BioARTCAMP: a Rocky Mountain Expedition in Art and Biology.
Program Dates: July 19-Aug 01, 2011

Faculty: Jennifer Willet (INCUBATOR: Hybrid Laboratory at the Intersection of Art, Science and Ecology at The University of Windsor, Canada and The Banff Centre, Canada)

Senior Artists/Scientists: Tagny Duff, Angus Leech, Marta De Menzies, Paul Vanouse, Adam Zaretsky, Marie Pier Boucher, Kurt Illerbrun, Jeanette Groenendaal, Zoot Derks, IAN BAXTER&, and Bulent Mutus.

The BioARTCAMP participant list is an exciting mix of Canadian and International artists from the bioart community and related practices, as well as scientists, theorists and filmmakers from Canada and abroad.


Participating members include:


IAIN BAXTER& questions the role of art as both consumer commodity and as a medium for cultural commentary. BAXTER& was the first artist to adopt a corporate persona, forming “N.E. Thing Company” in 1966. NETCO’s output ranged from conceptual, satirical, vacuum-formed still lifes to post-modern appropriations of famous artworks.

Currently, his installations “Fahrenheit 450 (Homage to Bradbury and Orwell)” and “The Lecture” are featured at Corkin Gallery. His ACT’s (Aesthetically Claimed Things) will be exhibited in “On Line: Drawing in the 20th Century” opening at MoMA November 21, 2010 until February 7, 2011. He is also exhibiting at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery as part of “Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-80” and has a solo exhibition at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, until March 2011.

His works as a solo artist and as the founder of N.E. Thing Co. have been widely exhibited and collected in institutions including the Museum of Modern Art; the Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of New Art, Detroit; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the F.R.A.C. Art Museum in Bretagne, France; Geneva Museum of Art & History, Switzerland; Gemeentemusem in The Hague, Holland, and the National Gallery of Canada. He was included in Kynaston McShine’s seminal conceptualist exhibition Information held at the MoMA in 1970. Lucy Lippard wrote about BAXTER& in “Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972”, positioning BAXTER& as an important conceptual artist alongside Robert Smithson.

From 1964 to 1971 BAXTER& taught at the University of British Columbia, then was headhunted to start the Art Department at Simon Fraser University. BAXTER& was prominent in the early years of the Vancouver School. He left the West Coast just as Vancouver was becoming recognized, and went on to teach at the Alberta College of Art and Design, York University and at the University of Windsor, where he is currently professor emeritus and has taught since 1988.

BAXTER& has received many awards including the Canada Council’s York Wilson Prize and Order of British Colombia in 2007; Canada Gershon Iskowitz Prize in 2006; Council Molson Prize in the Arts in 2005; Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2004; and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada by the Governor General in 2003.

Marie Pier Boucher (CAN)

Marie-Pier Boucher is a Ph.D. student in the department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University. She holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Communication Sciences from the University of Montreal in Canada. Her work draws upon complex systems theory, and bio- and neurosciences in addressing architectural and spatial practices. She is currently researching the notion of“living architecture,”that is an architecture that holds the potential to continuously reconfigure the ecology of the relations betweenthe built environment, human and non-human entities, and their lived experiences. Since 2009, she has been collaborating as a theorist and co-editor on Adaptive Actions, a micropolitical project of research- creation that critically engages with the notion of adaptation in the builtenvironment (Madrid Abierto, Spain, 2010; Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 2010; She is also a guest editor of InfleXions, an open-access journal for research-creation. Her research residencies include: SymbioticA, Center for Excellence in Biological Arts, University of Western Australia, Perth (2006), and Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany (2010). She has presented her work in multiple venues across Canada, England, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Australia. Her research is supported by the Visual Studies Initiative (Duke University) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).

Zoot Derks (NL)

Zoot Derks (b. 1961) Amsterdam
New Medium Artist; Timeline Critic
Research, Storyboard, Camera, Editor, Post Productions, Web Publisher
MA Artistic Reseach, UvA
MA Fine Arts, Ateliers 63 Haarlem

“Timeline Criticism” 2011
“PolderPiece” 2009
“Orange Pheasant” 2009
“VASTAL”  series of 9 with Waag Society 2009
“Inside Out” with Jennifer Willet 2008
“Dangerous Liasons” with Adam Zaretsky 2007

Initiating art collectives; STORT- Artporn- ZootenGenant- ZOOT
Supported by  FondsBKVB, EYE Institute Holland.

