we are really pleased to announce this new Leonardo ebook

META-LIFE: Biotechnologies, Synthetic Biology, A-Life and the Arts

for the other ebooks see


Four other Leonardo e-books are available for Kindle:



META-LIFE: Biotechnologies, Synthetic Biology, A-Life and
the Arts

A Leonardo-MIT Press e-book edited by Annick Bureaud, Roger
Malina and Louise Whiteley.

45 articles – 694 pages

Editorial Committee: David Benqué, Annick Bureaud, Oron
Catts, Matthew Gardiner, Roger F. Malina, Nell Tenhaaf, Ruth
West, Louise Whiteley


An exo-life may not come from outer space hiting the Earth
riding a meteorite but very well from the lab, designed by a
scientist —unless it is an artist— weaving biology and
computing in a petri dish or a bioreactor as a vessel.
With biotechnologies, synthetic biology and Artificial Life,
artists have opened new avenues in the artworld, going from
still to autonomous objects to living creatures, exploring
the thin border between animate and inanimate, confronting
the grown, the evolved, the born and the built, raising
aesthetical but also social, political and ethical issues.
In this ground breaking collection, the editors have
commission new original essays by key figures in these
fields and collected over 40 articles previously published
in the Leonardo Journal that document the ideas and practice
of artists involved in these areas as well as theoreticians
and historians.
Chapters include: Between Bio, Silico and Synthetic: Of Life
and Arts; Artificial Life and the Arts; Bioart; Bio-Fiction,
Design, Architecture; DIY Biology-Biohacking (see below for
full Table of Contents).

A web companion to this e-book is available at:
The Meta-Life e-book is a project by Leonardo/Olats
( as an outcome of the European Studiolab
Project (, supported by the European
Commission Seventh Framework Programme, in partnership with
Leonardo/ISAST ( and MIT Press and in
collaboration with ATEC at the University of Texas at Dallas

Table of Contents

Preface, Roger Malina, Meta-Life: “Aha” Moments That Drive
Introduction, Annick Bureaud, “Art at the Future Tense”

– Nell Tenhaaf, ““Trust Regions” for Art/Sci”, 2014

– Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, “Countering the Engineering
Mindset: The Conflict of Art and Synthetic Biology”, 2014

– Amy M. Youngs, “The Fine Art of Creating Life”, 2000

– Michael John Gorman, “The Sweet Smell of Synthetic
Biology, GROW YOUR OWN… Life After Nature, at Science
Gallery”, 2014

– Matthew Gardiner & Al. “Project Genesis: Ars Electronica”,

2.1 – ALife – At the Crossroad of Art, Science and Philosophy
– Nell Tenhaaf, “As Art Is Lifelike: Evolution, Art, and the
Readymade”, 1998

– Edward A. Shanken, “Life as We Know It and/or Life as It
Could Be: Epistemology and the Ontology/Ontogeny of
Artificial Life”, 1998

– Kenneth E. Rinaldo, “Technology Recapitulates Phylogeny:
Artificial Life Art”, 1998

– Ursula Huws, “Nature, Technology and Art: The Emergence of
a New Relationship?”, 2000

– Mark Bedau, “The Scientific and Philosophical Scope of
Artificial Life”, 2002

– Alvaro Moreno, “Artificial Life and Philosophy”, 2002

2.2 – ALife – Artworks
– Sommerer Christa, Mignonneau Laurent, “Art as a Living
System: Interactive Computer Artworks”, 1999

– Ray Thomas S., “Aesthetically Evolved Virtual Pets”, 2001

– Jane Prophet, “Sublime Ecologies and Artistic Endeavors:
Artificial Life and Interactivity in the Online Project
TechnoSphere”, 1996

– Bruce Damer, “The Cyberbiological Worlds of Nerve Garden:
A Test Bed for VRML 2.0”, 1998

– Kusahara Machiko, “The Art of Creating Subjective Reality:
An Analysis of Japanese Digital Pets”, 2001

– Anna Dumitriu and Blay Whitby, “Cybernetic Bacteria 2..0, 2011

– Nell Tenhaaf, “Art Embodies A-Life: The VIDA Competition”,

        3.1 – BioArt – Creating with Living Matter
– Adam Zaretsky, “Viva Vivo! Living Art Is Dead”, 2004

– Steve Tomasula, “Genetic Art and the Aesthetics of
Biology”, 2002

– George Gessert, “Bastard Flowers”, 1996

– Suzanne Anker, “Gene Culture: Molecular Metaphor in Visual
Art”, 2000

        3.2 – BioArt – Creations
– George Gessert, “Notes on Genetic Art”, 1993

– Eduardo Kac, “GFP Bunny”, 2003

– Marta de Menezes, “The Artificial Natural: Manipulating
Butterfly Wing Patterns for Artistic Purposes”, 2003

– Catts Oron, Zurr Ionat, “Growing Semi-Living Sculptures:
The Tissue Culture & Art Project”, 2002

– Catts Oron, “Not Moving – Living”, 2014

– Tagny Duff, Jill Muhling, Maria Grade Godinho and Stuart
Hodgetts, “How to Make Living Viral Tattoos”, 2011

– Patricia Noronha, “Yeast Biopaintings: Biofilms as an
Artistic Instrument”, 2011

– Polona Tratnik, “37°C: From the inside of a Being to the
Thin Line of Life”, 2005

– Zurr Ionat, “The Animation of Lab-Grown Life: Tissue
Engineered Muscle Actuator (TEMA)”, 2014

– Julie Clarke, “Corporeal Mélange: Aesthetics and Ethics of
Biomaterials in Stelarc and Nina Sellars’s Blender”, 2006

– Pelling Andrew E., “Re-purposing The Behaviour and Motion
of Living Cells in an Anti-Disciplinary and Curiosity-Driven
Context”, 2014

– Hilton Craig, “The Immortalisation of Billy Apple®: An
Art-Science Collaboration”, 2014

– Tony Bellaver, “Teaching Nature How to Become Nature: The
Woodland Recovery Project”, 1998

– Judy Malloy, “OK Research, OK Genetic Engineering, Bad
Information: Information Art Describes Technology, 1988

– Tran T. Kim-Trang and Karl Mihail, “Gene Genies
Worldwide”, 2003

– David Benqué, “Blueprints for the Unknown, Questioning the
“Design” of Life”, 2014

– Dennis Dollens, “Architecture as Nature: A Biodigital
Hypothesis”, 2009

– Bakke Monika, “Living (On) Dust: Around the Globe with
Mineral Particles & Microbial Hitchhikers”, 2014

– Morgan Meyer, “Hacking Life? The Politics and Poetics of
DIY Biology”, 2014

– Alessandro Delfanti, “Is Do-It-Yourself Biology Being
Co-Opted by Institutions?”, 2014

– Denisa Kera, “Do-It-Yourself biology (DIYbio): Return of
the Folly of Empiricism and Living Instruments”, 2014

– Nurit Bar Shai, “GenSpace, New York, Art & Science at
Genspace, Brooklyn’s Community Biotech Lab”, 2014

– Cathal Garvey (interview by David Benqué), 2014

Leave a Reply