes of life by means of modern technology and on the other hand reflected possible sequels of synthetic simulation and synthetic creation of life in a critical way.

Green Light: Toward an Art of Evolution

Author: Gessert George

ISBN: 0-262-01414-9

Publish Date: April, 2010

Publisher: A Leonardo Book, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA

Description: Humans have bred plants and animals with an eye to aesthetics for centuries: flowers are selected for colorful blossoms or luxuriant foliage; racehorses are bred for the elegance of their frames, and so on... Thus, this book examines the role aesthetic perception has played in bio art and other interventions in evolution.

Grow Your Own Catalogue

Editor: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Paul Freemont, Anthony Dunne, Cathal Garvey, Michael John Gorman

ISBN: 978-0-9926110-1-9

Publish Date: October 2013

Publisher: Science Gallery, Dublin

Description: Demonstrating the creation of living artworks using genetically modified E.coli cultures, sharing an insight into how synthetic biology may change the cultural and biological ecosystems we are part of and transforming non-recyclable rubbish into plastic, GROW YOUR OWN implicated its visitors in the redesign of life and let them explore a world where machines prints cells at the touch of a button and landscapes produce rocket fuel. With engineers, scientists, designers, artists and biohackers working together to design ‘living machines’, to replace faulty organs and to agree on the standards and the legal and commercial frameworks that underpin a new technology, GROW YOUR OWN invited its visitors to consider some of the potentially ground-breaking applications and uncertain implications of synthetic life. Curated by artist and designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Anthony Dunne (Royal College of Art), Paul Freemont (Imperial College), Cathal Garvey (bio-hacker) and Michael John Gorman (Science Gallery), the exhibition tackled the provocative questions that designing life raises, gave its spectators the opportunity to help shape future discussions around synthetic biology and walked the tight line between our things and our selves: the designed products that we consume and our own bodies and identities, as it becomes harder and harder to distinguish each day.

History of Computer Art

Author: Thomas Dreher

Publish Date: June 2014

Description: The development of the use of computers and software in art from the Fifties to the present is explained. As general aspects of the history of computer art an interface model and three dominant modes to use computational processes (generative, modular, hypertextual) are presented. The "History of Computer Art" features examples of early developments in media like cybernetic sculptures, computer graphics and animation (including music videos and demos), video and computer games, reactive installations, virtual reality, evolutionary art and net art. The functions of relevant art works are explained more detailed than is usual in such histories.

Published In: Ludwig Maximilians University Munich

Human Nature

Editor: Gerfried Stocker, Christine Schöpf, Hannes Leopoldseder

Publish Date: 2009

Publisher: Hatje Cantz

Description: Thirty years after its founding, this globally established festival’s mission remains the same—we are steadfastly dedicated to the pursuit of the curiosity that is so deeply rooted in humankind’s nature, and we continue to intrepidly peer far into the future. Our immediate objective: to once again foment a fruitful, fascinating dialog at the interface of art, technology and society.

Hybrid - Living in Paradox

Editor: Christine Schöpf, Gerfried Stocker

Publish Date: 2005

Publisher: Hatje Cantz

Description: Hybrid—living in paradox, the theme of Ars Electronica 2005, examines the implosive tendencies that digital technologies impose on the world, bringing cultures on top of each other and flouting boundaries: national,material, technological and psychological. Hybrid creations and creatures, identities and cultures emerge from recombinations of our three basic codes: numeric, genetic and atomic. Digital media art itself is a hybrid born from the connection of art and technology, accumulating diverse modes of expression and demanding a unique crossover of expertise and knowledge. Hybrid—no other word is better able to signify this most characteristic conditions of our time.


Author: Thierry Bardini

ISBN: 978-0-8166-6751-2

Publish Date: 2011

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Description: Are we made of junk? Thierry Bardini believes we are. Examining an array of cybernetic structures from genetic codes to communication networks, he explores the idea that most of culture and nature, including humans, is composed primarily of useless, but always potentially recyclable, material otherwise known as ‘junk.’ Bardini unravels the presence of junk at the interface between science fictions and fictions of science, showing that molecular biology and popular culture since the early 1960s belong to the same culture—cyberculture—which is essentially a culture of junk. He draws on a wide variety of sources, including the writings of Philip K. Dick and William S. Burroughs, interviews with scientists as well as ‘crackpots,’ and work in genetics, cybernetics, and physics to support his contention that junk DNA represents a blind spot in our understanding of life. At the same time, Junkware examines the cultural history that led to the encoding and decoding of life itself and the contemporary turning of these codes into a commodity. But he also contends that, beyond good and evil, the essential ‘junkiness’ of this new subject is both the symptom and the potential cure.

