News

This page features all the latest exhibition and project news. See the talks and workshops pages for information on those forthcoming events. Find new publications, magazine articles, interviews, TV coverage and podcasts here and new books and catalogues here. For past exhibitions see here or visit the specific project page in the main portfolio or biography information.

Plague Dress in Contagious! at the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden

“Plague Dress” installation view at the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave (Image credit: Fred Ernst)

Anna Dumitriu’s Plague Dress is part of a major exhibition entitled Contagious! at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, Netherlands. It is a particularly suitable location for the work as the museum was formerly a ‘Pest House’ for the care of Plague victims and holds van Leeuwenhoek’s microscopes, through which he first saw bacteria, in their collection. In a twist of fate, this long planned exhibition opening was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but was finally opened by the King of the Netherlands on 16th July 2020, sadly it closed again through another lockdown, but it reopened on 5th June 2021 and will continue until 9th January 2022. Check the museum website for opening information and infection control protocols for visitors will be in place. There is also a 360 degree virtual tour of the show.

Ex Voto in De Pest at Museum Het Valkof in Nijmegen in 2021

De Pest

Ex Voto” by Anna Dumitriu will be part of De Pest (The Black Death) a new exhibition at Museum Het Valkof in Nijmegen which runs from 8th June to 22nd August 2021. Ex Voto now includes the ‘lockdown votives’ created during the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic where the turmeric dyed ribbon is impregnated with actual SARS-CoV-2 RNA (coronavirus) from a plasmid construct, as well as a new series of ‘plague votives’ created especially for the exhibition. These are hung on walnut dyed ribbon impregnated with Yersinia pestis DNA which the artist extracted herself from killed bacteria in the lab at the National Collection of Type Cultures. Check the museum website for opening information and infection control protocols for visitors will be in place.

“Ex Voto” as part of The Plague, an exhibition in Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen. Photo: Flip Franssen

The exhibition shows how one of the most devastating infectious diseases that ever ravaged the world left its mark on art and society. With more than 200 works by artists such as Gabriël Metsu, Albrecht Dürer, Erwin Olaf and Berlinde De Bruyckere and writers such as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio and Albert Camus, the museum connects the history of the plague with current events. Never before has an exhibition of this size been devoted to this subject in the Netherlands.

New Commission of Hypersymbiotics™ by Medical Museion for Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen to open in September 2021

The original version of Hypersymbiotics™

A new version of “Hypersymbiotics™” has been commissioned by Medical Museion for “The World is in You” a major new exhibition which will take place from 29th September 2021 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen (Denmark).

New Commission “The Birth of Snowflakes” on show now in Birmingham (UK) until August 2021

“The Birth of Snowflakes” installation view at BOM, Birmingham UK

“The Birth of Snowflakes” is a new commission for BOM (Birmingham Open Media) and is on show as part of “Atmospheric Encounters” which runs from 19th May to 28th August 2021. The artwork explores how snowflakes are seeded by microbes and sculpted through the effects of microgravity as they fall to Earth. Anna Dumitriu has algorithmically generated a series snowflake forms each seeded by data from a different bacterium or virus. The snowflakes are 3D printed in copper which is known for its antimicrobial properties and have been impregnated with the DNA or RNA of the microbes from which they were generated including SARS-CoV-2. RNA supplied by Dr Jane Freeman, Dr Ines Moura, and DNA supplied by the National Collection of Type Cultures.

Residency with Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art at the University of Western Attica in Athens

The Intervention of Biology in a site from Antiquity

Anna Dumitriu is currently undertaking an intensive virtual residency “Unruly Objects and Biological Conservation” with the Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art at the University of Western Attica in Athens to explore the biology and chemistry of the conservation of antiquities and discuss how these ideas, and new blockchain technologies will impact the preservation of contemporary artworks including BioArt works such as her own artistic experiments resulting from the project, thus kick-starting discussions around the preservation of contemporary BioArt in the context of a major institution.

Anna Dumitriu Awarded the Fabrica/Living Coast Residency 2021

Seaweed in Rockpools in the Living Coast Biosphere

Anna Dumitriu has been awarded The Living Coast Residency 2021 by Fabrica Gallery in Brighton (UK). The residency will run in parallel to the exhibition, “The Forked Forest Path” by Olafur Eliasson which will be exhibited at Fabrica in partnership with Brighton Festival. Dumitriu’s residency and accompanying blog. The “Algologies” project runs until 20th June 2021 and is a deep dive into the study of seaweed, its scientific, economic and social history and how this resonates locally through specific people and places, and The Living Coast Biosphere goals. “Algologies” explores the entangled relationships between seaweed, women and science. The project draws links between Victorian seaweed collectors, the use of seaweed-based agar jelly in contemporary biology, and seaweed growth as a barometer of climate change and the environment as well as a strategy for carbon capture.  The work fuses botanical printing techniques, DIY microbiology/biohacking, textile work, embroidery and installation.

