Research Activities at the Department of Art
There are ongoing research groups, research events, and publications that address the relationship of art and visual culture with the political economy, education, and social change. Research in art and society, art and education, as well as art and science calls for new thinking and ways of articulating key objectives in research. Researchers from various sectors in art and artistic activity are participating actively in the targeting of theory and practice from select fields toward a complex statement of research questions. Below are some examples of current research activities within and through the Department of Art.
Current research sites include:
- Biofilia: An ongoing site of research between art and science
It offers a platform and infrastructure for trans-disciplinary research and education that aim at creating cultural discussion and innovation around the topics related to the manipulation of life and biological processes at a practical and theoretical level, including philosophical and ethical dimensions. Aalto Biofilia is unique in the world as it has the only fully equipped biological lab that is operated by an art school and based in an electrical engineering building. It offers unparalled reseach capacity for the growing field of biological art. The programme consist of research projects and a series of courses, lectures and hands-on workshops in the laboratory and natural environments exploring the interfaces between biosciences and art. It provides artists, researchers, students and scholars with the ability to engage with the life sciences and their applications within an artistic and cultural context, thus creating creative and critical links between biosciences, engineering and the arts.
Biofilia laboratory and program was set up during 2011-2013 by a team consisting of professor Helena Sederholm, project manager Ulla Taipale (www.capsula.org.es) and laboratory manager Marika Hellman, in close cooperation with Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts, artists and founders of the SymbioticA – Centre for Excellence for Biological Arts in University of Western Australia (symbiotica.uwa.edu.au). The interiors of the laboratory are designed by Samu Viitanen (samuviitanen.com).
Video of Aalto Biofilia: