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“A project that embraces both art and science and balances on the border of imagination and reality. Which is perhaps the most exciting place to be – as a scientist and as an artist!“ - Robbert Dijkgraaf

Book presentations

Baltan Laboratories explores the possibilities and boundaries of the merging of Art and Science with two compelling book presentations by Jalila Essaïdi and David Rothenberg. Both speakers reveal their fascination for the arts and the natural world through their unconventional research practices, which enable the ability to comprehend the unexplored behind nature’s genius.

BALTAN SESSIONS # 2 – ART, SCIENCE AND EVOLUTION, March 20th 2013 from on Vimeo.

Dutch artist Jalila Essaïdi will present her book “Bulletproof skin, Exploring Boundaries by Piercing Barriers” about the project 2.6g 329m/s. As one of the three winners of the Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Awards, Jalila Essaïdi (1981) created a piece of ‘bulletproof’ skin. For this purpose spider silk, proportionately many times stronger than steel and made by transgenic goats and worms, was seeded with human skin cells and has grown into a ‘bulletproof’ human skin. By creating this ‘bulletproof’ human skin Essaïdi wants to explore the social, political, ethical and cultural issues surrounding safety. With this work she shows that safety in its broadest sense is a relative concept, and hence the term bulletproof.

Musician and philosopher David Rothenberg (USA) presents his a talk based on his book‘Survival of the Beautiful: Art,Science and Evolution’. An exciting and almost hallucinating book about why nature is beautiful and how art has influenced science. Artists get inspiration from nature, but can we say that nature itself creates art? Survival of the beauty starts with a walk in an Australian forest. A bird has built a beautiful sculpture of twigs, blue feathers and blue cutlery. It’s made by the male to entice a female to mate. A biologist explains that the bird in case of shortage of material won’t hesitate to kill a blue bird just for its feathers. Even with humans killing for your art is rare. This bird, says Rothenberg, gives food to the thought that art in a pure form can be created by animals other than humans.

About Jalila Essaïdi

Jalila Essaïdi is a BioArtist who uses Biology and the Life Sciences as an artistic medium. Her artwork is about the recognition of the transience of matter and a human desire to keep and hold. Jalila Essaïdi studied Bioart at Universiteit Leiden and is the founder of BioArt Laboratories. The project received an honorary mention of Prix Ars Electronica 2012. This was truly a “bullet heard round the world”— Jalila’s story was immediately picked up by the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, CNN, EuroNews and the BBC. Watch Jalila at CNN:

About David Rothenberg:

Rothenberg has written and performed on the relationship between humanity and nature for many years. Taking inspiration from Charles Darwin’s observations that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg dives into the mysteries of why we create art, and why animals, humans included, have innate appreciation for beauty. Rothenberg is the author of Why Birds Sing, on making music with birds, that was turned into a feature length BBC TV documentary. Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Watch the BBC documentary “Why Birds Sing”, after a book by Rothenberg.

Organizer: Baltan Laboratories
Van Abbemuseum, Auditorium. Eindhoven

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