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Arts and Performance

Bio-Art Mixer

April 23, 2021 at 7:30pm10:00pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

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The Bio-Art Mixer is where art and life sciences meet. During this mixer, faculty and students will share their research and/or look at it from the perspective of a different discipline. The Bio-Art Mixer was initiated by Heidi Hehnly (Biology, SU) and Boryana Rossa (Transmedia, SU) in collaboration with the Canary Lab. Presenters include: Zhen Ma (SU, Engineering) and SymbioticA laboratory founders Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts. Following the presentations, a discussion will be moderated by Ed Morris of the Canary Lab.

About the presenters:

Award-winning artists, researchers and curators, Catts and Zurr formed the internationally renowned Tissue Culture & Art Project in 1996. Catts is the Co-Founder and Director of SymbioticA: the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and was a Professor of Contestable Design at the Royal College for the Arts UK. Dr Ionat Zurr is a researcher and lecturer at the School of Design UWA and SymbioticA’s academic co-ordinator. Both are Visiting Professors at Biofilia – based for Biological Arts, Aalto University, Finland (2015-2020). They have been visiting scholars at The Centre of Arts and Art History at Stanford University (2007) and Research Fellows at The Tissue Engineering & Organ Fabrication Laboratory, Harvard Medical School (2000-2001).

Catts & Zurr’s interest is Life, more specifically the shifting relations and perceptions of life in the light of new knowledge and its applications. Often working in collaboration with other artists and scientists, they have developed a body of work that speaks volumes about the need for new cultural articulations of evolving concepts of life.

They are considered pioneers in the field of Biological Arts; they publish widely and exhibit internationally. Their work was exhibited and collected by museums such as Pompidou Centre in Paris,  MoMA NY, Mori art Museum, NGV, GoMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Ars Electronica, National Art Museum of China and more. Their research was covered by The NY Times, Washington Post, Wired, New Scientist, Time, Newsweek, Nature, Science, and  other TV, radio, print and online media.

Catts & Zurr ideas and projects reach beyond the confines of art; their work is often cited as inspiration to diverse areas such as new materials, textiles, design, architecture, ethics, fiction, and food.

Zhen Ma is an NSF CAREER award-winning Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical & Chemical Engineering and the BioInspired Syracuse Institute at the Syracuse University. He directs the System Tissue Engineering & Morphogenesis (STE-Ma) Laboratory, which focuses on human stem cells and organoid technology. Dr. Ma received his Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering from Clemson University, and then worked as a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley.

His presentation will focus around stem cell organoids as miniature versions of developing organs. These living organoids exhibit beautiful emergent pattern of various biological systems from brain to intestine. His lab generates heart organoids from human stem cells and use them as model assay for embryotoxicity studies.


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This event was published on March 23, 2021.

Event Details