National Organisation of Media Arts Database

Masters of Science (Biological Art)

Provided by
University of Western Australia // Faculty of life and Physical Science // School of Anatomy & Human Biology

Run since 2007


Master of Science (Biological Arts) 51570
Designed for art practitioners, designers, scientists and humanities scholars who wish to engage in interdisciplinary studies as a foundation for creative bioresearch, the Biological Arts programme focuses on recent advances in the life sciences, both in theory and practice.
Emphasis is placed on developing critical thought, exploring ethical and cultural issues and experimenting with cross-disciplinary art and science projects.
Laboratories focus on learning scientific techniques in a meaningful way for both the artist and scientist, and using these techniques for creative output that is multidisciplinary in nature.
Cultural issues such as ownership of living systems, issues of partial life, synthetic biology, gene patenting, population diversity, sustainable technologies, new reproductive technologies, modifying bodies, nature/culture boundaries, emerging perceptions of life and the ethics of living art and/or science production are researched, discussed and debated.
The programme is structured so that students may exit after one semester with a Graduate Certificate or after two semesters with a Graduate Diploma. A further year’s study will lead to the Master of Science (Biological Arts).

Under graduate units:

VISA2249 Art and Life Manipulation (6pts)
This unit introduces students to issues, concepts and techniques relating to contemporary arts practices dealing with the manipulation of living forms. Emphasis is placed on developing critical thought, ethical issues and cross-disciplinary experimentation in art (art/ science collaborations, art as research). Students are introduced to biological lab practices and techniques and are expected to get their hands wet.

VISA2214 Aesthetic Crossovers in Art and Science (6pts)
This unit is a practical and theoretical investigation, through critical engagement, of the links and differences between the two cultures of art and science, drawing on contemporary art/sci creative expression.

ANHB8535 SymbioticA Special Topic (6 points)
Specialist knowledge of visiting academics and researchers will be utilised to build an interdisciplinary team to teach students the history, current practice and conceptual framework of special topics. These might include:
Biological Art and Activism, Performance in the Laboratory, Artistic Ecological Survey,
Ethics of Animals used in Art etc.. Each year a different theme will be explored.