Biotech aesthetics: Exploring the practice of bio art

Derrick Chong, Anne Byerley

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Advances in biotechnology include contemporary artists working in laboratories to create living and semi-living works of art. This paper offers an account of how bio art can be read as an emerging contemporary art practice of the early twenty-first century. This draws on the art-historical precedent of Marcel Duchamp, who transformed objects from commonplace existence into works of art, and contemporary theories of art. Empirical data, in the form of interviews with leading bio art practitioners Oron Catts, Eduardo Kac, Kira O’Reilly, Stelarc and Paul Vanouse, are used to study how artists navigate between disciplines. In doing so, we discuss bio art as a critical practice based on a communal ethos.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCulture and Organization
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Anti-Aesthetic
  • Artistic Practice
  • Bio Art
  • Biotechnology
  • Duchamp

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