Plenary – Suzanne Anker

Suzanne Anker

‘Cut, Paste, Print: Transforming Reproductive Limits’


Reproduction is becoming a revolutionary enterprise in the age of technoscience:  from digital ink-jets to computational neural nets, from remote imaging to cybernetic communication systems, from tissue engineering of human cells to reproductive technologies. With the bio-printing of replacement organs to invisible data bases, our technoscientific age seems without limits.  Beginning with a stenciled handprint in the Paleolithic epoch, multiplicity, is thus born. Ancestral humans employ the hand as a template which recovers negative space to form pictorial practice as a genesis of cognitive sign systems. In the process of generating something unique, a myriad of technologies transform entities, be they images on substrates, or cells in the scientific laboratory.  With a propensity for executing numerous copies, printmaking  processes and cell culturing have become mutually invested, conceptually. Jump cut to the 21st century, a time in which cloning and bio-printing reveal multiplication as an extended territory of a post-industrial, globalized geo-political geography.  This talk will examine an expanded field of printmaking and how it intersects with the technosciences.

Biography in brief:

Suzanne Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. She works in a variety of mediums ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries. Her books include The Molecular Gaze : Art in the Genetic Age, co-authored with the late sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, published in 2004 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Visual Culture and Bioscience, co-published by University of Maryland and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C and most currently Embodied Fantasies:  From Awe to Artifice, co-edited with Sabine Flach and published by Peter Lang.   She has been a speaker at Harvard University, Cambridge University, Yale University, the London School of Economics, the Max-Planck Institute, the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, Banff Art Center any many others. Chairing SVA’s Fine Arts Department in NYC since 2005, Ms. Anker continues to interweave traditional and experimental media in her department’s new digital initiative and the Nature and Technology BioArt Lab.