Interdisciplinary creations are very common in the field of technology and art. There are lots of commonalities between science, design, research, engineering and art research. From the perspective of art, whatever field it is in, art has big room for development. Today an increasing number of artists are willing to create using technological means. The questions of how is art displayed in society, how does it interact with society, and how does it demonstrate itself in technological progress, are of the most concern by Open Wetlab, partner of the STARTS award, and Lucas Evers, Director of Waag Society.
Take the work The Utopian That Dismembers Delicacy created by an Austrian artist for example. The artist tries to culture a steak directly in a culture dish using animal tissue. It involves many technological factors and gives continuous challenges to technological innovation from the perspective of art.
“We hope to build bridges between art and design, education and research so as to collaborate with related artists and those with technological background in the field of science and technology, to create new space for art education, and to encourage artists to explore technology and art.”
Over Ars’ 40 years of development, electronic and automatic technologies have promoted the rapid development of science and technology related industries, resulting in great impact on the whole society. From the participation of only 20 artists at the beginning to today’s 1,000 artists every year, the change was unimaginable.
In recent years, technology has provided us with many new opportunities for interactions. It has played an important role in the development of technology and art. As a result, we have discovered only more new possibilities and different new technologies. But Martin Honzik, exhibition curator and Director of Ars Electronica, has also mentioned that it’s time for us to think about how to reflect on technological development in art forms.
While science and technology is influencing our life, bringing conveniences to us, and displaying itself with its advantages, we have never thought about its disadvantages. Only by critically integrating it in practice, can we better use technology.
“I think design mentality requires more thoughts at the moral level, while art mentality requires artists to change their position and perspective, so they can consider questions from multiple perspectives in a better way. Everyone is concerned about science and technology and we can feel that we are not that far from the future, or the future is coming towards us.”
Teaching biological art in Central Academy of Fine Arts, Jo Wei has set up workshops of microbial art and gene editing in the Academy and other institutions. Those workshops have gradually developed into part of the Academy’s long-term courses. Biological art, including science, biological art history and biological art analysis, seems so distant from us. But what about the relationships between biological art and society, ethics and politics?
Instead of avoiding them, we should face up to those questions since there will always be new questions. Seeking answers to them is not just the business of scientists and artists, but also requires the engagement of the public.
“Generally speaking, biological art is displayed under the influence of various cultures, and that is diverse cultures. The discussion on biological art and society, ethics and politics is among one of my focuses recently. Essentially, it will probably start from the discussion on the concept of life.”