Arts Work in the Age of Biotechnology

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October 17, 2019 – March 15, 2020


ABOUT

Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology: Shaping Our Genetic Futures will be an art-science exhibit and symposium of artists, scientists, and humanities scholars, led by the NCSU Libraries and the Genetic Engineering and Society Center, held at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, the physical and digital display spaces of the NCSU Libraries and the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA). These activities will elicit discussion about genetics in society through the lens of contemporary art and offer viewers new ways to think about their role in the genetic revolution.

By combining science and art and design, the artists, and artworks chosen for display, will contextualize genetic engineering by bringing it out of the lab and into public places; challenging viewer’s understandings about the human condition, the material of our bodies, and the consequences of biotechnology. The exhibit(s), integrated curriculum, and cross-campus dialogues will raise awareness and discussion about biotechnologies and their consequences in our society, while drawing in art practices for reaching new communities.

Art’s Work/Genetic Futures began as a collaboration between Fred Gould, an evolutionary biologist and co-founder of NC State’s Genetic Engineering and Society Center (GES), and Molly Renda, a designer with NCSU Libraries’ Exhibit Program. Gould wanted to create an art exhibit that addressed the same ethical and practical questions being discussed among GES’s interdisciplinary scholars—including ecologists, social scientists, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists. The Libraries was a natural fit with its record of engaging exhibits, its understanding of the research life cycle, and its access to subject specialists and new technologies. Gould and Renda proposed the concept of a multi-site exhibit to Roger Manley, director of NC State’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design in the months leading up to the opening of their new building. We soon found our curator, Science, Technology, and Society scholar Hannah Star Rogers, whose specialization in the history of art and science was a fortuitous match. Our core planning team also includes GES senior research scholar Todd Kuiken, and Elizabeth Pitts, assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, who formerly served as a postdoctoral researcher at GES.

2019 EXHIBIT PREVIEW

Our project team consists of interdisciplinary scholars and artists from inside and outside NC State. Invited artists include: Christina Agapakis, Jon Davis, Richard Pell, Kirsten Stolle, Paul Vanouse, and Adam Zaretsky. Juried artists: Emilia Tikka, Emeka Ikebude, Jennifer Willet, Charlotte Jarvis, Maria McKinney, Kerasynth, Ciara Redmond, Aaron Ellison, David Buckley Borden, and Joel Ong.

About the curator: Hannah Star Rogers is a curator, scholar, and poet. She received her MFA in poetry from Columbia University and Ph.D. at Cornell University on the intersection of art and science. She curated Making Science Visible: The Photography of Berenice Abbott, which received an exhibits prize from the British Society for the History of Science and resulted in an invited lecture at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. She is past Director of Research and Collaboration for Emerge: Artists and Scientists Redesign the Future 2016 and served as Guest Bioart Curator for 2017.

Spaces & Technology: The multi-site exhibition will be held simultaneously in NC State University’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design and in the physical and digital display spaces of NCSU Libraries D. H. Hill Exhibit Gallery and the James B. Hunt Jr. Library. Outdoor and/or greenhouse spaces are also available.

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2017 FIELD TRIAL

In April 2017, Art’s Work held a pop-up exhibit that drew over 1,000 visitors to CAM Raleigh.

 

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PARTNERS

Art’s Work/Genetic Futures is a collaboration between NCSU LIBRARIES and the GENETIC ENGINEERING AND SOCIETY CENTER, with the GREGG MUSEUM OF ART & DESIGN and the NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART.
We are actively seeking funding for this project. For more information contact molly_renda@ncsu.edu

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