Coming up: Hands-on Open Lab Class (DIYbio)

“Glowing Plant” workshop – Agrobacterium mediated plant transformation – with Andreas Stürmer at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz 2018, photo: Günter Seyfried.

During the next summer term in 2019 artist Günter Seyfried will give a course on “Understanding Biomedia” (SE, 3 WST., 4 ECTS) in English that comes along with a lab class. The course will scrutinise the so-called biomedia in their constitutive artistic, technical, cultural, epistemological, and political dimensions. It will introduce and examine key approaches to the use of knowledge, methods, and processes abstracted from biology and the life sciences in art and design. Students will explore the interdisciplinary character of biomediality, examining the role of methods, discourses, and experimental designs and their mediation in the life sciences and the interrelation of bioscientific epistemes and form in bioart and biodesign practices. The course will address significant developments in synthetic biology, DIYbio, and related fields to gain understanding of technological changes accompanied by social shifts and their unfolding cultural and political impacts. The aim is to open up a shared learning process and to build up theoretical and practical proficiency and a repertoire of intuitive perspectives to understand new approaches in art, science, and technology and their influence on attitudes, behaviours, and identities, both individual and social, achieving insightful conclusions including regarding the students’ own artistic development, ideas, and tools.

The course will offer multiple workshops offering a glimpse of genome editing, CRISPR, and various techniques developed by the DIYbio community. The workshops of Günter Seyfried’s seminar Understanding Biomedia provide hands-on experience of methods and techniques used in genetic engineering, for example, CRISPR/Cas9, and as well as practices deriving from DIYbio. lab classes will be held at the Vienna Open Lab (www.openscience.or.at). Class size is limited! To register please contact Günter Seyfried: guenter.seyfried[a]uni-ak.ac.at. Date, time, and venues of the workshops will be announced after the registration process.

Günter Seyfried is an artist who lives and works in Vienna. Since 2017 he teaches the seminar “Understanding Biomedia” at the Department of Media Theory, University of Applied Arts Vienna. He studied medicine and psychology at the University of Vienna and digital art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna where he gained his diploma in 2008. In his projects he combines arts-based and scientific research, and in recent years he has completed a number of cross-disciplinary projects as a freelance artist in which art, biology and synthetic biology intersect. He shows his work at international exhibitions and it is also featured in many publications. In addition to his teaching positions at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Department of Art and Knowledge Transfer (2008–2016) and the Department of Media Theory (2017–), at the New Design University St. Pölten, course on Design, Trades, and Material Culture (2016–), Günter Seyfried gives lectures, seminars, and workshops at well-known and acclaimed institutions (HeK House of Electronic Arts Basel, Folkwang University of the Arts Essen, Waag Society Amsterdam, University of Naples Federico II) and at festivals (Pixelache Helsinki, Cynetart Dresden, Border Sessions Den Haag, Bio-Fiction Vienna). In connection with an entire series of projects Günter Seyfried worked for the Stella Art Foundation in Moscow (2004–2010) and currently for Biofaction in Vienna (2012–). He is a founder member of the Institute for Polycinease (2004) and pavillon_35, the Society for Science-based Art (2012). http://pavillon35.polycinease.com