Is enhancing human bodies by gene editing an actual possibility? How can we think and act when facing new organs of biotech? Artists, scientists, and philosophers will address these questions and more at Science-Frictions in DesignLab at the University of Twente on Wednesday 22nd of November. Science-Frictions creates an entrance for the public to highly contemporary discussions on what is happening in biotechnologies. A workshop and a symposium provide a platform to discuss questions that are normally debated behind closed doors of academics. The joint production by AKI and DesignLab University of Twente is curated by Agnieszka Anna Wołodźko and Frank Kresin.
The speakers Dave Blank, Špela Petrič, Miha Turšič, Isabel Burr Raty, Robert Zwijnenberg Christine Mummery and Lucas Evers will reflect these questions from an artistic, philosophical, and scientific view.
Questions in biotechnologies
The wildly accelerating development and application of new biotechnologies, such as CRISPR-CAS gene editing, organs-on-chips, and the routine manipulation of stem cells, new acute questions arise. What is life and living bodies, where is the boundary between nature and culture, human and nonhuman, are being blurred to such a degree that we cannot rely on any given ideas or existing understandings. Living bodies and matter have been manipulated and redefined to such a degree that what is human, and how to act with respect to the attached values, has become deeply challenged. If science does not reveal truth but rather invents one, how can we know which are the new rules, the new ethics, and how we should live with them?
What if new biotechnologies do not really invent but accelerate already existing beliefs? What if what we call new is only that what we already know, but fear to encounter when magnified? Does science disrupt what we know or articulate what we desire?
To live with those questions might be the real implication of these biotechnological practices. Biotechnological frictions rather than fictions became the new reality of encountering tensions that we need to learn about and live with. It seems that in the face of friction between the real and imagined present we need to change our thinking and ways of living – we need creative speculative approaches, artistic experimentations, and imaginative narrations. However, are we ready to transform the very notion of human and life? How can artistic practice make more tangible the fictions that science already makes come true?
13.00 - 16.00 Science-Frictions workshop in INFORM
16.30 - 19.30 Science Frictions Symposium 16:30 in IDEATE
- Welcome by Dave Blank and Frank Kresin
- Biotechnology and the Necessity of Art (talk by Rob Zwijnenberg)
- Conveying Human-on-Chip Concepts Through Art (talk by Christine Mummery)
- Artist Talk by Špela Petrič & Miha Turšič & Isabel Burr Raty
- Discussion panel with invited speakers (moderated by Lucas Evers)
- Conclusion by Agnieszka Anna Wołodźko