Life in code and software

Editor: David M. Berry

ISBN: 978-1-60785-283-4

Publish Date: July 2012

Description: This book explores the relationship between living, code and software. Technologies of code and software increasingly make up an important part of our urban environment. Indeed, their reach stretches to even quite remote areas of the world. Life in Code and Software introduces and explores the way in which code and software are becoming the conditions of possibility for human living, crucially forming a computational ecology, made up of disparate software ecologies, that we inhabit. As such we need to take account of this new computational environment and think about how today we live in a highly mediated, code-based world. That is, we live in a world where computational concepts and ideas are foundational, or ontological. Here, code and software become the paradigmatic forms of knowing and doing - to the extent that other candidates for this role, such as air, the economy, evolution, the environment, satellites, and so forth, are understood and explained through computational concepts and categories.

Published In: Living Books

Life Science

Editor: Gerfried Stocker, Christine Schöpf

Publish Date: 1999

Publisher: Springer Vienna

Description: Although some highly problematic issues raised by the Digital Revolution have not even been formulated yet, inquiry into progress and the future is already being dominated by a new development. Modern genetic engineering and biotechnology - subsumed by the term life science - have taken center stage. Molecular biologists and genetic engineers equipped with the tools of information technology made available by the Computer Age have opened up doors whose thresholds have, in many instances, marked the limits and taboos of our culture. The possibility of forming human life beyond the morphological level of the body and designing an individual's predispositions and talents makes it incumbent upon us to assume new perspectives on mankind's social and metaphysical constitution.

Malamp: The Occurrence of Deformities in Amphibians, Brandon Ballengée

Editor: Nicola Triscott, Miranda Poppe

ISBN: 978-0-9534546-7-9

Publish Date: January 2010

Publisher: The Arts Catalysts & Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Description: This monograph, jointly published by The Arts Catalyst and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, brings together Ballengée’s UK research with findings from his global amphibian studies. It includes texts on his practice from arts, science and ecological perspectives, including a keynote essay by the renowned art critic and curator Lucy R Lippard. Additional contributors include Clare Lilley, Head Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Nicola Triscott, Director of The Arts Catalyst; Dr Stanley K Sessions, Professor of Biology, Hartwick College and Dr Kerry Kriger, Director of Save the Frogs. The publication is richly illustrated with extraordinary photographs, Ballengée’s drawings and other artworks.

Media Poetry: An international Anthology (second edition)

Editor: Eduardo Kac

ISBN: 1841500305

Publish Date: October 2007

Publisher: Intellect Books

Description: Here is the eagerly awaited new edition of Media Poetry: An international Anthology, reproducing every one of the fundamental texts from the first, 1996 edition, and brought completely up to date and expanded by poet and visual artist Eduardo Kac. It is a comprehensive volume, offering a global view of experimental poetry that requires contemporary media to be created, presented, and read. With a new introduction by Kac and featuring 19 chapters, more than twice as many as the 1996 edition, it also includes a Media Poetry Chronology and a Selected Webliography, giving the reader access to the work of 44 poets and 20 sites that collect, promote, and discuss media poetry. Authors documented originate from or work in Europe, Asia, South and North America, Australia, and the Middle East. This second edition of an anthology long considered a classic is certain to become the definitive book on media poetry for our time.


Editor: Gerfried Stocker, Christine Schöpf

Publish Date: 1996

Publisher: Springer

Description: The symposium, performances, workshops, installations, networking projects and events spotlighted that moment of "digital evolution" when the existence of machines becomes natural and working with digital technologies takes the step from cultural technique to new "nature". Memesis stands as a synonym for the current speed and density of cultural and technological development vectors up to a not yet describable state of our mass-media surroundings.

Metacreation : Art and Artificial Life

Author: Mitchell Whitelaw

ISBN: 978-0262731768

Publish Date: 2004

Publisher: MIT Press

Description: Artificial life, or a-life, is an interdisciplinary science focused on artificial systems that mimic the properties of living systems. In the 1990s, new media artists began appropriating and adapting the techniques of a-life science to create a-life art; Mitchell Whitelaw's Metacreation is the first detailed critical account of this new field of creative practice.

