Lecture in language
No need to search for the garden of Eden. There is an extraordinary artist who used science to create a literal tree of knowledge by encoding 50,000 pages of the English Wikipedia into the apple tree genome. It was he again who taught E.coli bacteria to listen to music. His work develops a unique synergy of science and arts, shifting both disciplines into new contexts. The face of the „Bioart“ movement belongs to Joe Davis.
One of the pioneers of Biomedia is considered not only a controversial figure of modern biology but also one of the most remarkable artists of his generation, never separating scientific research from art. Joe Davis is a research affiliate at the Department of Biology at MIT and the George Church Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. His work attempts to overcome the limits of human knowledge – it is a constant curious effort to understand our place in the universe. Joe is based in the fields of molecular biology, bioinformatics, "space art" and sculpture, using media such as centrifuges, radios, prosthetics, magnetic fields, and genetic material.
While none of his projects could be called ordinary...some of them stand out as particularly ambitious: Call me Ishmel, a 110-foot lightning tower in memoriam for Hurricane Katrina, or Bacterial Radio, a crystal radio system that uses a protein derived from marine sponges to create an electrical circuit capable of receiving AM radio transmissions. Thanks to its technical sophistication and
sustainability, Bacterial Radio was awarded the 2012 Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art. Joe Davis‘ life and career have been captured in the movie Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis.
This year’s Meltingpot Forum in Ostrava happens to take place on a very special date and closely precedes the opening of the new Temporary Institute for Unification of Knowledge in Jena, Germany, on the first day of August, 2019 – it is no coincidence that the opening is taking place in the year of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. That is why Joe has invited a special guest for his Meltingpot session, a biomedical engineer at the Technical University of Vienna, Doris Roth (GER), to talk about a recent wave rising again in science, art and other fields, adopting the mindset of Leonardo da Vinci – that knowledge is one. And we do not want to fall behind!