Kathy High (US)

BIOART INITIATIVE: THE FAILURE OF GOING TOO FAST

The BioArt Initiative at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) was a collaborative research project between Rensselaer’s Arts Department and the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). This project proposed to lay the foundation establishing RPI as a premiere institution for the synthesis of emerging biotechnological research and media art practice in the United States. The potential for creating a mutually supportive and critically engaged culture between art, engineering and science exists at RPI to a degree that is possible in only a select few universities worldwide. The initiative brought together RPI’s cutting-edge biotechnology resources with its world-class electronic arts community.

Started in 2007 through an internal research from the university, a collaboration was born to foster artists and scientists to collaborate and develop idea together. For one and half years the BioArt Initiative sponsored lectures, exhibitions, and laboratory research conducted by scientists and artists. But at the end of the project, its budget was cut by the university’s administration and the program was stopped. What happened? What were the outcomes and what mistakes made here? Why couldn’t this go forward?
This paper will look at the overall picture of this ambitious project and its demise and possible future.

See: http://arts.rpi.edu/bioart
and http://issuu.com/addict_creative_lab/docs/addict29/9