Bio Art – William Myers
William Myers is a curator, author, and teacher based in Amsterdam. His book Biodesign (2018) identifies the emerging practice of integrating biological processes into design and architecture. It is published by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and Thames & Hudson worldwide. His book Bio Art: Altered Realities (2015) profiles art that uses biology in new ways or responds to advances in the life sciences which disrupt our concepts of identity, nature, or the definition of life.
In our age of fast-paced biotechnological progress and humans’ increasing impact on the environment the autonomy of ‘nature’ has come into question. We can now engineer living things, blur the biological distinctions between humans and animals, and influence parts of our world that we cannot see – such as DNA and genes. These discoveries and far-reaching developments have created fertile ground for artistic expression. This book reveals the ways in which the work of bio artists offers new meanings for our lives in the wake of scientific discovery, as well as new frameworks for describing them. Four thematic chapters cover the key areas in which biotechnology has had an impact on today’s world, including ecology, biomedicine, designer genomes and evolutionary theory, profiling the work of 60 artists, collectives and organizations from countries including France, Germany, the US, the Netherlands, Mexico and Japan. Interviews with eight bio artists and technologists, including Arne Hendriks, Mark Dion, Boo Chapple, Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Raphael Kim, provide a deeper insight into the ideas and methods of this new breed of creative practitioner.