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Events > Confronting the Bacterial Sublime: A Talk by Anna Dumitriu


Confronting the Bacterial Sublime: A Talk by Anna Dumitriu

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, March 12

Location: Genspace
Organizers: Nurit Bar-Shai

A Talk by Anna Dumitriu

When: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 7pm
Doors open at 6:30pm

Where: Genspace
The MEx Building
33 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11217


Join us for early drinks and nibbles

Please RSVP!



Join us at Genspace for a Talk by Anna Dumitriu, who uses bacteria in textiles. Dumitriu founded and directs the Institute of Unnecessary Research. She was the curator of "Trust Me I’m an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art/Science Collaboration". Dumitriu, will discuss how she uses bacteria in her fabrics, and lead a workshop where participants create their own bio-textiles.

From a quilt made of actual MRSA bacteria, to a dress stained purple and white with pigmented bacteria killed in the process of sending and receiving communication (quorum sensing) signals, Anna Dumitriu’s bioart work is a journey into the hidden world of the microbes with which we co-exist. Her methods combine art/science collaboration in lab settings with DIYbio approaches in her kitchen and range from the techniques of the early microbiologists to contemporary approaches to whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics. Dumitriu will discuss her transdiciplinary approach, the ethical issues her work touches on, the reactions of her collaborators, and her performative participatory practice. She will also talk about her new work investigating Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes TB from a cultural, historical and practical basis, and currently infects one third of the world’s population. She will discuss the DIYbio methods she is developing to work with non-pathogenic environmental Mycobacteria to enable the creation of a participatory installation that reveals the processes of working with TB but in a BSL1 setting.


Anna Dumitriu’s work blurs the boundaries between art and science with a strong interest in the ethical issues raised by emerging technologies. Her installations and performances use a range of digital, biological and traditional media, including live bacteria, robotics, interactive media, and textiles. Her work is held in several major public collections, including the Science Museum in London. Dumitriu is known for her work as founder and director of “The Institute of Unnecessary Research”, a group of artists and scientists whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries and critiques contemporary research practice. She recently completed a Wellcome Trust commission entitled “The Hypersymbiont Salon", collaborating as a Visiting Research Fellow: Artist in Residence with the Adaptive Systems Research Group at The University of Hertfordshire (focusing on social robotics) and (Leverhulme Trust 2011), and was Artist in Residence on the UK Clinical Research Consortium Project “Modernising Medical Microbiology” at The University of Oxford. Her major international project “Trust me I’m an artist, towards an ethics of art/science collaboration” (in collaboration with the Waag Society in Amsterdam and The University of Leiden) investigates the novel ethical problems that arise when artists create artwork in laboratory settings. She is a contributing editor to Leonardo Electronic Almanac, and winner of the 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology Communication Award.


For questions contact us at info@genspace.org

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