UNDER THE VIRAL SHADOW Networks in the Age of Technoscience and Infection at Art Laboratory Berlin, Germany

Engineered Antibody

Under the Viral Shadow will open at Art Laboratory Berlin on 27th August and run until 10th October 2021 and features “Engineered Antibody” as well as “ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life-form”. The curator’s wrote: “The exhibition will feature internationally renowned artists such as Anna Dumitriu, Alex May, Benjamin Bacon, Gene Kogan, Sarah Grant, and Vivian Xu. The works are understood as artistic research on the interface of the biological and the technological: There are underwater robotic installations investigating ‘life’ in a post-climate change future, based on recent research on archaea, ancient microorganisms (May/ Dumitriu); a custom beaded necklace based on an antibody purified from the blood of an HIV-positive patient, with the actual 21 amino acids (Dumitriu); interactive mechanical sculptures as a vision of possible post-planetary machine life and AI with autonomous data archives (Bacon); projects ironically reflecting promising techniques from machine learning, cryptoeconomics, and computer art (Kogan); the use of living organisms such as Physarum polycephalum to demonstrate bio-computing for different topologies of computer networks (Grant); or finally wearables as electric skin or sonic skin, exploring the concept of human-machine coevolution (Xu)”.

Forthcoming ArchaeaBot Exhibitions in 2021-22

“ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life-form” installation view at Ars Electronica Festival 2018 (photo by Vanessa Graf)

ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life-form” is an underwater robotic installation by Anna Dumitriu and Alex May that explores what ‘life’ might mean in a post-singularity and post-climate change future. Based on new research on archaea (a group of unicellular micro-organisms believed to be the oldest form of life on earth adapted to life in extreme conditions) combined with the latest innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the artists have tried to create the ultimate’ species for the end of the world.

SUPERNATURAL: In the Same World at Oulu Museum of Art, May – October 2021

“ArchaeaBot” is part of SUPERNATURAL: In the Same World at Oulu Museum of Art in Finland, from 29th May 2021 – 17th October 2021. SUPERNATURAL is an international exhibition of contemporary art. Its core is formed by hyper-realistic sculptures, which are complemented by various kinds of sculptural objects, installations, video art and photographs. SUPERNATURAL reflects on humanity, its future and the relationship between humans and their living and technologically produced companions. The big question is what will the conditions for living on this shared planet become.

UNDER THE VIRAL SHADOW Networks in the Age of Technoscience and Infection at Art Laboratory Berlin, Germany

“ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life-form” installation view at Nikolai Tesla Technical Museum, Zagreb, Croatia

Under the Viral Shadow will open at Art Laboratory Berlin (Germany) on 27th August and run until 10th October 2021. The exhibition will feature “ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life-form”. as well as “Engineered Antibody”. See more details above.

CAFAM Techne Triennial in Beijing 2021-22

Toplogies of the Real Poster with original (pre-pandemic) dates

“ArchaeaBot” will be part of the CAFAM Techne Triennial at CAFA Art Museum in Beijing in the exhibition “Topolgies of the Real”. This major exhibition also includes works by Joseph Beuys, Chris Burden, Jenny Holzer, Valie Export, Mike Kelley, Yoko Ono, Peter Weibel and Nam June Paik, and contemporaries such as Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now slated to take place between 18th December 2021 and 27th February 2022.

“ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life-form” is the result of collaboration with researcher/cryomicroscopist Amanda Wilson within the framework of the EU MARA project, which is based at Imperial College. Additionally the artists are collaborating with Daniel Polani, Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire.

Anna Dumitriu and Alex May have developed this work through an artistic residency at LABoral in Gijon, Spain. The residence is part of the first edition of the European Media Art Platform (EMAP), aimed at European artists working with new technologies. The EMAP programme aims to encourage collaboration between artists and institutions using these media. LABoral is part of the network of members of the platform along with ten other prestigious European institutions. “ArchaeaBot” is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, and The Arts Council England.

