Nora S?rensen Vaage


Country of origin



University of Bergen



Nora S. Vaage is an interdisciplinary researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities at the University of Bergen, Norway. She is working on her PhD dissertation on artistic research and the ethics of bio art, of which the SymbioticA Centre is the main case study. Her Master?s thesis in Art History discussed the transgenic artworks of Eduardo Kac, and she also holds a Bachelor?s in Aesthetics. Nora is a member of the research group Cnature, the Cultural History of Nature. She is a lecturer in Art Theory and the ethics of images, and a seminar teacher in Visual Culture and Visual Rhetoric at the University of Bergen..

Research Project: Amplifying Ambiguity

Nora Vaage's three-month residency at SymbioticA formed a case study for her PhD thesis, Amplifying Ambiguity. Her doctoral project studies the processes of artistic research in the wet biology laboratory.Adherence to different epistemic cultures is expressed in a variety of ways in the process of creation. Which of these tend to be perceived by the audience, in the reception of bio art? In biotechnoscience, the issues of bioethics are prominent in public considerations of emerging technologies and new knowledge. Should bioethics be an issue in the consideration of bio art?
Within the case study, Vaage used a number of methodologies to explore the above questions including: archival research into the projects of former residents and the day-to-day running of SymbioticA, exploring SymbioticA?s bookshelves and resources; semi-structured interviews with residents and permanent staff at SymbioticA on their views on the potential role of art in society and artistic research; and participant observation of the working practices of the permanent staff and residents. She was able to take part in the day-to-day life at SymbioticA, and got ?hands-on? lab experience through working closely with a few artists. While at SymbioticA she attempted to be like a sponge, intending to learn as much as she could both about the artistic research and processes of creation at SymbioticA, and about the science behind them.