RMeS RMa course: Arts, Life Science and Digital Culture

When? November-December 2022, exact dates see below
Where? Leiden University – Johan Huizinga – 008B (15/11, 22/11, 29/11)
Coordinator? Dr. Ksenia Fedorova
Organisation? RMeS
For? First and second year RMa students in Media Studies, who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool).

In this course students examine ethical and humanistic dimensions of life sciences through art and reflect on the application of digital methods within science. From the onset of medical research in history, the cultural worlds of art and science have interacted. More recently, artists have been directly inspired by the fields of genetics, bioinformatics and biophysics and by the media employed and generated by them. The science-art relationship has become an exciting and dynamic field where controversial ethical issues, societal consequences of technoscience, and the art of science itself are being addressed. How do artworks provoke new ways of thinking about science and the world? What moral and critical dilemmas are involved in the intersections between technoscience and society and how can art play a role in this? The usage of biofeedback tracking and other digital technologies invites yet another series of questions about the impacts of algorithmization on our relation to the body and knowledge about physical and organic processes in general. Finally, looking at the biological entities in terms of their agency will allow a discussion about the shift towards the posthumanist paradigm in today’s humanities and science studies.

The students will:

learn to reflect on the social and cultural consequences of the life sciences by studying art works;
be able to signal and evaluate ethical issues and controversies in science addressed by art;
analyze the specificity of the usage of media in technological and science art by engaging media theoretical, STS and aesthetic perspectives.


Tuesday mornings from 10:15-13:00 hrs

15 November 2022
22 November 2022
29 November 2022
6 December 2022
13 December 2022

Paper deadline: January 6, 2023