edited by Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz – [Macro]biologies & [Micro]biologies. Art and the Biological Sublime in the 21st Century


Blurb, ISBN: 978-1320652773, English, 98 pages, 2015

What has been collectively defined in the past as “bio art” can be now divided into a series of different branches, involving different balances between art and science and different collateral disciplines. Resistant to clear definition, this art field seems to be less and less regimented, diversifying its approaches and building new bridges across disciplines. This is particularly evident in recent initiatives, such as this extended catalogue of the [Macro]biologies & [Micro]biologies series, which took place at Art Laboratory Berlin between 2013 and 2015, hosting four exhibitions and several seminars and workshops. The laboratory, as a lively entity, has been the fulcrum for all of these activities, but if there is a specific direction that seems to undergird the project it is the “urban” dimension. This can be glimpsed in the different projects, which in turn are in conversation with a series of other disciplines – geography, zoology, biochemistry, botany, etc. However, it’s particularly evident in “Mapping the Urban Grind Mill”, a project by Alexandra Regan Toland that analyses the soil surrounding the lab and makes the audience aware of how they contribute to its constitution through the dirt carried under their shoes. This connects to the ethic fostered by Denisa Kera in her text, practicing what she defines as “soil art”, and instigating the creation of fundamental  “bio commons” through open source DIY practices. While Kera’s approach is particularly exciting, it is just one of the many different trajectories explored here.