Summer Residency Program

From the Laboratory to the Studio:
Interdisciplinary Practices in Bio Art


Early application (by April 15th) is highly recommended.

Summer semester: May 16-June 16, 2017
Tuition: $3,000
Instructors: Suzanne Anker, Joseph DiGiorgis and visiting speakers.

For further information:
e-mail residency@sva.edu
call 212.592.2188
SVA Summer Residency Courses

From anatomical studies to landscape painting to the biomorphism of surrealism, the biological realm historically provided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, Bio Art has become a term referring to intersecting domains of the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in Bio Art is to summon awareness of the ways in which advancing biotechnologies alter social, ethical and cultural values in society.

Artworks by SVA Bio Art Residency alumni

Coming to the fore in the early 1990s, bio art is neither media specific nor locally bounded. It is an international movement with practitioners in such regions as Europe, the U.S., Russia, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Several sub-genres of bio art exist within this overarching term:

  1. Artists who employ the iconography of the 20th- and 21st-century sciences, including molecular and cellular genetics, transgenically altered living matter, reproductive technologies and neurosciences. All traditional media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing are employed to convey novel ways of representing life forms.
  2. Artists who utilize computer software, systems theory and simulations to investigate aspects of the biological sciences such as evolution, artificial life and robotics through digital sculpture and new media installations.
  3. Artists employing biological matter itself as their medium, including processes such as tissue engineering, plant breeding, transgenics and ecological reclamation.

This interdisciplinary residency will take place in the new SVA Bio Art Laboratory located in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea gallery district. The SVA Bio Art Lab houses microscopes for photo and video, skeletons and specimen collections, a herbarium and an aquarium as well as a library. Each student resident is awarded a private studio space. The residency culminates in a public exhibition.

Demonstrations include microscopy, plant tissue engineering, molecular cuisine and the production of micro ecosystems. Students may work in any media, including the performing arts.

The Residency will be led by artist Suzanne Anker, Chair of the BFA Fine Arts Department at SVA, and Joseph DeGiorgis, marine biologist. In addition, visiting speakers have included artists, scientists and museum professionals including Kathy High, Ingeborg Reichle, James Walsh, Jennifer Willet, Ellen D. Jorgensen, Oliver Medvedik, William Myers and Paula Hayes.

NOTE: A portfolio is required for review and acceptance to this program. Residents who wish to borrow equipment from the Fine Arts Digital Lab are required to submit a refundable security deposit. Participants will be held responsible for payment of any loss, theft or damage incurred to the equipment.

Affordable housing is available, as are opportunities to display work.
This summer residency program grants 4 undergraduate studio credits for those interested. If you are a graduate student, please check with your School for academic credit options.

For further information or questions regarding SVA’s Summer Residencies
e-mail residency@sva.edu or call 212.592.2188.