Director of SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts School of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of Western Australia
Oron Catts is an artist, researcher and a curator at the forefront of the emerging field of Biological-arts, whose work addresses shifting perceptions of life.
Having background in art and design, he was a Research Fellow at the Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, and worked with numerous other bio-medical laboratories around the world.
In 1996, he founded the Tissue Culture and Art Project to explore the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression.
In 2000, he co-founded SymbioticA; an artistic research laboratory within a biological science department. SymbioticA Become a Centre of Excellence in 2008 and has a thriving residency, academic and workshops programme.
In April 2009 he was acknowledged by Icon Magazine (UK) as one of the top 20 Designers “making the future and transforming the way we work”. His work received international awards and recognition including the inaugural Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art in 2007, the 2008 WA Premier Award and The Second Prize in the VIDA10.
His work is part NY MoMA design collection and has been exhibited and presented internationally.
Catts had published 13 book chapters and numerous articles.
The Tissue Culture & Art Project (TC&A) was set to explore the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. We are investigating our relationships with the different gradients of life through the construction/growth of a new class of object/being - that of the Semi-Living. These are parts of complex organisms which are sustained alive outside of the body and coerced to grow in predetermined shapes. These evocative objects are a tangible example that brings into question deep rooted perceptions of life and identity, concept of self, and the position of the human in regard to other living beings and the environment. We are interested in the new discourses and new ethics/epistemologies that surround issues of partial life and the contestable future scenarios they are offering us.