Art and biobanking have come together in a year-long collaboration between BBMRI-ERIC and the Art & Science faculty, at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria, which investigates the relationships between different artistic and scientific cultures. Commencing in October 2018, the initiative will see BBMRI-ERIC and art students from the Masters programme engaging in a dialogue, whereby students will be exposed to the multi-faceted world of biobanking. Through workshops and guided visits to biobanks, an overview of biobanking will be given, which include developments in science and technology, as well as quality management, European policy, patient advocacy, and arising ethical, legal and social issues (ELSI). With this input, a foundation is laid for students to further develop their own artistic practice, as well as produce and exhibit artistic works. In doing so, the art students are able to create space for fresh ideas and perspectives in the context of biobanking activities that engage not only the existing biobanking community, but also new audiences, in novel and imaginative ways.
Such interdisciplinary working, and the intersection of art and science in particular, can bring substantial benefit to both worlds, as can be seen in various collaborative projects and programmes. As stated by the lead artist Anna Dumitriu in the context of the project “Trust Me, I’m an Artist”, “outputs will prompt new ways of thinking about how art, biotechnology and biomedicine can intersect, and bring together diverse stakeholders and audiences to create new ways of working at the cutting edge of art, science and technology.”
On this note, BBMRI-ERIC looks forward to bringing artists and biobanking stakeholders together, and welcomes creative approaches to both scientific and artistic production, whilst enriching collaboration and dialogue between all stakeholders.
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