Coming up next: Hands-on Open Lab Class

During the winter term in 2019/20 artist Günter Seyfried will again offer a hands-on open Lab Class that comes along with the course “Understanding Biomedia” (SE, 3 WST., 4 ECTS). The aim of the seminar is that students should deepen their knowledge of “biomediality” interactively, in its constitutive artistic, technical, cultural, epistemological, and political dimensions, thus developing an understanding of the processes increasingly generated by different forms of interaction of art and science in general and at the interface of art and the life sciences in particular. The participants will explore the impact of concepts, methods, discourses, underlying philosophies and experimental designs on bioart and biodesign practices. The seminar puts into focus recent developments in synthetic biology, DIYbio, and related topics, assessing technological transformations and their influence on different fields of human interaction. The students acquire an artist’s perspective on socio-cultural shifts and their interrelation with bioscientific epistemes.

The theoretical corpus is complemented by an open Lab Class where participants learn methods and techniques ranging from genome editing to innovative biomaterials in hands-on experiments. The open Lab Class is open to art students and non-scientists where they can engage hands-on with biology and immerse themselves in current biotechnological research. Biotechnology is, without doubt, one of our most important resources for dealing with global challenges, now and in the future, such as food security, water management, pandemics, ecological collapse, climate change, or the need for new sources of energy. Our open Lab Class is designed to provide students from all disciplines with sound practical knowledge about how to bring creative approaches together using experimental methods in art and the bio sciences. The aim is to give art students the opportunity to learn and work on biological concepts, bioart and biodesign, basics in genomics, synthetic biology, neuroscience as well as to offer insights into the cultural and social implications of emerging cutting-edge technologies in biotechnology, like genome editing (CRISPR-Cas9). Bioart is a major element to engage with biotechnology in class, because art enables a tangible encounter with a great number of issues concerning biotechnology, including paradoxes, ambiguities, and uncertainties: only art can offer a non-normative approach to explore the implications and challenges of biotechnology. The open Lab Classes and workshops are taking place at Angewandte, the Vienna Open Lab ( and from time in Linz at the Ars Electronica Centre. Class size is limited to about ten students. For registration contact Günter Seyfried: gh.seyfried[a]

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).