As of January 2022, the Director of the Visual Art and Design Research Centre, Prof Leora Farber, will be offering Masters, PhD and post-doctoral supervision in the emergent field of bio-art/design.
This new, developing research programme is focused on theoretical and practical interactions between the life sciences, biotechnology, visual art and certain design forms. Working under the umbrella term ‘bio-art/design’ artists and designers engage with scientific processes, using non/living matter as media. Biological materials such as cells, tissues, organisms, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi are explored using a combination of artmaking /design processes and scientific procedures, protocols, and tools.
Given this, bio-art/design may be considered as a form of interdisciplinary praxis: a critical and creative visual response to the development and presence of biotechnologies and related procedures, and theoretical debates currently taking place in contemporary scientific and popular-scientific discourses, as well as in cultural imaginaries across the arts and Humanities. Practical work takes place in a custom-built, PC2 laboratory, that forms part of the FADA FABLAB. It is the first bio-art/design research laboratory of its kind in South Africa, enabling artists and designers to engage in ‘wet’ biological practices in conjunction with research into related theoretical concerns.
Funding for Masters, PhD and Post-doctoral Fellowships can be applied for under the University of Johannesburg’s Global Excellence Stature (GES) 4.0 Scholarship programme.