Book launch - Art As We Don't Know It

5 Mar 2020 14:00 — 19:00

Location: SOLU

Art as We Don’t Know It

Erich Berger, Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka, Kira O’Reilly, Helena Sederholm (eds.) 
Publisher: Aalto ARTS Books

What worlds are revealed when we listen to alpacas, make photographs with yeast or use biosignals to generate autonomous virtual organisms? Bioart invites us to explore artistic practices at the intersection of art, science and society. This rapidly evolving field utilises the tools of life sciences to examine the materiality of life; the collision of human and nonhuman. Microbiology, virtual reality and robotics cross disciplinary boundaries to engage with arts as artists and scientists work together to challenge the ways in which we understand and observe the world. This book offers a stimulating and provocative exploration into worlds emerging, seen through art as we don’t know it - yet.

Art as We Don’t Know It showcases art and research that has grown and flourished within the wider network of both the Bioart Society and Biofilia during the previous decade. The book features a foreword by curator Mónica Bello, and a selection of peer-reviewed articles, personal accounts and interviews, artistic contributions and collaborative projects which illustrate the breadth and diversity of bioart. The resulting book is a tantalising and invaluable indicator of trends, visions and impulses in the field.

The book marks the 10th anniversary of the Bioart Society but instead of looking back we joined forces with Biofilia – Base for Biological Arts to have a glimpse forward and to scan what kind of questions and topics in the realm of bioart, art&science and its politics could be relevant for our work in the coming years. The result is a 280 page volume in four sections with articles, reports, interviews, artist sections and more. The stunning cover image is from a yeastogram by Johanna Rotko and the amazing coppery design by Safa Hovinen. The book will soon be available via the Aalto University Shop as hardcover and as free pdf version to download right from the start.

We have an inspiring lineup of contributors which we are very grateful to for sharing their thoughts, ideas and insights: Markus Schmidt & Nediljko Budisa, Andy Gracie, Adriana Knouf, Marta De Menezes & Luis Graca, Marietta Radomska & Cecilia Åsberg, Crystal Bennes, Bartaku, Erich Berger, Antero Kare, Laura Beloff, Johanna Rotko, Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka, Teemu Lehmusruusu, Antti Tenetz, Ian Ingram & Theun Borssele, Paul Vanouse, Rian Ciela Visscher Hammond, Christina Stadlbauer, Paula Humberg, Denisa Kera, Leena Valkeapää, lifepatch, Jurij Krpan, Anu Osva, Kristiina Ljokkoi & Tomi Slotte Dufva, Ulla Taipale & Christina Stadlbauer, Margherita Pevere, Heather Davis, Elaine Gan & Terike Haapoja, Ida Bencke, Mari Keski-Korsu, Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, Kira O'Reilly, Pia Lindman, Helena Sederholm and Lauri Linna and with a foreword by Mónica Bello.

Check out the table of contents


14:00 Brought to you by PORK KANA CAR ROT project and Lauri Linna: Rare and semi-rare seeds! Up for adoption!  
      Parents of the seeds have had great lives. Well behaving seeds. Apply now!
14:30 Welcome to the book launch by Mari Keski-Korsu/Bioart Society and Essi Viitanen/Aalto Arts Books
14:45 Keynote by Adriana Knouf "Xenological Life Potential"
      with a Life as we don't know it response by Marietta Radomska and Erich Berger

15:45 Learnings/Unlearnings intermission - Browse the book, meet the editors and writers, and adopt the seeds !
16:00 Convergences - a discussion with Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka, Laura Beloff and Teemu Lehmusruusu
16:30 Redraw and Refigure - a cut up by Kira O'Reilly

17–19 Exhibition opening: Living Images, Yeastograms by Johanna Rotko

The book will be available for purchase at the event (card payment only).

During the afternoon we will be serving vegetarian food and refreshments.


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Dr Marietta Radomska, a Postdoc at Linköping University, Sweden (Gender Studies) and University of Helsinki, Finland (Art History). She is the Co-director of The Posthumanities Hub; founder of The Eco- and Bioart Research Network; founding member of Queer Death Studies Network and International Network for ECOcritical and DECOlonial Research. Radomska is a philosopher and posthumanities scholar, and has published in Australian Feminist Studies, Somatechnics, and Women, Gender & Research, among others.

Adriana Knouf (she/her/hers, sie/hir/hirs) works as a xenologist, as an artist-scientist-writer-designer-engineer. She engages with topics such as space art, satellites, radio transmission, non-human encounters, drone flight, queer and trans futurities, machine learning, the voice, and papermaking. She is the Founding Facilitator of the tranxxeno lab, a nomadic artistic research laboratory that promotes entanglements amongst entities trans and xeno. Adriana is also an Assistant Professor of Art + Design at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.

Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka is a Helsinki-based media artist, art educator and researcher working with technological notions of sense. As part of interdisciplinary Brains on Art collective his practice is informed by collaboration with scientists and researchers and the friction between art and science. Mäki-Reinikka is a board member of the Bioart Society, a foil fencer and a teacher of Art and Artificial Intelligence in Aalto University. Mäki-Reinikka is writing an artistic dissertation on interdisciplinary art and its possibilities to discuss changes in human-machine relation.

Laura Beloff is an internationally acclaimed artist and researcher across art-technology-science. She has been actively producing artworks and exhibiting worldwide in museums and art events since the 1990’s. She is a recipient of various grants, residencies and awards throughout the years. Her research and art practice focus on combination of technological and biological matter with theoretical concerns on insurmountable technologization of the world. Since the Fall 2019 she is an Associate Professor in Aalto University.

Lauri Linna is a Helsinki-based artist who works with plants, gardening, moving image, sound and electronics. His other fields of interest are plant behavior and intelligence, plant – machine relationship and plant-related technology. He is also interested in meaningless things and nonsense. Linna holds a Master of Arts degree from Visual Culture and Contemporary Art (ViCCA) Programme at Aalto University’s School of Art, Design and Architecture. His work has been exhibited in Finland and internationally. Currently he also teaches at Aalto University.

Teemu Lehmusruusu is a Helsinki-based media and environmental artist whose works examine and test the basic conditions and causalities of life in our common environments. Lehmusruusu completed a Degree Programme in Photography at Aalto University and studied at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). He is currently working on Trophic Verses, a four-year artistic exploration into the life of soil. The project manifests itself also as Lehmusruusu’s D.A. in Artistic Research at Aalto Arts.

Kira O’Reilly is an artist currently based in Helsinki, since 1998 she has exhibited widely internationally, also presenting at conferences on performance art, live art, science, art and technology. She has taught in Europe, Australia and U.S.A in Visual Art, Drama and Dance departments; and created a pilot Masters programme in Ecology and Contemporary Performance at University of the Arts, Helsinki. Kira O’Reilly Untitled (Bodies) (2017) was co-edited by Harriet Curtis and Martin Hargreaves.

Erich Berger is an artist, curator and cultural worker based in Helsinki. Throughout his practice he has explored the materiality of information, and information and technology as artistic material. His current interest in issues of deep time and hybrid ecology led him to work with geological processes, radiogenic phenomena and their socio-political implications in the here and now. He moves between visual arts and science in an area which he also investigates and develops as director of the Bioart Society in Helsinki.