Art and Biology Collaborations
The talk will be about the manipulation of life. There will be a historical introduction to the subject, and a short explanation about the possibilities that modern biology and biotechnology offer today. Then I’ll show a little bit of the variety of approaches you have worldwide to biology as an art medium and them move to a more comprehensive description of some of my works.
Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist with a degree in Fine Arts by the University in Lisbon, and a MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture by the University of Oxford. She has been exploring the intersection between Art and Biology, working in research laboratories demonstrating that new biological technologies can be used as new art medium. In 1999 de Menezes created her first biological artwork (Nature?) by modifying the wing patterns of live butterflies. Since then, she has used diverse biological techniques including functional MRI of the brain to create portraits where the mind can be visualised (Functional Portraits, 2002); fluorescent DNA probesto create micro-sculptures in human cell nuclei (nucleArt, 2001); sculptures made of proteins (Proteic Portrait,2002), DNA (Innercloud, 2003) or incorporating live neurons (Tree of Knowledge, 2005). Her work has been presented internationally in exhibitions, articles and lectures. She is currently the artistic director of Ectopia, an experimental art laboratory within a biological research institute.