FAQ Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology: Critical Methods for Collective Experiment

This art and science exhibition invites viewers to join in collective experimentation from the inclusive future of biotechnology. 


What do we want from biotechnologies? 

Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology elicits discussion about biotechnology in society through contemporary art to offer viewers new ways of thinking about our individual and collective roles in shaping these technologies. This exhibition encourages viewers to consider what they expect and what they want from biotechnologies, now and in the future. 


Who is biotechnology for? Who decides?

Exhibitions in the area of biotechnology are social and political interventions. Artists have addressed questions beyond those typical in scientific conversations about biotechnology including questions of access, sex and gender, race, artifical intelligence, the environment, and the nonhuman world. By offering artworks that consider possible futures and offer a view of how past technologies have affected different groups, we can critically experiment with our collective futures.


What art will I find in this exhibition?

This all-digital exhibition includes artworks that raise questions of access, race, gender in technoscientific pursuits; the rights and roles of nonhuman species; and science’s relationship with corporate interests. Artworks include a virtual reality experience that draws on Oglála Lakȟóta ontologies to model engagement rooted in mutual respect and responsibility, a collection of objects documenting Black women’s ways of caring for themselves, each other, and the earth; a 3D film made from historical stereoscopic images that explores artificial intelligence and climate change; a first-person eater game; a synthetic biology and art attempt to fuse yeast cells with mammalian cells, and more. 


What responses will I find to this exhibition?

The artworks are accompanied by individualized from leading scholars, including neuroendocrinologist Deboleena Roy, discursive designers Stephanie and Bruce Tharp, posthuman feminist Astrida Neimanis, biologist Rob Dunn, STS scholar Geoffery Bowker, curator and artist George Gessert.


How should I approach this exhibition?

Choose an artwork from the exhibition’s main page by clicking on its title on the main page. You will then encounter the artwork in the main window and can click to interact with the artworks, view films, listen to audio, and scroll through content. You can click in the lower left hand corner for descriptions of the artworks, the artists’ biographies, responses to the artworks, and additional information. 


Who are the contributing artists?

Contributing Artists Biographies


Who organized this exhibition?

Learn more about the University of Pittsburgh exhibition team.


How did this exhibition originate?

The Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology exhibition originated at North Carolina State University. More information and the exhibition catalog is available here.