Naked Genes: Reinventing the Human in the Molecular Age

Author: Helga Nowotny, Giuseppe Testa

ISBN: 9780262014939

Publish Date: February 2011

Publisher: MIT Press

Description: The molecular life sciences are making visible what was once invisible. Yet the more we learn about our own biology, the less we are able to fit this knowledge into an integrated whole. Life is divided into new sub-units and reassembled into new forms: from genes to clones, from embryonic stages to the building-blocks of synthetic biology. Extracted from their scientific and social contexts, these new entities become not only visible but indeed “naked”: ready to assume an essential status of their own and take on multiple values and meanings as they pass from labs to courts, from patent offices to parliaments and back. In Naked Genes, leading science scholar Helga Nowotny and molecular biologist Giuseppe Testa examine the interaction between these dramatic advances in the life sciences and equally dramatic political reconfigurations of our societies. Considering topics ranging from assisted reproduction and personalized medicine to genetic sports doping, they reveal both surprising continuities and radical discontinuities between the latest advances in the life sciences and long-standing human traditions.


Editor: Hannes Leopoldseder, Gerfried Stocker, Christine Schöpf

Publish Date: 2010

Publisher: Hatje Cantz

Description: There’s no time left for warnings. We’re in it up to our necks right now—in the climate crisis, Surveillance Society, the bankruptcy of the financial sector … We’ve passed the points of no return. The dramatic consequences are looming on the horizon today. And there’s no excuse for our lethargy since we already possess ideas, tools and techniques to initiate a change of course. We just have to take action! Roll up our sleeves and get to work on a job that can no longer be avoided. We have to mend our ways and get things moving in the right direction. In search of ways out of this mess we’ve gotten into, the 2010 Festival for Art, Technology and Society turns to the pioneers of our age. Not the adventurers who’ve sailed forth because they wanted to find out what awaits them on the other side, but rather the visionaries who are bringing expertise as well as a great deal of creativity and idealism to bear in their work on an alternative future. repair is the title of a festival designed to pursue the paths opened up by these trailblazers and to show why it’s imperative for us to follow their lead …

Signs of Life : Bioart and Beyond

Editor: Eduardo Kac

ISBN: 0-262-11293-0

Publish Date: June 2007

Publisher: A Leonardo Book, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA

Description: Bio art manipulates the process of life and in its most radical form, it invents or transforms living organisms. “Why can’t art inform nature?” wondered Vilém Flusser in his essay (“On Science”, 1988); this is perhaps the central question of this volume, and one that Kac wisely present through a number of voices. The book contains essays from over thirty contributors covering a broad range of themes, from bioethics, biotechnology and the limits of subjectivity to aesthetics in scientific practice and the role of nature in art.

Super Cells: Building with Biology

Author: Nina Tandon, Mitchell Joachim

Publish Date: February 2014

Publisher: TED Conferences

Description: In this eye-popping tour of the new biological frontier, Nina Tandon and Mitchell Joachim describe the tantalizing array of inventions already being created with nature’s elemental building block: the cell. Imagine personalized bone replacements, living condominium complexes, bacteria-made haute couture, and top sirloin grown without a farm. Tandon and Joachim, daring inventors in their own right, contend that we’re entering a new technological era, one in which we can create smarter technologies by making cells our partners in design. And they confront the thorny questions that come with playing with the power of life.

Synthetic Aesthetics

Editor: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Jane Calvert, Pablo Schyfter, Alistair Elfick, Drew Endy

ISBN: 9780262019996

Publish Date: March 2014

Publisher: MIT Press

Description: Synthetic biology manipulates the stuff of life. For synthetic biologists, living matter is programmable material. In search of carbon-neutral fuels, sustainable manufacturing techniques, and innovative drugs, these researchers aim to redesign existing organisms and even construct completely novel biological entities. Some synthetic biologists see themselves as designers, inventing new products and applications. But if biology is viewed as a malleable, engineerable, designable medium, what is the role of design and how will its values apply? In this book, synthetic biologists, artists, designers, and social scientists investigate synthetic biology and design. After chapters that introduce the science and set the terms of the discussion, the book follows six boundary-crossing collaborations between artists and designers and synthetic biologists from around the world, helping us understand what it might mean to 'design nature.' These collaborations have resulted in biological computers that calculate form; speculative packaging that builds its own contents; algae that feeds on circuit boards; and a sampling of human cheeses. They raise intriguing questions about the scientific process, the delegation of creativity, our relationship to designed matter, and, the importance of critical engagement. Should these projects be considered art, design, synthetic biology, or something else altogether? Synthetic biology is driven by its potential; some of these projects are fictions, beyond the current capabilities of the technology. Yet even as fictions, they help illuminate, question, and even shape the future of the field.