“ArchaeaBot: A Post Climate Change, Post Singularity Life-form” Installation View at HeK Basel

“ArchaeaBot” premiered as part of “Error in Progress” at the Ars Electronica Festival in 2018 and has subsequently toured to; LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón, Spain; Rencontres Bandits-Mages “Unstable Reality and Shifting Knowledge: Mending the Fabric of the World” in Bourges, France; IMPAKT in Utrecht, Netherlands as part of “A World Without Us”; Kunstmuseum Moritzburg for the Silbersalz Festival in Halle, Germany; the 18th WRO Media Art Biennale in Wroclaw, Poland; HeK in Basel, Switzerland in “Entangled Realities – Living with Artificial Intelligence“; Furtherfield in London, UK  as part of “Time Portals”; “On/Off” at the Museum of Ethnography in Lviv, Ukraine; “Oceans 4.0” at FACT in Liverpool, UK; “Submerge” at the Science Gallery Bengaluru, India; Survival of the Fittest at Kunstpalais Erlangen, Germany; “Quarantine” as part of the Ars Electronica 2020: Adriatic Garden, curated by Kontejner as part of their EMAP Programme and at Art Workshop Lazareti Dubrovnik, Croatia; and in EFECT DE LA MICRO LA MACRO in the QUANTUM QUESTIONS 2020 Festival by Centrul Cultural Clujean in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Fermenting Futures for the 15th International Congress on Yeasts in Vienna in August 2021

Fermenting Futures

Anna Dumitriu and Alex May are working with Professor Diethard Mattanovich to develop a project around the history and future of yeast at the Institute of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology at the Universitat fur Bodenkultur in Vienna. The project will be showcased at the 15th International Congress on Yeasts in August 2021 with an extensive linked physical exhibition programme currently in development. Work-in-progress was showcased as part of the STARTS Journeys programme at Ars Electronica 2020 with a video and a short documentary with interviews with project collaborators as well as the artists.

ASN/ASSF Art and Science Program with the CHIC Research Project

“Biotechnology from the Blue Flower” Augmented Reality work-in-progress

Anna Dumitriu and Alex May were awarded an artists residency the explore the innovative biotechnology of chicory plants in their project Biotechnology from the Blue Flower and work is currently in production. A new augmented reality version of the work will launch in June 2022 in June as part of PLANT BIOLOGY EUROPE 2021 and the physical installation will follow.

Arts Council England Funded Project Exploring the Collateral Effects of the Pandemic

Arts Council England have supported a new project artistically exploring the “Collateral Effects” of the pandemic on science and society through the creation of a new body of artworks stemming from in-depth collaborations with researchers from leading scientific organisations across England.

The project is being developed in collaboration with curatorial partner FutureEverything and science partners researchers from major organisations including the National Collection of Type Cultures at Public Health EnglandThe CRyPTIC project at The University of OxfordBirmingham Dental HospitalThe University of Leeds and the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Collaboration with Dr Jane Freeman at the The Healthcare Associated Infection Group at the University of Leeds

Anna Dumitriu ise collaborating with Dr Jane Freeman at the University of Leeds on a project around the the bacterial infection Clostridium difficile and the importance of healthcare science as a field. The project is supported via Outreach Funding as part NIHR/HEE ICA Clinical Lectureship awarded to Dr Jane Freeman (Funder: National Institute for Health Research/Health Education England).

Residency “The Mutability of Memories and Fates” with The Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells in München

“Cell Death” (2000) etching

Anna Dumitriu has been awarded a new artist’s residency with the Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells at Helmholtz Zentrum in München. The project will respond to the concept of cellular memory and cell fates, and explore how the cell packages DNA and what impact that has. It will focus on the mutability of the cell, or what controls its constancy, and how this affects gene expression and the nature of life. The initial research stage of the project is being conducted virtually due to the pandemic. The project is curated by Dr Claudia Schnugg.

New Collaboration with the EU CAPABLE Project

Anna Dumitriu and Alex May are beginning a new artistic collaboration with the EU funded CAPABLE project. CAPABLE aims to develop a virtual cancer coaching system to support the emotional, educational and social needs of patients and their home carers, as well as decision support needs of treating physicians, using cutting edge technologies for personalised medicine such as artificial intelligence, big data analysis and wearable technologies. The artists will deeply engage with CAPABLE research to create a new body of artworks. Both artists have extensive experience in working with artificial intelligence and wearable technologies and exploring the implications of emerging digital technologies in societal and cultural contexts. Together they will help CAPABLE reach out to diverse audiences across a range of contexts including art galleries, festivals and patient waiting areas, and enable the telling of complex stories in multi-layered, accessible ways through art objects, workshops, and discussion events. Learn more about the project here.

We are honoured to receive this fantastic opportunity to work with CAPABLE and explore this important project to benefit cancer patients and carers. As artists, we will explore how CAPABLE are using artificial intelligence and wearable technologies to create personalised medicine solutions and consider the personal, ethical, cultural and societal implications of this research” says Anna Dumitriu. 

