I was invited to deliver a lecture at the International Conference SEAFair (Skopje Electronic Arts Fair) 2010 – “The Apparatus of Life & Death”, October 4-20, Skopje, organized by the Visual and Cultural Research Center at the Institute for Social sciences and Humanities of the Euro-Balkan Institute and curated by Melentie Pandilovsky, who is the director of the Center. The festival also involved a workshop (curated by the Molecular Biology Lab o the Skopje University, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics) and an exhibition on the bioarts.

Attending participants to the conference, moderated by Pandilovski were Zoran Todorovic, Stanimir Panayotov, Michalis Pichler, Slavco Dimitrov, Denisa Kera, Sofija Grandakovska, Polona Tratnik & Ajda Maric, Roy Ascott, Sasho Panov, Niki Sperou, Borjana Rosa, Petko Dourmana. Some of them were also the artists in the exhibition: Zoran Todorovic, Michalis Pichler, Polona Tratnik & Ajda Maric, Sasho Panov, Niki Sperou, Petko Dourmana, Maja Kuzmanovic & Nick Gaffney, Marcello Marcado, Ubermorgen.com, Filip Jovanovski, Eduardo Kac, Vladimir Todorovic, Rainer Matysik, Oliver Ressler.

Besides the conference I participated to the 3 days workshop on biotech arts, which was an interesting experience. The workshop, curated by the Molecular Biology Lab o the Skopje University, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, would haserved as a theoretical and practical introduction to the creation of biotech art. The program was designed to give participants a good range of lab skills and to inspire them with concepts relevant to broader ethical and philosophical concerns in biotechnology. It included an introduction to laboratory work and laboratory practice in the context of bio-tech art.

The workshop aimed at covering wide areas and methods for RNA/DNA and protein  analyses such as: DNA/RNA isolation, Southern blot analysis, PCR, RT-PCR, ASO hybridization, RFLP method, SSCP, DGGE, sequencing, cloning, production of recombinanat enzymes, chromatography, microarray analysis, analysis of microRNA, 2D and 2D-DIGE technique etc.
I participated to the workshop with artists from Central and Eastern Europe.

From the SEAFair 2010 presentation:

“SEAFair (Skopje Electronic Arts Fair) was initiated in 1997, represents the first manifestation of this type on the Balkans, connecting the local and international artists, critics, and theoreticians working in new technologies and media, has for its five years of existence attracted artists and theoreticians from all five continents. The Festival has achieved a great international importance being envisioned as a series of events, exhibitions, symposia, workshops, and web conferences that explore the creation and practise of new media arts. The event has since served traditionally as an international and inter-cultural meeting place of arts and technologies, influencing the discussions about artistic, philosophic, educational and other aspects of the processes, which characterize electronic culture, but also of the processes and the challenges which the Internet, biotechnology, genetic engineering, and nano-technology place before us. SEAFair has become the central focal point in the region for the dispersing of knowledge of new media arts, bringing together artists, culture theoreticians, practitioners of new media, philosophers, and scientists in a constructive dialogue. Melentie Pandilovski has been the convenor/curator and director of SEAFair since its inception in 1997.

SEAFair History: http://seafair.scca.org.mk/history.htm

The idea of the 7th edition of SEAFair “The apparatus of life and death” was to creatively respond to the evolution of the society in the sphere of bio-politics and to assist in the visualization of the future. SEAFair 2010 conveyed the story of artists, critics and theorists attempting to navigate through the maize of the newly constructed global bio-political apparatus, in a changing social matrix, in which the rules are just being set. The artists in the exhibition “The apparatus of life and death” presented an array of approaches — from the humorous and playful to the deadly serious — regarding the way we think about the origins of life, the scale and dimensions of living matter, to relationships with nourishment, death, fashion and appearance.”

More information and images on the event are here.