Such an anthology as this forms an essential part of documenting the current relationship between technologically-based Bio-science and the Art which employs its techniques or comments upon its applications and outcomes. Not only will it allow future artists and theorists to understand what has come before, it allows the current generation to assess contemporary thought on our changing relationships to "Nature" and humankind's Biological origins.
Alan Dorin, Director at the Centre for Electronic Media Art, the Monash University (Clayton, Australia)
This project is an important one because it makes clear the social and aesthetical impact of life sciences on society in general.
Birgit Richard, art theorist, Guest editor of "Kunstforum International"
If life is not longer understood as a natural event, as fate, as Fortuna, but rather as time artificially produced and fashioned, then life is automatically politicized, since the technical and artistic decisions with respect to the shaping of the lifespan are always political decisions as well. The art that is made under these new conditions of biopolitics - under the conditions of an artificially fashioned lifespan - cannot help but take this artificiality as its explicit theme.
Boris Groys, Professor of Philosophy, Art and Media Theory at the Academy of Design (Karlsruhe, Germany)
Creating organisms through selective breeding or transgenic technologies involves a special kind of responsibility associated with the life-long welfare the organism and the surrounding environment. The care of the organism should in no way be compromised by its placement inside of the context of art.
Brandon Ballengee, artist, USA
Interactivity and artificial life teach us to rethink our definition of art and broaden our view, because they allow us to integrate personality, variety, the processes of nature, and new reflections on art and life itself. The artwork could therefore be metaphorically considered to be a "living system itself," representing the relationship and interactions between real life and artificial life entities.
Christa Sommerer, Professor at the IAMAS Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (Gifu, Japan)
Biomediale is an essential project contributing to the development of a vocabulary for and a critique of contemporary currents in biotechnology. As the organic realm is re-engineered from the molecular level up in order to better fit the imperatives of global capitalism, works such as Biomediale provide a much needed critical perspective that is beyond the rhetorics of corporate utopianism and reactionary deep ecology.
Critical Art Ensemble, USA
…if you look around, what we really need is a new way of looking at things.
davidkremers, artist, researcher, USA
If the emergence of transgenic art worldwide, the publication of this book in Russia is a major contribution to the development of this new art form and the social debate on the cultural implications of biotechnology.
Eduardo Kac, Chair of the Art and Technology Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA)
The issues which biotechnologies of all kinds raise are relevant not only to science research, the pharmaceutical industry, or medical practice; biotechnology also affects social and cultural perspectives on science and technology, political and ethical perspectives on human nature, and the importance of non-specialist education and open discussion. The Biomediale project is an important step in recognizing the pervasive relevance of biotechnology generally.
Eugene Thacker, Professor at the School of Literature, Communication and Culture, New Media Department (Georgia, USA)
I can't overstate the importance of this project. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture is about nothing less than making art of evolution.
George Gessert, artist, USA
The emerging field of biological art (or as we prefer to call it Wet Biology Art Practice) is in a need of an anthology such as this one. There were very few serious attempts to map the contemporary practice of artists dealing with the tools of modern biology, this anthology seems to be the most comprehensive; it includes artists who are dealing with different aspects of modern biology beside genetic engineering.
Ionat Zurr, Oron Catts, artists, "SymbioticA" research laboratory at the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, the University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia)
In the course of time, artists involvement with the techniques of molecular genetics and molecular biology can be expected to increase as the technology itself and understandings of genetics and now, human genomics also advance. Soon, works of art will be created at the scale of many genes, and even of whole genomes.
Joe Davis, artist, researcher, Alexander Rich's laboratory of the MIT Biology Department (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
We are living in an era of genetic technology that offers us metaphors and mirrors to look at ourselves and our values. I have no doubt that this boldly eclectic and cutting edge international anthology will expand on and give insight into the potential range of the impact of the developments in biotechnology on identity and consciousness.
Kathleen Rogers, Senior lecturer at the Department of Arts and Media at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design (Fernham, UK)
Communication with other species has yet to work. But do not domestication, zootechnics, animal cognition studies and the search for paralanguages, and extraterrestrial biology testify to an irresistible need for interchange with the other belonging to a species originating elsewhere?
Louis Bec, researcher, Coordinator of Art and Technology for the French Ministry of Culture, Expert in new technologies at the Council of Europe
Let me say that Biomediale: Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture promises to be an important contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship, one which will make a significant impact on the international intellectual and artistic community. The intersection of biology and genomics with contemporary art will prove as important in art as genomics has proved to be in science.
Mark Bedau, Professor at the Reed College, Department of Philosophy (Portland, Oregon, USA)
Biology and biotechnology have become major issues for the contemporary society. This anthology provides, for the first time, an insight on the impact of modern biology in the art of today.
