CONF Feb 21, 2021

Bio art before Bio art. The living as cultural expression (online, 25-26 Mar 21)

Online, Mar 25–26, 2021

Julio Velasco, Centre Marc Bloch

Bio art before Bio Art. The living as cultural expression

The Centre Marc Bloch, University of Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne and the Viadrina University am Frankfurt/Oder organize a meeting about "Bio art before Bio Art. The living as cultural expression".
Bio Art appears as a major artistic expression of our time. Climate change, the destruction of biodiversity or genetic experimentation make this art form the one that is most directly confronted with the major current problems, to the point that it is becoming, probably, the most emblematic visual manifestation of our society.
Yet the use of the living in art is far from being new. Both in the history of "the West" and in the history of many other societies, we find artistic forms that include living beings in their productions. The meeting focuses on these creations and seeks to bring together some research concerning these art forms existing before Bio art both in "the West" and elsewhere and to open a space for dialogue between them.
This is the first meeting on this very broad topic. Our aim is to bring together various studies and art works, in an attempt to understand how in other eras and in other societies the living has been used for artistic creation, through comparisons between these artistic expressions, but also by relating them to the other art forms produced by the social group in which each of them appeared. We try thus to establish what these expressions have in common, but also what are their specifics.


Thursday 25th February

9:00 Opening

9:15 First Session
Chairperson: KLAUS WEBER


9:30 Animals and ambiguity: monkey theatre as symbolic performance in pre-Revolutionary Paris
ALAN ROSS, Tenure Track Professor University of Vienne, D Phil in Modern History, Oxford, Humboldt Graduate School Post-Doc Fellow, History Department, Humboldt University, Berlin.

10:15 From beast to machine: transformations of non-human actors in cultural performances
DAVID KRYCH, PhD in philosophy, theatre, film and media studies at the University of Vienne, Researcher consultant at the Danube University Krems.

11:00 BREAK


11:15 How a Garden Turns into the Emblem of a Cosmopolitan City and How a Rose is Part of the Therapeutic Process
GABRIELA-MARIANA LUCA, Associate Professor, PhD, Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy,Timișoara, Romania and,
DANIELA ȘILINDEAN, Associate Professor, PhD, Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy,Timișoara, Romania.

12:00 LUNCH

14:00 Second Session 2
Chairperson: JULIO VELASCO


14:15 Les bêtes dehors ! (mais pas leur simulacre)
SERGIO DALLA BERNARDINA, professeur d’ethnologie à l’université de Bretagne-Occidentale, IIAC-LACI (Institut interdisciplinaire d’anthropologie du contemporain - CNRS EHESS).
Presentation in French.

15:00 Vivid Images: Life, Matter, Look (To be confirmed)
ALESSANDRA RUSSO, Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, at Columbia University.
In dialogue with Julio Velasco (9:00 NY time).

15:45 BREAK


16:00 Artificial Cranial Deformation in the Andes. A Body Language From Aesthetic to Magical Meanings
JERÔME THOMAS, Graduate in History, Lecturer in Anthropology (University Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3), Associate researcher IRIEC (Institut de Recherche Intersite en Etudes Culturelles).

16:45 Building Images on the Living Body. Over and Beyond Representational Art in the Pacific.
SÉBASTIEN GALLIOT, researcher in anthropology at the French National Centre for Research (CNRS), member of the CREDO (Centre de Recherche et de Docuentation sur l’Océanie).

Friday 26th February

Third Session


9:00 LUGANSAD: Artistic Assemblages of wildflowers and naturalness in landscape configurations.
JANNA MAMBETOVA. PhD candidate (University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne), founder of Public Fund "Cultural Dialogue" and art-manager.

9:45 Living Matter and Non-representationalism in Current Bio Art REGINE RAPP, art historian, curator and co-director of Art Laboratory Berlin.

10:30 BREAK

10:45 Bio-art projects facing the crisis of sensitivity
EMELINE GOUGEON, Ph.D student in Sciences of Art at Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Master’s degree in Cultural Engineering applied to art-science projects, visiting researcher at Lasco IdeaLab (Institut Mines-Télécom Business-School Paris).

11:30 Discussion and Conclusions

To register write to:

Due to the current conditions, this meeting will take place entirely via internet (please ask for the Zoom link at It will be the preliminary stage of a symposium on the same subject, the next stages of which will take place in Paris and Berlin, in person, during the year 2021.

Organisation by:
University of Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris (France): OLGA KISSELEVA,
European University Viadrina, Frankfurt an der Oder (Germany): KLAUS WEBER,
Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin (Germany): JULIO VELASCO.

CONF: Bio art before Bio art. The living as cultural expression (online, 25-26 Mar 21). In:, Feb 21, 2021 (accessed Mar 2, 2021), <>.