Oron Catt’s talk “When Life Becomes an Instrument of Art” on Friday, October 17 at 2pm in MC1307.
Artist Oron Catts is world renowned for his experiments at the intersection of art and biology, utilizing life itself as a medium for exploring ontological questions. Producing provocative works in collaboration with scientists including a tissue engineered steak and a ‘victimless’ leather jacket, his pioneering work in Tissue Culture and Art helped define what biological art would become.
As a co-founder of the artistic laboratory SymbioticA, Catt’s has helped enable more than 60 projects by international artists, writers, theorists, and scientists, pushing the boundaries of art-scientific practice. In this talk at SAIC, Catts will discuss how humans’ relationship with the idea of life is going through some radical shifts; from the sub-molecular to the planetary. This dramatic redefinition in cultural understanding of what life is calls for the urgent need to scrutinize and articulate the crisis of sustainability and the treatment of the (nonhuman) other. Catts will present his own work using tissue culture as an artistic medium, as well as some of the strategies and projects that artists at SymbioticA have employed to deal with life as both a raw material and an ever-contestable subject of manipulation.