Tactical Biopolitics : Art, Activism and Technoscience

Editor: Beatriz da Costa, Kavita Philip

ISBN: 0-262-04249-5

Publish Date: June 2008

Publisher: A Leonardo Book, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA

Description: Transcending disciplinary boundaries, contributions to this volume focus on the political significance of recent advances in the biological sciences and explore the possibility of public participation in scientific discourse, drawing on research and practice in art, biology, critical theory, anthropology, and cultural studies.


Editor: Christine Schöpf, Gerfried Stocker

Publish Date: 2001

Publisher: Springer

Description: TAKEOVER - Who's doing the art of tomorrow: Which constellations, which factors are defining the art of tomorrow, where will it happen, who is doing it and with whom? The altered framework conditions that effect working as an artist and the impact of art in a world characterized by information and communications technologies have given rise to new forms of art. Following the digital revolution, there has been a creativity burst that, as a qualitative phenomenon, goes far beyond an increase in the number of those involved in design tasks and challenges in both professional and amateur settings. Ars Electronica 2001 sets out on the trajectory of this burst of creativity to track the scenes, sites and protagonists of the art of tomorrow.

Talk to Me. Exploring human-plant communication

Author: Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Martin Ratniks

ISBN: 978-9934843402

Publish Date: May 2014

Publisher: RIXC, LiepU MPLab

Description: Everyone wants someone to talk to. Perhaps ancient Latvians, like Prince Charles, who in a 1986 television interview stated I just come and talk to the plants, may be right after all. Recent scientific studies have proved that talking to plants may encourage their growth. RIXC artists were keen on testing this concept by developing Talk to Me, an online interface which allows people to talk to their plants while away from home. The Talk to Me book introduces the process and results of our artistic research project on human-plant communication. The networked installations with live growing bean-plants were set up and presented in Helsinki, Riga, Tallinn, Ventspils, Basel, Lueneburg and Stavanger. Before the beans ripened they received over 13 000 online messages in different languages.

The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music

Editor: Juan J. Romero, Penousal Machado

ISBN: 978-3540728764

Publish Date: 2008

Publisher: Springer

Description: This comprehensive book gives an up-to-date survey of the relevant bioinspired computing research fields – such as evolutionary computation, artificial life, swarm intelligence and ant colony algorithms – and examines applications in art, music and design. The editors and contributors are researchers and artists with deep experience of the related science, tools and applications, and the book includes overviews of historical developments and future perspectives.

The Big Picture

Editor: Gerfried Stocker, Hannes Leopoldseder, Christine Schöpf

Publish Date: 2012

Publisher: Hatje Cantz Verlag

Description: If every crisis is also an opportunity, what opportunities are we missing thanks to our unwillingness to deal with changes? What we need is a more open point of view that allows us to see beyond the limitations of our habits, areas of expertise, and outdated ideologies and to picture the plurality and contradictions of our modern, networked globe. The 2012 Ars Electronica collects examples from art and science that show, in inspiring ways, how the open-minded perspective allows us to see more of the larger whole and also brings new knowledge to light. How does this sort of big picture have to be constituted in our day and age, and what strategies are required to bring it about?

The Global Genome : Biotechnology, Politics, and Culture

Author: Eugene Thacker

ISBN: 0262201550

Publish Date: May 2005

Publisher: MIT Press

Description: In the age of global biotechnology, DNA can exist as biological material in a test tube, as a sequence in a computer database, and as economically valuable information in a patent [...]. Biological science and the biotech industry are increasingly organized at a global level, in large part because of the use of the Internet in exchanging biological data. International genome sequencing efforts, genomic databases, the development of World Intellectual Property policies, and the "borderless" business of biotech are all evidence of the global intersections of biology and informatics -- of genetic codes and computer codes [...]. The "global genome," says Thacker, makes it impossible to consider biotechnology without the context of globalism.

