Coming up: New Lecture on Understanding Biomedia

Günter Seyfried and Kristin Wiessenberger, Azimuth (2016), Yeastogramme

During the next winter semester 2017/18 artist Günter Seyfried will give a course on “Understanding Biomedia” (S, 2 WST.) in English. The course will introduces students to new epistemologies which emerge through the transformation of biology into technology and the rise of biomediality. Whereas former media theory approaches have concentrated mainly on technological media and human–machine interactions, recent innovations make it necessary to include also living matter in the curriculum of media theory, because in the expanding sphere of biomediality, biology becomes technology: DNA codes and computer codes are increasingly merging, opening up new possible constellations for designing nature. The ramifications of these changes are explored in the course in a cross-disciplinary approach, taking into account artistic responses as well as the respective discourses and practices in the sciences, in order to develop a critical understanding of biomediality. The course aims to open up a process of engaged and cooperative learning and to accomplish ways of knowing to contextualise and understand new approaches in art, science, and society. The course will also include a number of hands-on experiences in basic methods of biotechnology and genome editing.

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).