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SymbioticA exhibits art that deals with the shifting perceptions of life.

SymbioticA holds a strong and important place in the history of showing biological art and is dedicated to producing exhibitions and conferences focusing on biological art.

  1. Upcoming exhibitions
  2. Previous exhibitions

Upcoming Exhibitions October 2015

Futile Labor

1-10 October 2015
John Curtin Gallery Perth Western Australia
Futile Labor is concerned with our changing perceptions of life and its agencies bound by the phenomenon of movement, as they are brought on by new biotechnologies. This exhibition by Ionat Zurr, Chris Salter and Oron Catts is a new major work informed by three years of DECRA research.


3 October - 5 December 2015
Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
The University of Western Australia Curated by Oron Catts, Elizabeth Stephens and Jennifer Johung.

To be opened by Paola Antonelli 6:00pm 2 October 2015

One evening in October 1995, the BBC aired striking footage of a nude mouse with a human ear growing on its back. This evocative living object became one of the defining images of the late twentieth century, a symbol of our increasing capacity to shape and alter living bodies.

DeMonstrable, curated by SymbioticA Director Oron Catts is an event set to commemorate, respond to, and reflect on the multifaceted cultural and scientific impact of the Earmouse. New work commissioned for this exhibition is presented together with 20 years of artistic, scientific and popular culture responses to the Earmouse.

This project has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Creativel Research Into New Genres of Experimentation and Excellence

4 October 2015
SymbioticA and UWA's Cultural Precinct will partner to present  a day of play, failure and unfinished ideas. Including the work:

UWA Masonic Hall
6 Broadway Nedlands, Western Australia

Guy Ben-Ary is on a quest to outsource his “brain” to become a rock star in a dish.

He has used cutting edge bio-technologies to transform his own skin cells into a functional neural network or his “external brain”, and has embodied it with a sound-producing body made of analogue modular synthesisers. This autonomous cybernetic musician is capable of sensing and responding to stimulation provided by human musicians. It is a not-entirely-human performative artwork challenging perceptions about life and the materiality of the human body.

In its first public performance, cellF will jam live with Darren Moore, Tokyo-based experimental jazz drummer, in a unique improvisation. Accompanying the performance is an exhibition of prototypes and material that documents the four years of research and development of the project, exploring and revealing some of the processes and theory that underpins the work.

cellF is a collaboration between artists Guy Ben-Ary, Darren Moore, Nathan Thompson and Andrew Fitch, and scientists Stuart Hodgetts, Mike Edel and Douglas Bakkum.

Previous Exhibitions

Audrey CernentiaCernentia: Exploring the Visual Perception of Lungfishes Without Eyes
Kidogo Art House, Fremantle Western Australia
24th-31st July 2015

In ‘Cernentia: exploring the visual perception of lungfishes without eyes’ (2015), the audience is invited to experience the visual world of a group of Australian lungfishes born without external eyes. By using scientific methodologies and artistic practice, Appudurai creates a kaleidoscopic interface built from scientific and artistic traces that poetically extends human perception beyond vision, and highlights the limitations that prevent us from complete embodiment.

The creation of a link between human-and-lungfish and human-and-“eyeless”-lungfish connects us with the world under threat due to human impact, and in doing so, may help us to understand our place within it.

Audrey Appudurai is an Australian artist and researcher interested in the scientific, artistic, and cultural pursuit of non-human animal experiences. Through scientific research and the use of biologically related technologies (histology, electrophysiology, and microscopy), and sound, video, and photography, Appudurai creates immersive multi-media installations that integrate the fields of biological sciences and the arts to speculate on a perceptive world outside our own.

Appudurai graduated with honours from The University of Western Australia, Faculty of Science with a BSc (Microbiology and Medical Genetics majors), and currently is a PhD candidate at SymbioticA and the Neuroecology Group at The University of Western Australia. She is exploring the visual perception of lungfishes, living fossils capable of breathing through air and water, and linked to humans by being the closest living ancestor to all land vertebrates.

By utilizing diverse (and often opposing) disciplines and methodologies, Appudurai hopes to provide a deeper understanding of the visual systems of non-human aquatic animals in order to better grasp the intangible nature of visual experience.

semipermeable (+)Semipermeable Square

Date: 8 June - 21 August 2013.
Location: Powerhouse Museum Sydney
Curated by: Oron Catts

semipermeable (+) looks at the membrane as a site, metaphor and platform for a series of artistic interventions and projects, some commissioned specifically for the show and others selected from the many projects developed at SymbioticA since 2000.

Luminous Night Print Retrospective

Location: UWA University Club
When: 8th Feb 2013

As part of UWA's Luminous Night centenary celebrations SymbioticA showcases work spanning the lifetime of the Centre, including new work from 2012, in print form. 



Date: 6 May - 10 June 2012
Location: INQB8 Centre for Contemporary Art, 63 Ormsby Terrace, Mandurah Western Australia
Curated by: Cecelia Cmielewski

Exploring the microbe to the macro, and everything in-between, Adaptation is SymbioticA's art and ecology research project undertaken by artists at Lake Clifton since 2008. Lake Clifton as a location and as a metaphor, offers a microcosmic peak into the broader issues of ecology and life itself. Adaptation broadly scopes issues spanning the creation of life, indigenous culture, colonisation, scientific discovery, developmental booms, to fragility in the face of climate change. Outcomes of SymbioticA’s Adaptation residency and collaboration projects will be showcased in this exhibition.

Visceral: The Living Art Experiment

Curated by: Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr
Produced by:
Science Gallery, Dublin and SymbioticA

This exhibition will explore and provoke questions about scientific truths, what constitutes living and the ethical and artistic implications of life manipulation.

Still, Living: Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth 2007

Curated by: Jens Hauser
Produced by:

From frogs that mutate naturally to the fallouts of bio-warfare and torture, seminal bio-art exhibition Still, Living showcased work dealing with biological systems, as part of the third Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth.

SymbioticA Showcase: Ars Electronica 2007

Curated by: Oron Catts
Produced by:

As the winners of the inaugural Hybrid Arts Golden Nica, SymbioticA's director Oron Catts was asked to curate a showcase exhibition to highlight the work developed in SymbioticA.

BioDifference: The Political Ecology Exhibition: Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth 2004

Curated by: Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr

From a pin-ball competition between humans and micro-organisms to the movements of rolling robotic fish bowls, the anti-aesthetic of breeding plants and fungi grown into textile stains, BioDifference explored Biological art with ideas concerning relationships with living systems and the interconnectivity of the different levels of life.

BIOFEEL: Art and Biology: Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth 2002

Curated by: Oron Catts

The art in BioFeel goes beyond the fantasy of the surrealist project. The artists are dealing with the actual wet palette of possibilities of life manipulation offered by biotechnology.

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