Marta De Menezes, "artist in residence" at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College (London, UK)
The beginning of this century requires a cultural and artistic response towards the development of emerging disciplines such as biotechnology and genetics, as they are being extremely potent with social, ethical, philosophical, and cultural implications. Being such these fields cannot be treated solely in scientific labs, but have to become a part of a much wider cultural discourse. Therefore I can only greet the undertaking of the actions for publishing of this Anthology, as this will further nurture the stimulation of the work of artists and culture theorists.
Melentie Pandilovski, Director of the Contemporary Arts Center (Skopje, Macedonia)
Genomic culture exists as a play of conflicting mythological (artistic) matrices of demarcation between "own" and "alien". Matrix of technologic progress localizes threatening images of "alien" at the level of intimate mechanisms of inheritance, offering protection in multiplicity of means of technologic control. Ecologic matrix (upgraded by bioethical) invests an alternative structure of demarcation, localizing threatening "alien" in the desire of technologic control itself. In this play "cosmos" and "chaos", "own" and "alien" are in a permanent process of symbolic barter and symbolic replacement.
Pavel Tischenko, Senior lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, the Moscow State University (Russia)
The New Empire is now on the genetic beach planting its flag. The symbol on this flag is "TM". The trade mark is now the only "truth" of this Empire. This time the local natives won't be silent and they will slowly surround Columbus as he prays and send him back naked, wearing only his own genes.
Ricardo Dominguez, media artist, Director of the ThingTank Net Association (New York)
The importance of publishing this anthology at this time can hardly be overestimated. We are at a turning point in culture where the imagination and skill of artists, engineers and scientists are contributing to a re-definition of what it is to be human, what is the nature of Mind, and how we might re-configure the environment to accommodate new forms of communication and social interaction.
Roy Ascott, Director of the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA, University of Wales, UK)
These are interesting times for the arts. The linkage of art to emerging research may hasten the redefinition of timelessness. We may need to invent a new meaning for the term masterpiece. Think of a masterpiece as a work of art that seizes the cultural moment, or as a work that senses the cultural leap represented by a line of research and uses the magic of the arts to expand what it means and explores what it might become.
Stephen Wilson, Professor at the San Francisco State University, Art Department (California, USA)
Clearly, digital technologies and bio-genetic sciences are beginning to have a profound impact on how we understand and represent our bodies, our sexuality, our gender, race, and ethnic identifications, and on how we conceptualize and represent our "humanness." In fact, the very idea of an "essential humanness" has been called into question by the changes described above. These are exciting, and disturbing, questions for contemporary artists and audiences to confront and grapple with.
SubRosa, cyberfeminism research group
Social demands generated by the revolutionary development of reproductive medicine and genetic engineering are at the same time a challenge to many artists who take this challenge differently. It is quite evident that hybrids are especially suitable for discussion and the processing of modern biotechnological formal and creative possibilities. It is not, however, chimeras' representation that changes in the first place, but the use of certain media, the perfection of transformations and the discussion of created images.
Sven Druehl, Professor at the Goethe University (Frankfurt/Main, Germany)
It is noticeable that modern actual art is trying on the ways which science has recognized as leading nowhere, viz. leading to chaos. This is exactly the goal of the newest acquisition of art: to reestablish and submit to the public the lost sense of chaos and disorder. Contemporary art has become similar to pseudo-science which values the aesthetic feeling caused by the event higher than its truth, thereby presenting science with the Utopia, once rejected by it, as implemented.
Valery Podoroga, Head of Analytical Anthropology Department at the Institute of Philosophy, RAS (Moscow, Russia)
Besides being original, the anthology touches upon transgenic changes, quite a topical and now even morbid issue, that is morbid not only in art but in world culture; and if we look further it deals with a broader and more general problem - new anthropology. There has been little research, either artistic or cultural-philosophical, in this sphere before, and all the more in Russia this is a pioneering project.
Dmitry Aleksandrovich Prigov, poet, Pushkin Prize winner
The fact that not only loyal and diligent employees at private and state corporations work on such technologies but also crazy bohemian artists sets my mind at rest. At least because the latter aspire to inform people about their works as much as possible, thus being radically different from the former.
Leonid Levkovich-Masliuk, Senior Editor of the weekly magazine Computerra (Moscow, Russia)
It was only with the biological science developed by Michurin and Lysenko that the cultivation of plants of one species could lead to the appearance of properties of other species. The transition from such biological science to genetics is impossible, just as from the development of the theory and practice of conventional forms of contemporary art it is impossible to produce forms which are adequate for the present day and the situation in future.
Dmitry Bulatov, curator at the National Centre for Contemporary Art (Kaliningrad, Russia)