Art from Synthetic Biology / The Sensorial Invisibility of Plants

Art from Synthetic Biology involves a daily laboratory practice using synthetic biology. The presentation is aimed at looking at the issues surrounding the production, ethics and exhibition living artworks that involve genetically engineered organisms.

The Sensorial Invisibility of Plants focuses on complexities in recognising plant behaviour. It explores the contradistinction between scientific studies that reveal cognitive capacities in plants and our subjective perceptions where plants appear motionless and devoid of sensation.


Howard Boland

Director of Artistic Engagement, C-LAB / University of Westminster

Howard Boland is co-founder and artistic director of C-LAB and an artist working with Synthetic Biology. His research focuses the use of standardised genetic parts through a laboratory-based practice. Currently, his PhD (funded by the AHRC and the University of Westminster) titled “Art from Synthetic Biology” combines synthetic biology and art to produce novel visual expressions in bacteria. He has degrees in Mathematics, Software Systems for the Arts & Media and has a Masters in Digital Practices.

Laura Cinti

Director of Artistic Engagement, C-LAB

Laura Cinti is an artist working with biology. She is co-founder/co-director of C-LAB, an internationally recognised interdisciplinary art platform that generates and participates in both artistic and scientific forums. C-LAB is currently co-organiser of European Public Art Centre, which focuses on collaborations between art and science across Europe and funded by the European Commission. Laura has a PhD from UCL (Slade School of Fine Art in interdisciplinary capacity with UCL Centre of Biomedical Imaging), a Masters in Interactive Media: Critical Theory & Practice (Distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London and BA (Hons) Fine Art (First Class) from University of Hertfordshire.