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BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik' Public Programs

Japan

Pioneers in the field, artist-researcher Joe Davis and artist-curator of SymbioticA Ionat Zurr will join us for our four-part public programs on bioart! A screening of HEAVEN + EARTH + JOE DAVIS, special lectures and talks by the two experts, and also a public presentation of the BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik' Workshop will surely draw you into the fascinating world of biotechnology, art, and life.

"BioCamp: Gardens as Biotechnik" is an open-call biotechnology-art crossover camp bringing together participants from Japan and overseas. Through the theme of "gardens," the workshop will critically examine biotechnology, which is deeply related to human ecology and social lifestyles, and aim to utilize it intuitively and creatively. Through talks and activities with the 20 participants, the workshop will build international networks, connecting the DIY bio labs and related communities now springing up all over the globe.
In tandem with this workshop, we will hold four public programs, featuring pioneers in the field, Joe Davis and Ionat Zurr. Please do join us in an investigation on bioart and life!

Featuring Guests

Joe Davis

Joe Davis (Artist, Philosopher / The George Church Lab, Harvard Medical School) [USA]

Joe Davis is a ground-breaking and pioneering artist working with Art, Biology and Space since the 1980s. Davis has been a Lecturer and Fellow at MIT Center for Visual Studies, a Research Affiliate at the Alexander Rich Lab at MIT, and currently holds the unique position of 'Artist Scientist' at the George Church Lab at Harvard Medical School. In 1988 Davis created Microvenus, the world's first genetically-engineered artwork, by encoding the missing information from Arecibo message in synthetic DNA in E.coli. His others works include Mouse Ear- encoding an image of the universe in the ear of a mouse and RuBisCo Stars- sending the information of a gene into space. His Bacterial Radio Project won the Golden Nica in Hybrid Arts from the Prix Ars Electronica in 2012. Davis continues to work in the fields of molecular biology, bioinformatics, space art, and sculpture and continues to dream the good dreams about biotechnology.

Ionat Zurr

Ionat Zurr (Artist, researcher / SymbioticA / University of Western Australia)

Ionat Zurr developed the biological arts initiative, The Tissue Culture and Art Project since 1996 together with Oron Catts. She is considered a leader in the growing field of Biological Art, both as a practitioner and a theoretician. Her research was instrumental in the development of SymbioticA in 2000, an artistic research center housed within the School of Human Sciences, the University of Western Australia. Her main interests lie in our shifting perceptions of life and the evolving relationships we have with the different gradients of life through the use of biotechnology. Zurr runs the academic program in SymbioticA and is a faculty in the School of Design at the University of Western Australia. She is also a Visiting Professor at the School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Biofilia from 2015 to 2020. Born in London, UK and lives in Perth, Australia.

SymbioticA Official Website

Documentary Film Screening and Talk: HEAVEN + EARTH + JOE DAVIS

Documentary Film HEAVEN + EARTH + JOE DAVIS

HEAVEN-+-EARTH-+-JOE-DAVIS

2011 / 85 mins. / HD
Director & Producer: Peter Sasowsky
Co-Producer: Amy Grumbling

Synopsis (from the Vimeo On Demand Webpage)

An award winning documentary about the godfather of bioart who sends vaginal contractions into deep-space to communicate with aliens; encodes Greek poetry into transgenic organisms; and travels the world exploring the inextricable connections between art, science, and the physical world. Joe Davis enlists the collaboration of some of the great minds of MIT and Harvard to help us find our place in the universe. The renowned art critic James Elkins has said of him: "to my mind the most interesting living artist...". Enjoy a wild ride from laboratory to bar room and back again in this film that reminds us that anything is possible. Featuring the music of Do.Make.Say.Think.

From the Director

I first saw Joe Davis at a bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the late 1990s and he was twirling around on his peg-leg, giving a young woman the dance of her life. He fell hard on the ground, but got up, smiling. At that moment, I did not know—nor would have believed—what he does in his working life. I was simply drawn to a pureness of spirit that I sensed was present in him.

