(edited by) Erich Berger, Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka, Kira O’Reilly, Helena Sederholm – Art as We Don’t Know It


Aalto University, ISBN-13: 978-9526088228, English, 272 pages, 2020, Finland

The anthology “Field_Notes” included Erich Berger, director of the Bioart Society, among its editors. To celebrate its tenth anniversary (and collaboration with the organisation Biofilia at Aalto University) Berger assembled this unique publication alongside Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka, Kira O’Reilly and Helena Sederholm. Thematically the contents of the book are less focused on the history of bioart. Instead, like the movement itself, the book uses future innovations to speculate about the future. Hosting peer-to-peer reviewed articles as well as interviews, collaborative projects and plenty of significant artworks, it celebrates what bioart has mastered for a long time: the diverse intersection of cultural and scientific thought. It does so excellently, as the reader can see how technology, science, diy practices, criticism and hacking can be skilfully combined with a vision. Particularly, a series of new definitions are present, such as exploring ‘exobiology’ (“biological systems and forms which are not from earth”) or Adriana Knouf’s ‘xenology’ (“the study, analysis, and development of the strange, the alien, the other”), or the celebrated Rotko’s ’yeastograms’ (images obtained cultivating yeast out of photographs). With a foreword by Mónica Bello, and a welcome glossary at the end, the book is on sale and also available as a free PDF to download.