Syn /\ Sym: Biology in Art & Design
The MIT Museum and MIT List Visual Arts Center concurrently explore Bio Design and Bio Art respectively, using different lenses to examine the contemporary revolution in synthetic biology.
Gene Cultures, on view at the MIT Museum, parallels the science and technology of these transformative innovations relating how artists are utilizing biotechnologies in creative and sometimes critical ways. It brings together researchers and artists to reflect on what is at stake with the ability to alter life and nature. At MIT List Visual Arts Center, Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere foregrounds the work of artists who aim to decenter the human in their radical approaches to working with living material, underscoring our collaborative and mutually dependent relationships with more-than-human species. Focusing on these distinct approaches to understanding the place of humans in the planetary biosphere, this conversation will open up provocative considerations of ethics, epistemology, and how we envision our relationship with other life forms. Exhibition curators Caroline A. Jones (Symbionts) and William Myers (Gene Cultures) will be joined by Jens Hauser, a media studies scholar, curator, and writer, in a panel discussion to explore the contemporary Bio Art through these overlapping but divergent discourses.