Tagny Duff (CDN)

Tagny Duff is an interdisciplinary artist based in Montreal. Duff’s current work looks at the  conceptual, metaphoric and applied use of viruses and the viral. By working hands-on with biotechnology and scientific techniques, Duff is interested in demystifying and making public, the use, creation and cultural perceptions of the viral. Duff’s art practice spans bioart, video, performance, net art and installation works. Recent exhibitions include “Cryobook Archives” exhibited as part of the SymbioticA 10th anniversary exhibition at the Science Gallery (2011 Dublin, Ireland),  “Living Viral Tattoos” at Moscow Biennial (2009) and National Centre for Contemporary Art (2008 Keliningrad, Russia) and IX MediaForum and Moscow International Film Festival (2008) as part of the group exhibition Evolution Haute Couture, curated by Dmitry Bulatov.  Other exhibitions include Performing Diagnostics (2009) Articule (Montreal, Canada), Moist Media Archives Prototypes (2008) Perth Institute of Contemporary (Perth, Australia) and Recursive Symmetry (2008) Gallery Aferro, USA.

Jeanette Groenendaal (NL)

Jeanette Groenendaal (b. 1964) Amsterdam
Independent Filmmaker, (Film-) Performance/Productions.
Lecturer in Experimental Filmmaking, Ancient Astrology.
Research, Director, Camera, Editor, Producer, PR.
DasArts MA Theatre Research
Filmanalysis, Filmacademy Amsterdam
Hermetica studies UvA (2010)

“Dramayama” 2011
“Reformation” 2009/2010
“VASTAL” series of 9 with Waag Society 2009
“Inside Out” with Jennifer Willet 2008
“Dangerous Liasons” with Adam Zaretsky 2007

Initiating art collectives;  Artporn- ZootenGenant- G-netwerk

Nomination for the Magic Hour Award, Planet Doc Review, Warsaw
Supported by FILMFONDS- FondsBKVB- AFK
Distributed by G-netwerk/ EYE (NL)/ Against Gravity (PL)

Kurt Illerbrun (CAN)

After growing up on a farm in rural Vancouver Island, going to school in Japan, and doing his undergrad in Ontario, his Master’s in England on Japanese political cartoons, and his PhD in Alberta on the ecology of alpine butterflies, it’s no wonder Kurt has no idea what to do next.  Living in a tent with an interdisciplinary group of artists and scientists seems like a logical step, and an excellent chance to continue exploring the interface of art and science.

Angus Leech (CDN)

Angus Leech has been a digital media writer, researcher and designer since 2001. From 2006-2010 he was employed at The Banff Centre as Senior Mobile Researcher for the Banff New Media Institute’s Advanced Research Technology Mobile Lab ( The lab was created in 2005 to enable research into mobile and location-based media design, art, technology and cultures of use. Primary activities included design research, content creation, technical R&D, participant ethnography, and new media outreach and training. In particular, the lab focussed on media created for outdoor spaces and communities – innovative technologies, interactions, and experiences designed for remote locations from cultural heritage sites and wilderness areas to urban parks.

As an arts-based researcher leading the Mobile Lab he created new mobile experience designs, mentored and collaborated with artists and researchers in-residence, and developed community-based projects from mobile learning initiatives to participatory design research. Recent mobile prototype projects include Tracklines, a trail-based locative media experience created with Banff National Park; Trickster, a science-based outdoor role playing game for cellphone; and The Heavy Metal Palm Reader, an exercise in mobile guerrilla journalism. Recent research projects include a major field study commissioned by Parks Canada to assess public receptivity to locative media in Banff National Park. Angus also recently led the Locative Learning project, an educational initiative that used GPS and student-led mobile media creation to enhance curriculum in Banff’s junior high school ( Most recently, he led the development of OurMap, an open source community mapping tool and platform for mobile learning ( Projects in development include Slow Mobility, an experimental interaction design program exploring time and ecology in mobile media; and Slow Flow Athabasca, an expeditionary river-residency in which artists, technologists, educators, scientists and other travelers will explore the rhythms and impacts of fast technology on the Canadian landscape. Ongoing research and creative interests explore the intersections between media and the environment, technology and ecology, speed and slowness, as well as themes such as time in design, citizen science, locative storytelling.