In the years that followed, I have traveled with him to Portugal, Germany, France, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Sweden, Canada, as well as all over the United States in order to understand his life and his work. He has created a particular type of artistic freedom for himself that is instructive and, at times, inspirational, but one that comes at a great cost. He has been called the "Father of Bio-art" for his pioneering work with transgenic organisms. He has been featured on Nightline, in Scientific American, and has collaborated with some of the greatest minds in contemporary science. But that is not why I made this film.

Time & Date: February 12 (Monday), 2017  7 to 9 p.m. (Doors open 6:30 p.m.)
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo
Guest: Joe Davis
Moderator: Georg Tremmel
Admission Free (MeCA ticket required), English-Japanese (Consecutive interpretation)

HEAVEN + EARTH + JOE DAVIS Trailer

Special Talk by Ionat Zurr (SymbioticA)
Care and Control - a living affair

Introducing the engagements at SymbioticA, a research laboratory located in the University of Western Australia, Ionat Zurr contemplates on life and technology today, and the past and present relation of living beings as cultural artefacts and / or natural specimens.

Time & Date: February 15 (Thursday), 2018  7 to 9 p.m. (Doors open: 6:30 p.m.)
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo
Guest: Ionat Zurr
Moderator: Georg Tremmel
Admission Free (MeCA ticket required), English-Japanese (Consecutive interpretation)

Special Lecture by Joe Davis
PRE-TERRESTRIAL GARDENING AND THE LEGEND OF THE MAGI

What is "Bio Art" for Joe Davis? Suggesting that media artists and bio-artists are, in fact, "Late-breaking versions of the ancient Magi," the artist invites us to the depths of his practice.

Time & Date: February 16 (Friday), 2018  7 to 9 p.m. (Doors open: 6:30 p.m.)
Venue: Red Bull Studio Tokyo
Guest: Joe Davis
Moderator: Georg Tremmel
Admission Free (MeCA ticket required), English-Japanese (Consecutive interpretation)

BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik': Public Presentation

An exhibition of the BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik' workshop. From the intense, one- week "camp" of site visits, lectures, and group work, how did each of the 20 participants conceptualize and realize their own "garden" as "biotechinik"? This exhibition will be held on February 17, 2018 at Laforet Museum Harajuku.

Time & Date: February 17 (Saturday), 2018  1 to 4 p.m. (Doors open: 12:30 p.m.)
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo
Guests: Joe Davis, Ionat Zurr, Günter Seyfried, Thomas Landrain
Moderators: BioCamp Program Directors
Admission Free (MeCA ticket required)

Event Details

Time
&
Date
  • Documentary Film Screening and Talk: HEAVEN + EARTH + JOE DAVIS
    February 12 (Monday), 2017  7 to 9 p.m.
  • Special Talk by Ionat Zurr (SymbioticA)
    February 15 (Thursday), 2018  7 to 9 p.m.
  • Special Lecture by Joe Davis
    February 16 (Friday), 2018  7 to 9 p.m.
  • BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik': Public Presentation
    February 17 (Saturday), 2018  1 to 4 p.m.
Venue

Red Bull Studios TOKYO Access

1-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002 google map

Admission Free (MeCA ticket required)
Language English-Japanese consecutive interpretation
Organizers The Japan Foundation Asia Center
TodaysArt JAPAN/AACTOKYO
Inquiries Ms. Moeko Kashima
The Japan Foundation Asia Center
TEL: +81-(0)3-5369-6140
FAX: +81-(0)3-5369-6141
Email: contact@meca.tokyo

BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik'

  • Date
    February 10 (Saturday) to February 17 (Saturday), 2018 (8 days)
  • Venue
    Red Bull Studios Tokyo
  • Organized by
    The Japan Foundation Asia Center
    TodaysArt JAPAN/AACTOKYO
  • Produced by
    BioClub
    The Japan Foundation Asia Center
    TodaysArt JAPAN/AACTOKYO
  • Special Support
    Digital Choc / Institut français du Japon - Tokyo
  • Supported by
    Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo
    Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Ministry of the Environment
    metaPhorest (Waseda University)
  • Grants from
    Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
    U.S. Embassy, Tokyo
  • Inquiries
    BioCamp Office (Email: camp@meca.tokyo)

BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik' Webpage