Call for participants: Making_Life – a research platform for art and synthetic biology by the Finnish Society of Bioart – deadline 15 March 2014

– a research platform for art and synthetic biology with three working periods

Making_Life is a project by the Finnish Society of Bioart in collaboration with Biofilia – Base for Biological Arts – Aalto University Finland and Bio:Fiction Vienna Austria within the SYNENERGENE EU Project.

Working period I:
22nd – 27th of May at Biofilia – Base for Biological Arts – Aalto University Helsinki/ Finland.

Instructors for working period I:
Oron Catts/SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia with the support of Marika Hellman, Biofilia, Aalto University and selected guests.

Please download the application form from:

Application deadline:
send your application form with attachments until 15.3.2014 to

Synthetic biology
is a new area of biological research that combines science and engineering. Synthetic biology encompasses a variety of different approaches, methodologies and disciplines, with the aim to design and construct new biological functions and systems not found in nature. Most approaches of synthetic biology are based on genetic engineering but goes much further. In genetic engineering the goal is to manipulate an organism’s genes, usually by transferring one gene from a donor to a host organism. Synthetic biology, on the other hand, aims at creating whole new biological functions, systems and eventually organisms (Schmidt 2012). Other SB approaches are dealing with making novel life-forms from “scratch” (for example protocells). Synthetic Biology is still in its beginnings but if it reaches its potential promises it will become a highly transformative technology in terms of economy, ecology and ethics.

is a series of three consecutive work periods over the course of 12 months. The first period will take place between 22nd – 27th of May 2014 in Helsinki, the second is planned for November 2014 in Vienna, and the third, in May 2015, will take place again in Helsinki. The goal of Making_Life is to enable practitioners to critically and in an informed manner, engage with the socio-cultural, political and ethical ramifications of synthetic biology through art. We will select a group of international multidisciplinary participants composed of artists, designers, engineers, scientists and students who will cooperate within this bottom-up devised program. The methods will shift from workshops, laboratory sessions and field trips, to forums, seminars and lectures. It will comprise theoretical as well as hands on approaches. The first and second work period will cover the introduction to synthetic biology, its sciences and technologies, the work on associated questions in art, ecology, ethics and politics and practical experience in the laboratory and with experiments. The third work period will be an intense session to create prototypes for artworks. The time in between the periods is for developing and deepening the participants’ focus of investigation. Participants are expected to join work periods I+II after which the participants for the period III are selected.

we are able to give support for travel and accommodation if required.

The Finnish Society of Bioart
Biofilia – Base for Biological Arts -Aalto University Helsinki
Oron Catts

Funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union

Erich Berger
Toiminnanjohtaja / Director
The Finnish Society of Bioart