Previously (2002-2005), Angus was the English Editor of, an interactive web magazine showcasing the digital arts and culture scene in Canada. He has also been an arts journalist, geologist, public educator, and park interpreter. He received a Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) in 1999 from York University, where his work focused on Media and the Environment, and in particular relationships between landscape and memory as expressed through map-based narratives.

Marta De Menezes (PL)

Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist (b. Lisbon, 1975) with a degree in Fine Arts by the University in Lisbon, a MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture by the University of Oxford, and a PhD candidate at the University of Leiden. She has been exploring the intersection between Art and Biology, working in

research laboratories demonstrating that new biological technologies can be used as new art medium. In 1999 de Menezes created her first biological artwork (Nature?) by modifying the wing patterns of live butterflies. Since then, she has used diverse biological techniques including functional MRI of the brain to create portraits where the mind can be visualised (Functional Portraits, 2002); fluorescent DNA probes to create micro-sculptures in human cell nuclei (nucleArt, 2002); sculptures made of proteins (Proteic Portrait, 2002-2007), DNA (Innercloud, 2003; The Family, 2004) or incorporating live neurons (Tree of Knowledge, 2005) or bacteria (Decon, 2007). Her work has been presented internationally in exhibitions, articles and lectures. She is currently the artistic director of Ectopia an experimental art laboratory within a biological research institute, The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Lisbon, and Director of a Cultural Association, Cultivamos Cultura, in the South of Portugal.

Dr. Bulent Mutus (CAN)

Bulent Mutus, PhD, Professor and University of Windsor Research Chair,
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Mutus received his BSc (1975) and MSc (1977) from the University of Waterloo, his PhD (1981) from the University of Manitoba . After postdoctoral training in the lab of Jerry H Wang Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Manitoba, the co-discoverer of calmodulin, he joined the Department of Chemistry, U. Windsor as an independent researcher in 1982.

Dr. Mutus was a Fogarty Fellow ‘88/’89 at the Department of Pharmacology, U.Washington. He served as the Assoc. Dean of Science, Research & Graduate Studies at U. Windsor from ‘03 to ‘06.  Dr. Mutus founded the Canadian Nitric Oxide Society (CNOS) in ‘04.  He was appointed as a U. Windsor Research Chair in ‘06. His research interests are centered on redox signaling in vascular cells including platelets, endothelial and red blood cells. His group also develops analytical methods for the detection of thiols, oxides of nitrogen, S-nitrosothiols and proteomic analysis, in support of his cell biology research.

Dr. Mutus’ research has been continuously supported (since ‘83) by grants from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). In addition, he has/had funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), CIHR, NIH, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Dr. Mutus has published over 80 refereed full journal articles. He serves as the North American Editor for the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology and on the editorial boards of 5 other journals. He is a councillor in the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Tokio Webster (CAN)

Tokio Webster was born and raised in downtown Toronto, Ontario and is an interdisciplinary artist completing her final year of her BFA in visual arts at the University of Windsor. Her work investigates ideas of the grotesque and concepts of the “unknowable other” by exploring complexities of gender identity and ambiguity through the mediums of printmaking, digital video and most recently Bioart. In January of 2010, Tokio began working as a research assistant to Dr. Jennifer Willet and is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the Incubator Lab. She plans on continuing her practice and eventually completing an MFA degree in visual arts.

