SymbioticA: A New Model for Interaction Between Science and the Arts

Prof. Stuart Bunt
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SymbioticA is a unique research laboratory dedicated to the exploration of scientific knowledge in general and biological technologies in particular from an artistic and humanistic perspective. It is located in The Department of Anatomy & Human Biology at The University of Western Australia. SymbioticA is the first research laboratory of its kind, in that it is in a biological science department, and therefore activities there make many precedents. Our size and standing in the school provides artists with a safe haven from which to interact and experiment with the science around them. We emphasise a hands on approach, criticism from experience not observation.

Developments in science and technology, in particular in life sciences, are having a profound effect on society, its values, belief systems and treatment of individuals, groups and the environment. It is time that artists and other humanities professionals actively participate in research into possible and contestable futures arising from the scientific research and technological developments. SymbioticA offers such an opportunity in which interdisciplinary research and other ideas and knowledge generating activities would take place. It is an opportunity for researchers to pursue curiosity based explorations free of the demands and constraints associated with the current culture of scientific research. I will describe our activities and that of the many artists in residence who have worked and work in SymbioticA then lead a discussion of the various ethical, practical and cross cultural issues that arise from our work.

Keywords: Bio-Art, Ethics, Bioethics, Biotechnology, Sci-art, Science
Stream: Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Political Science, Politics, Cyberspace, Technology, Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof. Stuart Bunt

Scientific Director, SymbioticA, Art and Science Lab,
School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Prof. Stuart Bunt MA (Natural Philosophy) DPhil (Developmental Neuroscience)

Co-founder and scientific director of SymbioticA, the first art and biology lab situated in a science department. Consults and lectures on the nexus between Art/Science and Technology, the Philosophy and History of Science. Exhibited in Ars Electronica and collaborated or helped produce a number of biotech art pieces revolving around emergent technologies in the biosciences. Background in science (developmental neuroscience lab, D Phil in Natural Philosophy, Oxford), senator at the University of Western Australia, chief executive biomedical software spin off company, Paradigm Diagnostics, and founder of the Image Acquisition and Analysis Facility, UWA. President UWAASA, Vice president NTEU, UWA branch,

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