Artist Talk – Georg Tremmel/BCL (Tokyo) on CRISPR and genome editing in the human and in the machine

Georg Tremmel / BCL: „Black List Printer BLP-2000A“, Prototype DNA Synthesizer, Aomori Triennale 2018.

On December 18, Tokyo-based Austrian artist Georg Tremmel (BCL; Laboratory of DNA Information Analysis / University of Tokyo; metaPhorest biological/biomedia art platform, Waseda University) will give at talk on „Dolly, Lulu and Nana: Or – Control and CRISPR in the human and in the machine” and will offer insights into the body of his current work on art & biotechnology and on his recent experiences and projects with CRISPR.

On the eve of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, Chinese researcher He Jiankui unveiled in a press interview the birth of the first genome-edited babies, which have a modified gene that makes them immune to HIV. This transgression of ethical standards and scientific agreements marks not only the transition of Biology from an analytic to a synthetic science, but also the change of the human body from a read-only to a read/write medium. Artists and Designers working on the societal possibilities and speculative futures of biotechnology have been over-taken by these scientific facts and need to re-adjust their perspective. Georg Tremmel will talk about present strategies and tactics of artistic responses to CRISPR-edited futures and suggest possibilities for artistic responses to edit our shared bio-future.

Georg Tremmel studied informatics, biology, and visual media design under Peter Weibel and Karel Dudesek at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and holds an MA from the Royal College of Art in London. He is currently a project researcher at the Laboratory of DNA Information Analysis at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science, focusing on the information visualisation of cancer genomic data. He is also a visiting researcher at Hideo Iwasaki’s metaPhorest biological/biomedia art platform at Waseda University. Georg Tremmel is the founder of BioClub, a community bio space in Shibuya, Tokyo, and the programme director of the forthcoming (February 2018) MeCa (Media Culture in Asia) BioCamp workshop.

Georg Tremmel started collaborating with the Japanese artist Shiho Fukuhara in 2001. In 2005 they founded BCL as an artistic research framework to explore the relations, congruences, and différances of biological and cultural codecs through artistic interventions and social research. The projects of BCL oscillate between proto-speculative design and conceptual BioArt; the artistic themes range from the mixed metaphors of biological and computer codes to the legal and ethical frameworks governing life, the uneasy relationship of biohacking/biodesign/biowarfare, and the connections between radiation, mutation, and genomics (

The Guest Lecture Series of Professor Ingeborg Reichle’s course Molecular Aesthetics: Living Systems in Art and Biodesign focuses on the rise of biomedia’s impact on the transformation of media theory and gives insight into cutting-edge technologies like CRISPR. The lecture is an informative and stimulating opportunity to hear from a distinguished artist about what’s going on in the emerging fields of bioart and DIY bio and will help students to build their network of contacts. Our guest lecture is open to all.

Public Lecture
Time: Tuesday, December 18, 10:15pm-12:45am
Venue: Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7, 1030 Vienna, Lecture Hall 21, 4th Floor.
Please check the website
regularly for further lecture announcements and updates.

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