Jennifer Willet (CDN)

Dr. Jennifer Willet is an internationally successful artist in the emerging field of BioArt. Her work explores notions of representation, the body, self and subjectivity, in relation to biotechnological and digital technologies with an emphasis on social and political criticism. She has exhibited, and presented her research extensively across Canada and internationally.  From 2000-2007 Willet and Shawn Bailey collaborated on an innovative computational, biological, artistic, project called BIOTEKNICA.  She taught in the Studio Arts Department at Concordia University from 2000-2007, and completed her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program at the same institution.  Willet also taught “BioArt: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences” for The Art and Genomics Centre at The University of Leiden in Spring 2008, and now works as an Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Arts, at The University of Windsor.  In 2009 she opened the first biological art lab in Canada, called INCUBATOR: Hybrid Laboratory at the Intersection of Art, Science, and Ecology at the University of Windsor.

Exhibitions include: Arnolfini Museum, Bristol UK (2010), Exit Art Gallery, New York, NY (2009), Ars Electronica festival, Linz (2008), FOFA Gallery, Montreal (2007), ISEA San Jose, USA (2006), Biennial Electronic Arts Perth Perth, Australia (2004), The European Media Arts Festival Osnabrück , Germany (2003), La Société des arts et technologiques (SAT) Montreal, Canada (2005), and The Forest City Gallery London, Canada (2004), amongst others.  She has conducted research during residencies at The Banff Centre for the Arts Banff, Canada (2002, 2007, 2009, 2010), and SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (2004, 2006).

Paul Vanouse (USA)

Paul Vanouse has been working in emerging media forms since 1990.  Interdisciplinarity and impassioned amateurism guide his art practice. His electronic cinema, biological experiments, and interactive installations have been exhibited in over 20 countries and widely across the US.

Venues have included: Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, New Museum in New York, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Louvre in Paris, NGBK in Berlin, Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsrhue, Centre de Cultura Contemporania in Barcelona, and TePapa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand.

Vanouse’s work has been supported by Creative Capital Foundation, Renew Media (Rockefeller) Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Sun Microsystems, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Heinz Foundation, Mellon Charitable Trust, and National Science Foundation.  His work has garnered prizes at international competitions including ARS Electronica in Austria and VIDA in Spain.

Paul Vanouse is an Associate Professor of Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo, where he co-Directs the Emerging Practices MFA concentration.  His current project, “Latent Figure Protocol” uses molecular biology techniques to challenge “genome-hype” and to confront issues surrounding DNA fingerprinting.

Adam Zaretsky (USA)

Adam Zaretsky is a bio-artist working in Biology and Art Wet Lab Practice.  This involves biological lab immersion as a process towards inspired artistic projects.  His personal research interests revolve around life, living systems, exploration into the mysteries of life and interrogating varied cultural definitions which stratify life’s popular categorizations.  He also focuses on legal, ethical and social implications of some of the newer biotechnological materials and methods, i.e.: Molecular Biology, ART [Assisted Reproductive Technology], and Transgenic Protocols.

Zaretsky is also well known as a teacher of Vivoarts: Art and Biology Studio.  Vivoarts is a studio art and science crossover lab meant to aid art, science and sociology students in their own exploration of the intersections between art and life.  Vivoarts encourages students to show their philosophical coursings, their quixotic prodding, and their slippery sloping around and between their studies of: Ecology, Biotechnology, Non-human Relations, Live Art and Gastronomy.  Focus is on artistic uses of molecular biology, tissue culture, genomics, developmental biology and the social implications of these new technological developments.  The focus of the class is not on the logic of the biologic, but on our cultural relationships to the world of life, with all their contradictions and illogicalities.

Adam Zaretsky is a bioartist, performer, researcher and art theorist.  A former research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Zaretsky also has taught in Steve Wilson’s Conceptual/Information Arts (CIA) department at San Francisco State University, SymbioticA, The Art and Science Collaborative Research Laboratory at The University of Western Australia Department of Anatomy and Human Biology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Integrated Electronic Arts Department.  In 2007 Adam taught Vivoarts at Leiden University Honours Programme in the Netherlands as a guest of The Arts and Genomics Centre.  He is currently a PhD student at RPI focusing on Art and Life Politics while heading VASTAL: The Vivoarts School for Transgenic Aesthetics Ltd. At the WAAG in Amsterdam (NL).