Aura Rosenberg, aus der Serie "Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I?", 2009
Photo: © Aura Rosenberg 2017
May 13, 2017, 1–7:30 p.m.
Conference language: German
The discussions about the cultural, political, and scientific consequences of the life sciences show that biological dimensions cannot be separated from cultural ones. Conceived by Hartmut Böhme and Beate Slominski, the conference “About Life – Biopolitical Perspectives in Science and Art,” explores the interaction of cultural studies and natural sciences by addressing the following questions: How are we to understand the living (human) entity? In what way do the boundaries blur between inanimate and animate entities in the execution of advanced technologies? How do organisms create a sphere of meaning in interaction with the outside world? What is the contribution of the arts to defining life? With Ute Meta Bauer, Hartmut Böhme, Frank Fehrenbach, Andreas Greiner, Inge Hinterwaldner, Peter Schiering, Georg Toepfer, and Janina Wellmann.
The biosciences provoke a general need for orientation regarding the concept of life and thus stand in the tradition of defining man that has been relevant since at least the 17th century. The technological potentials that come with the progress of biology lead to problems that cannot be answered by science alone. In fact, questions are arising about the cultural anthropological significance of biotechnologically engineered entities and about their integration into existing cultural contexts. The arts, too, intervene into these seemingly internal scientific problems: contemporary positionings of the arts in the context of BioArt, the anthropocene, and geoaesthetics consider themselves as an artistic exploration and representation of the biosphere.
At present, biology seems to be on the verge of achieving technological mastery over life. Nevertheless, it seems that in our century the question of life, instead of being clarified, invariably entails further problems and complications. The popular discussions about the cultural, political and scientific consequences of the life sciences show how important it is not to separate biological from cultural dimensions. In spite of the growing insight into the interactions between “science” and “culture,” a more intensive discussion of the progress of biology, which is fundamentally concerned with human self-understanding, has taken place only recently. Hence, many questions remain open and are to be discussed at the conference, made possible by the Schering Stiftung.
Participants: Ute Meta Bauer, Hartmut Böhme, Frank Fehrenbach, Andreas Greiner, Inge Hinterwaldner, Peter Schiering, Georg Toepfer, Janina Wellmann
Concept: Hartmut Böhme and Beate Slominski
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