Of microbes and machines: How art and science fuse in bio-art

(CNN)There is science in art — the alchemy of paint, the binary codes computing away in a camera, the expressive anatomy in portraiture and sculpture.

There is art in science — the artistic precision of the scalpel, the cool aesthetics of the laboratory, and the intimate observations undertaken by scientists to discover new materials and microbes living unseen in the world.
Bio-art, an artistic genre that took hold in the 1980s, solidifies, extends and enriches this organic relationship. According to the artist and writer Frances Stracey, it represents: “a crossover of art and the biological sciences, with living matter, such as genes, cells or animals, as its new media.”


    In Alison Bennett’s touch-based screen work, the viewer is presented with a high-resolution scan of bruised skin. Viewers can use the touch-screen to manipulate the soft and damaged tissue before them, and their eyes become organs of touch. What does it feel like to touch a bruise and be bruised?
    The gallery is thus, both laboratory and studio. In all its variant forms, and with a scalpel and a paintbrush to hand, Bio-art fashions the world anew.
    Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts is currently exhibited at the RMIT Gallery until February 18, 2017.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/06/arts/bio-art-microbes-and-machines/index.html