“Susceptible” exhibited in Russia and Romania

“Susceptible”

Anna Dumitriu was awarded a DRIVA Arts DRIVA commission to work with digital artist Alex May and the CRyPTIC Project (Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis: an International Consortium) at the University of Oxford (Modernising Medical Microbiology) and create “Susceptible“, a high impact data driven immersive art installation that communicates significant innovations in combatting antibiotic resistance in tuberculosis using bacterial genomics, and explores how heath is a global issue using Gatwick Airport data from before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The project has curatorial support from Irini Papadimitriou, Creative Director of FutureEverything.

“Susceptible” originally premiered as part of Neural Network Apophenia curated by Artur Konstantinov for the Moscow, Russia, based EVERART international festival of contemporary art, which took place online between 3rd July and 3rd August 2020.

It was then exhibited on the site of the former Hotel Continental Cluj part of EFECT DE LA MICRO LA MACRO in the QUANTUM QUESTIONS 2020 Festival by Centrul Cultural Clujean in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, from 24th November to 12th December 2020.

Art/Data/Health Commission

“Shielding” Installation View at the Regency Townhouse

“Shielding” was launched via an online event in Brighton Fringe Festival on 9th October 2020 with the premiere of a video discussion between Dr Aristea Fotopoulou and Anna Dumitriu filmed with the artwork in the enigmatic location of the Regency Townhouse in Brighton. Commissioned by the University of Brighton research project ART/DATA/HEALTH: data as creative material for health and well being, and supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

“Shielding” installation view at the Regency Townhouse
Commissioned by ART/ DATA/HEALTH

“Shielding” looks at the impact of self-isolation and quarantine due to the COVID-19 Pandemic on the issue of domestic abuse and violence from a global perspective is impregnated with actual SARS-CoV-2 RNA (coronavirus) from a plasmid construct (supplied by Dr Jane Freeman and Dr Ines Moura at the University of Leeds). The Regency Townhouse is also been an online exhibition of works by Anna Dumitriu entitled “Art & Infection: The BioArt of Anna Dumitriu“.

Online Exhibition at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing

“Lockdown Votives”

Anna Dumitriu has three works included in the curated online exhibition “Reflecting the Sharing Moment: More Than The Immune Problem” with the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China/CAFA Art Info. The exhibition, curated by Emily Zhou, includes Chinese and international artists who record and present the relationship between the world and self in the year 2020. Dumitriu’s contribution to the exhibition features “Lockdown Votives“, “Susceptible” and “Engineered Antibody“. The curator’s text can be found here. The exhibition opens on the 29th September 2020.

Cyberspecies Proximity Premiered S+T+ARTS Residencies Days at CENTQUATRE in Paris

“Cyberspecies Proximity” at Centquatre, Paris

The Cyberspecies Proximity project premiered at the STARTS RESIDENCIES DAYS: THE FINAL EVENT from 28th February to 1st March 2020 at CENTQUATRE in Paris, France. The project explores what it will mean to share our sidewalks, elevators and transport systems in close proximity with mobile intelligent robots. The Cyberspecies Proximity robot combines the way-finding technologies used in delivery and maintenance robots with an ability to communicate and manipulate our emotions through body-language, embodied in a delicate humanoid form. The work challenges audiences to confront the technological, ethical, and societal questions raised by the advent of urban socially-aware robots. The work was supported via an EU S+T+ARTS Residency and was the result of an in depth residency with the Human Robot Co-mobility Project at Schindler. Further exhibition plans are in development.

Invisible You: The Human Microbiome as part of Invisible Worlds at Eden Project

“Don’t Try This at Home”

The flagship exhibition Invisible You: The Human Microbiome is part of Invisible Worlds initiative at Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. Invisible Worlds is a major permanent exhibition that reveals the world beyond our senses introducing the interconnectedness between life and the Earth’s environments. The exhibition features Don’t Try This At Home and Super-organism: The Living Microbiome but is temporarily closed due to pandemic precautions.

Anna Dumitriu selected as Grand Prize Winner of Microbe Art 2020

“Pneumothorax Machine” by Anna Dumitriu

Anna Dumitriu was awarded the Grand Prize: Best Art Overall in the Microbe Art 2020 Competition by the Federation of European Microbiology Societies (FEMS) as part of International Microorganism Day on 17th September 2020. In awarding the prize FEMS stated “CONGRATULATIONS Anna Dumitriu! We loved so many of your pieces!” and the prize recognises Dumitriu’s extensive body of artwork exploring different aspects of microbiology.