Coalesce Center for Biological Art
Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts is a hybrid studio laboratory facility dedicated to enabling hands-on creative engagement with the tools and technologies of the life sciences. It is a place where artists, designers and architects actively learn, use and create, using life sciences technologies as their medium; scientists explore new forms or broader cultural meanings of their work; and philosophers, writers and social scientists interact in a tangible way with the processes of the life sciences. However, it is a place where such disciplinary labels are challenged and hybrid creative practices are incubated.
Coalesce responds to a grand challenge to our social, cultural and ethical tools developed through the twentieth century by recent advances in the life sciences. For instance “What does it mean to design a living organism?” “What aspects of such an organism could be called an invention… or an artwork?” “How do we presently define life?” From medicine to the environment, from stem cells to microbes, from genes to biomes, much of the US public is ill prepared to evaluate the most complex questions, challenges and issues facing our society today. Coalesce will complement UB’s growing expertise in the life sciences by addressing questions and issues vital to public understanding and participation, but beyond the analytical constraints of most disciplines.
Coalesce is a major facet of The Genome, Environment and Microbiome (GEM) Community of Excellence, a new strategic initiative at the University at Buffalo. GEM’s mission is to create a trans-University Community with ambitious research, education and community engagement goals.
Coalesce establishes a dedicated studio laboratory for Biological Art and Emerging Practices in the Arts, as well as graduate positions, interdisciplinary coursework, residency opportunities, DIY workshops and exhibitions.