Past Work – About the 2013 Bioart Show

CUT/PASTE/GROW grew out of a collaboration that produced, in 2013, a show of bioart in Brooklyn.


Science at Play: Bioart in Brooklyn

Genspace and Observatory bring today’s most dynamic bioartists for an unforgettable group show.

March 23–May 11, 2013

543 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Opening reception: Saturday, March 23, 8 PM
Gallery hours:  Saturdays & Sundays 12–6 PM


March 19th, 6:45pm: “My War: The Immune System’s Never Ending Battle Against Disease” (@Empiricist League)

March 26, 7:30pm – Heather Barnett, The Physarum Experiments (@Genspace)

March 29, 8pm – Emily Anthes, Frankenstein’s Cat (@Observatory)


Bioart In Brooklyn

Life is restless. Bioartists—the emerging group of practitioners who manipulate living tissues, DNA, and bacteria—must embrace this restlessness. Working in the lab, precision gives way to open-ended experiment. The lab is a garden, and bioartist is the gardener for the new millennium. Genspace and Observatory bring together an exhibition of some of today’s most dynamic bioartists for one unforgettable group show.

Many thanks to our Kickstarter backers!

CUT/PASTE/GROW: Science at Play provides a space to ask new fundamental questions about aesthetics and our assumptions about life and death. What, for example, makes a beautiful blueprint for a beautiful form. What makes a beautiful gene?

By cutting and pasting DNA into a being, the organism itself—both in function and behavior—becomes a chimera, a hybrid natural/engineered being stitched from disparate parts, a result of both Darwinian evolution and the will of the artist.

Are these chimerae quasi-artworks or quasi-organisms? Is bioart a new approach to society and ecology, a partnership with the microbial life all around us?

Opening Night Reception: Saturday, March 23, 8 PM (@Observatory
Celebrate the show’s opening with the curators and special guest artists. Wine, beer and cheese to be served.Talks/Workshops

March 19th, 6:45pm: “My War: The Immune System’s Never Ending Battle Against Disease” (@Empiricist League)
Germs!  Killer immune cells!  Insanity!

March 26, 7:30pm – Heather Barnett, The Physarum Experiments (@Genspace)
Discover the fascinating role slime mold, a single celled organism, has to play in the culture of both science and art, and participate in a practical experiment to create the ideal creative environment for it to grow.

March 29, 8pm – Emily Anthes, Frankenstein’s Cat (@Observatory)
Author of the new book Frankenstein’s Cat, takes us from petri dish to pet store as she explores how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends. Though our new scientific superpowers often spur apocalyptic fantasizing, they could do more good for animals that they’re often given credit for.More to come…

The Artists

  • Tuur van Balen
  • Nurit Bar-Shai
  • Heather Barnett
  • BCL: Shiho Fukuhara/Georg Tremmel
  • Bruce Bryan
  • Revital Cohen
  • Tom Deerinck
  • Andy Gracie
  • Karen Ingram
  • Eduardo Kac
  • Edgar Lissel
  • Julia Lohmann
  • Simon Park
  • Nikki Romanello
  • SXSW Create 2013
  • Liam Young

The Curators

Observatory is an gallery and event space in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by natural history, morbid anatomy, and the intersection of art and science, Observatory hosts lectures, classes, and exhibitions. Observatory is part of the Proteus Gowanus art complex, located at 543 Union Street (at Nevins). Gallery hours are 3–6 PM, Thursdays–Fridays; 12–6 PM, Saturdays–Sundays.

Genspace is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting education in molecular biology for both children and adults. Its staff and volunteers work inside and outside of traditional settings, providing a safe, supportive environment for training and mentoring in biotechnology. Genspace also supplies a Biosafety Level 1 lab for biologists, laypeople, and artists to gather and collaborate on biotechnology projects.

Nurit Bar-Shai is a co-founder of Genspace and an interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of art, science, and technology. She composes video, live telematic installations and conducts experiments through creative collaborative inquiry. Nurit lectures and exhibits her work worldwide.

Daniel Grushkin is a co-founder of Genspace and a journalist who covers the intersection of science, biotechnology, and culture. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Businessweek, National Geographic Adventure, Popular Science, and Scientific American.

Wythe Marschall writes and teaches about futurism. With artist Ethan Gould, he is the author ofSuspicious Anatomy, an illustrated book of fake neuroscience. As a curator at Observatory, Wythe has curated art shows and lectures on retrofuturism, technological ecstasy, the neo-grotesque, and the para-academic. Wythe teaches undergraduate literature at Brooklyn College. His stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and elsewhere.

William Myers teaches and writes about the history of architecture, art and design. His book BioDesign: Nature + Science + Creativity was published by The Museum of Modern Art in New York and Thames & Hudson in London in 2012. He has worked for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Hunter College and Genspace.

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