The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age

Author: Suzanne Anker, Dorothy Nelkin

ISBN: 978-0879696979

Publish Date: 2004

Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Description: The gene has become a cultural icon and an increasingly rich source of imagery and ideas for visual artists. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary painting and sculpture, The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Ageexplores the moral and bioethical questions these works address. What does it mean to be human? What is “identity” in a society of genetically manipulated individuals? Questions like these are growing louder as genetic technology advances and the public examines the ethical consequences more widely. Suzanne Anker and Dorothy Nelkin, an artist and a social scientist, have written a thought–provoking and visually fascinating book for scientists, artists, students, and general readers intrigued by the anxiety and exhilaration of the genetic age.

The Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design

Author: Vilém Flusser

ISBN: 1-86189-055-9

Publish Date: 2000

Publisher: Reaktion Books

Description: This book presents for the first time in English an array of essays on design by the seminal media critic and philosopher Vilém Flusser. It puts forward the view that our future depends on design. In a series of insightful essays on such ordinary ‘things’ as wheels, carpets, pots, umbrellas and tents, Flusser emphasizes the interrelationships between art and science, theology and technology, and archaeology and architecture. Just as formal creativity has produced both weapons of destruction and great works of art, Flusser believed that the shape of things (and the designs behind them) represents both a threat and an opportunity for designers of the future.

To Life! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet

Author: Linda Weintraub

ISBN: 978-0520273627

Publish Date: 2012

Publisher: University of California Press

Description: To Life! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet documents the burgeoning eco art movement from A to Z, presenting a panorama of artistic responses to environmental concerns, from Ant Farm’s anti-consumer antics in the 1970s to Marina Zurkow’s 2007 animation that anticipates the havoc wreaked upon the planet by global warming. This text is the first international survey of twentieth and twenty-first-century artists who are transforming the global challenges facing humanity and the Earth’s diverse living systems. The text guides students of art, design, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary studies to integrate environmental awareness, responsibility, and activism into their professional and personal lives.

Trust Me, I'm an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art and Science Collaboration

Author: Anna Dumitriu, Bobbie Farsides

ISBN: 978-1320097383

Publish Date: 2014

Publisher: Blurb

Description: "Trust Me, I’m an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art and Science Collaboration" is a new book by Anna Dumitriu and Bobbie Farsides which investigates novel ethical issues arising through art and science collaboration and considers the roles and responsibilities of the artists, scientists and institutions involved. The book features projects by Adam Zaretsky, Neal White, Anna Dumitriu and Art Orienté objet, and essays by experts: Professor Rob Zwijnenberg, Nicola Triscott, David Koepsell and Ellen Ter Gast.

Utopia Forever, Visions of Architecture and Urbanism

Editor: R. Klanten, L. Feireiss

ISBN: 978-3-89955-335-2

Publish Date: March 2011

Publisher: Gestalten Verlag

Description: Whether created by established architects and artists or new talents, the examples in Utopia Forever are important catalysts for fundamental change and are radically shaping our notions of life in the future. The current projects and concepts from architecture, city planning, urbanism, and art collected here point beyond the restrictions of the factual to unleash the potential of creative visions. This inspiring work explores how current challenges for architecture, mobility, and energy as well as the logistics of food consumption and waste removal can be met. Text features by both architects and theorists give added insight.

Virtual Worlds (Artificial Ecosystems and Digital Art Exploration)

Editor: Stefan Bornhofen, Jean-Claude Heudin, Alain Lioret, Jean-Claude Torrel

ISBN: 979-10-91245-06-7

Publish Date: 2012

Publisher: Science eBook

Description: Virtual worlds have attracted considerable attention during the last decade. They have gained notoriety in games such as World of Warcraft and in general purpose worlds such as Second Life. Besides these well-known applications, many research projects study the potentials of creating digital worlds with their own physical and biological laws, populated by interacting entities such as artificial creatures and human avatars. This interdisciplinary volume aims to provoque a new understanding of the important role that computer-generated virtual worlds will play in the near future. The selected papers show the necessary cooperation between science, technology and art, for studying artificial ecosystems and exploring new forms of digital art.

Working With Wetware: Biology and an Expressive Context

Author: Ruth West

Editor: Margot Lovejoy, Christiane Paul, Victoria Vesna

ISBN: 978-1841503080

Publish Date: 2010

Description: This article deals with the tensions between in silico - in vivo/in vitro in the arts and talks about how when the scientific community is going in silico, the arts are going to the opposite direction - to in vivo/in vitro (wetware).

Published In: Context Providers: Conditions Of Meaning In Media Arts, Intellect Books, 2010