SymbioticA, based at The University of Western Australia is the first research laboratory of its kind, enabling artists and researchers to engage in wet biology practices in a biological science department. It also hosts residents, workshops, exhibitions and symposia.
With an emphasis on experiential practice, SymbioticA encourages better understanding and articulation of cultural ideas around scientific knowledge and informed critique of the ethical and cultural issues of life manipulation.
Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr
Award winning Artists, researchers and Curators, Catts and Zurr formed the internationally renowned Tissue Culture & Art Project in 1996.
Catts is the Co-Founder and Director of SymbioticA: The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and was a Professor of Contestable Design at the Royal College for the Arts UK.
Dr Ionat Zurr is the Chair of the Fine Arts Discipline at the School of Design UWA and SymbioticA’s academic co-ordinator. Both are Visiting Professor at Biofilia – Based for Biological Arts, Aalto University, Finland. They have been visiting scholars at The Centre of Arts and Art History at Stanford University (2007) and Research Fellows at The Tissue Engineering & Organ Fabrication Laboratory, Harvard Medical School (2000–2001).
Catts & Zurr’s interest is Life, more specifically the shifting relations and perceptions of life in the light of new knowledge and its applications. Often working in collaboration with other artists and scientists, they have developed a body of work that speaks volumes about the need for new cultural articulations of evolving concepts of life.
They are considered pioneers in the field of Biological Arts; they publish widely and exhibit internationally. Their work was exhibited and collected by museums such as Pompidou Centre in Paris, MoMA NY, Mori art Museum, NGV, GoMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Ars Electronica, National Art Museum of China and more. Their research was covered by The NY Times, Washington Post, Wired, New Scientist, Time, Newsweek, Nature, Science, and other TV, radio, print and online media.
Catts & Zurr ideas and projects reach beyond the confines of art; their work is often cited as inspiration to diverse areas such as new materials, textiles, design, architecture, ethics, fiction, and food.
is a West Australian based artist that works with code, specialising in designing highly technical interactive systems for performance and installation. His works place the audience as the centrepiece of the interaction, often facilitating a tactile creative process which is fed into a collaborative digital playground. Steve is interested in pushing work to new and diverse audiences, presenting work in theatres, galleries, museums, public spaces and app stores. Recent works include Guardians (Perth Winter Arts Festival), Bumperball (Scitech Science Museum), Hello Future Self (Experimenta Make Sense) and Somewhere Our City (Perth International Arts Festival). Steve has received awards for robot design, technology design and software enabling crowd sourced place activation. In a collaborative environment Steve develops bespoke software and electronics to aid artists in creating content and performance systems, helping realise their technological aspirations. Recent collaborations include Reclining StickMan (Stelarc), Whoosh! (Sensorium Theatre) and My Robot (Barking Gecko Theatre Company). He is currently developing Meeting Place, a public artwork which is illuminated by local weather forecasting data streams.
Matt Gingold is a collaborative, experimental media artist and audiovisual designer. His practice interrogates the psychophysics of perception and the role of human-machine complexity in our banal and spiritual lives.
His works often meld vidéo et musique concréte with generative and interactive systems that sculpt space, sound and light. These works deploy digital choreographies, database narratives, computer vision and machine learning - yet despite these hard-edged tools, they aim to expose emotional, intimate and organic relationships to technology.
Matt has presented performances and installations all over the world, including the Melbourne Museum, Perth Institute for Contemporary Art, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, MONA, Yamaguchi Centre for Art and Media, Ars Electronica, Media-Lab Prado and Club Transmediale.
He is currently researching transdisciplinary practice and creative leadership * as part of the Australia Council's Arts and Disability Mentorship Initiative.