Fri12May20177:30 pm - 10 pmWaag Society, Amsterdam
During the final performance of Trust me I’m an artist O’Reilly and Willet will bring (or perhaps smuggle) a variety of living materials to the Theatrum Anatomicum of the Waag building in Amsterdam, questioning which species are allowed in which ecologies, the laboratory as ecology and the wilderness as lab. A specially formed local ethics committee will react.
This performance will be followed by the Trust me, I’m an artist group exhibition that is on display from from 13 May – 25 June at Zone2Source’s Het Glazen Huis in the Amstelpark. Open Friday – Saturday - Sunday 11 am – 5 pm, or by appointment.
Questions will be raised on bio-safety, public health, pollution and toxicity. The work will be presented too the committee. While following the rules and procedures typical for the Netherlands, the ethics committee will debate the proposal and come to a decision. The artist will be informed of the ethics committee’s decision and, together with the audience, enters into a discussion about the result.
Willet and O’Reilly have performed together before and for Trust Me I’m an Artist their work will again intersect, this time in a faux ethics review of different but parallel practices escaping the studio, the laboratory, and into the wilderness. Part performance, part lecture, part bureaucratic response and procedural rebellion O’Reilly and Willet will propose a series of real and imagined attempts at ‘re-wilding’ their art/science practices. They will propose to enact twin sets of installations in Canada along the coastline of the Great Lakes, and in the forests of Finland. Unruly laboratory and performance practices will challenge notions of pollution, invasiveness, toxicity, and discrete national boundaries in interspecies dispersal actions; calling into question the possibility of a wilderness at all.
Collaboration between Willet and O’Reilly
Jennifer Willet and Kira O’Reilly have collaborated on a project-by-project basis since they met whilst both artists in residency at SymbioticA, University of Western Australia in 2004. They have trained together in vitro tissue culture techniques, performed non-human animality with cell cultures, they have climbed into aseptic work environments disorientating scientific scrutiny, and have folded and unfolded bodily refigurations in various laboratory settings.
- Dr. Ellen tern Gast (chair) - The ethics panel will be chaired by Dr. Ellen ter Gast, who also chaired the very first edition of Trust me I’m an Artist. Ellen ter Gast is biologist, philosopher and teacher who teaches Art-Science at Maastricht School of Fine Arts and Design, bioethics and art and life sciences at Leiden University, ethics of test animals at Groningen University.
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Roeser is Professor of Ethics at TU Delft (distinguished Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor). Her research covers theoretical, foundational topics concerning the nature of moral knowledge, intuitions, emotions and evaluative aspects of risk, but also urgent and hotly debated public issues on which her theoretical research can shed new light, such as nuclear energy, climate change and public health issues. She has a special interest in whether and how the arts can address ethical issues arising from emerging technologies.
- Prof. Dr. Toby Kiers is professor of Mutualistic Interactions at the Department of Ecological Science. Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She received her Phd from University of California, Davis in 2005 with a focus on Ecology, Evolution and Agriculture. She became a University Research Chair and Professor at the VU in January 2014. Her mutualistic understanding of interactions in ecology will help to understand the intereactions created by the performance of Willet and O’Reilly.
- Chris Bisson is Eden Project's Policy Development Manager and develops and manages bioscience and horticulture focussed projects. Having worked in areas of plant conservation, botany and most aspects of horticulture he has a broad knowledge of UK and global plant science. Recently, Chris has worked on Eden's scientific engagement programme and collaborative projects with Cornwall College, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, the Ancient Tree Forum, STEM Learning (UK) and the Wellcome Trust.
- Karin Spaink is a journalist, writer and feminist. Spaink is a free speech advocate and social critic. Her frequently discussed subjects are amongst others the right to inform people about methods of suicide to the Church of Scientology, who sued her for more than then years.
Sat13May2017Sun25Jun20171:00 pm - 5:00 pmZone2Source, Amsterdam
Festive opening: Saturday 13 May, 1 – 6 pm
Exhibition on display from 13 May – 25 June,
Open Friday – Saturday - Sunday 11 am – 5 pm, or by appointment.
Trust me, I’m an artist is group an exhibition of nine artists whose artworks involve gene editing, human tissue culture, the commons of nuclear materials, trans-species communications, the smuggling of biomaterials across continents and the relation between rituals of self healing and personalised medicine.
Can art help us understand the ethical complexities of emerging (bio)technologies? Are artists able to uncover our hidden desires and demystify the promises emerging technologies represent? Are living artworks allowed and is art allowed to alter life?
These are but a few questions that are raised by the art works commissioned and presented in the European project Trust me, I’m an artist.
The exhibition opens on May 13, 2017 at 1 pm at Zone2Source’s Het Glazen Huis in the Amstelpark.
1 – 2 pm: Walking lunch and welcome
2 – 4 pm: Statements and discussion
4 – 6 pm: Official opening and drinks
Before the festive opening of the exhibition an important discussion is organised to understand the legacy of Trust me, I’m an artist. All present artists will make a statement about their artworks in the frame of Trust me, I’m an artist. After this a moderated discussion will take place between the public, the artists, the curators and invited guests about the relationship between society, ethics, arts and the roles of individuals and institutions involved – during the project and beyond.
Minutes of the discussion will be published and are meant to create a new agenda for the possible continuation of the project and to understand the possible new form wherein Trust me, I’m an artist as a collaboration will be sustained.
Bringing ethics closer to the public
In daily life decisions about ethics provoked by technology are taken by experts, far from the general public. Trust me, I’m an artist selects artists that bring these ethics closer to the public through their artistic practice. Doing so these artworks help to create as if it were a commons of techno-ethics.
This exhibition shows the artworks that are the result of a series of performative events that took place between 2015 till 2017. During these events artists proposed and presented an ethically complex artwork to a specially formed ethics committee. While following the rules and procedures typical for the host country, the ethics committee would debate the proposal and come to a decision. During the performance the artist is informed of the ethics committee’s decision and, together with the audience, enters into a discussion about the result. Find out more about this project here.
About the artists
The artists and collaborators are Martin O’Brien (GB), Gina Czarnecki (GB) & John Hunt (GB), Anna Dumitriu (GB), Špela Petrič (SLO), Jennifer Willet (CAN) & Kira O’Reilly (GB/FIN) and Howard Boland (GB), Erich Berger (AT/FIN) & Mari Keto (FIN). The artworks are in part commissioned by the projects Trust me, I’m an artist, except for those of Erich Berger & Mari Keto and Howard Boland.
The exhibition is curated by Anna Dumitriu and Lucas Evers and the project partners Nicola Triscott, Louise Emma Whiteley, Jurij Krpan.
The exhibition of Trust me I’m an artist will take place at Zone2Source’s Het Glazen Huis in the Amstelpark, a former exhibition site of Floriade of 1972. Floriade is the Netherlands world horticulture exhibition held once every decade. Zone2Source builds on that legacy by developing art projects in the park that oscillate between nature and technology, creating a context for Trust me I’m an artist.