mike bianco, oron catts, devon ward & ionat zurr | vessels of care

To the extent of having neighbours, there are more-than-humans to consider.

Vessels of Care and Control will call attention to our non-human neighbours. Harnessing and exploring organic and non-organic materials, different technologies and varying geographies, Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr, Mike Bianco and Devon Ward will construct experimental incubators that hold the potential to host cellular life. These incubators will act as catalysts to host a series of lab-based public programs, which will aim to help the human community ‘know’ their broader biological neighbours. 


Award winning artists, researchers and curators, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr formed the internationally renowned Tissue Culture and Art Project. Catts is the Co-Founder and Director of SymbioticA: the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts at the University of Western Australia and a Professor of Contestable Design at the Royal College for the Arts, UK. Dr Ionat Zurr is researcher and SymbioticA’s academic coordinator as well as a Senior Lecturer at Visual Arts at the School of Design, University of Western Australia. Both are Visiting Professors at Biofilia – Based for Biological Arts, Aalto University Finland (2015-2020). They are considered pioneers in the field of biological arts and publish widely, exhibit internationally and their work has been collected by MoMA, New York. Catts & Zurr's ideas and projects reach beyond the confines of art; their work is often cited as inspiration to diverse areas such as new materials, textiles, design, architecture, ethics, fiction, and food.

Mike Bianco is an artist, researcher, activist, and beekeeper. Bianco’s art practice is invested in socially engaged art, and focuses on issues of politics, environment, sustainability, community activism, and the impending “century of crisis.” Bianco’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues, ranging from the Perth International Arts Festival, in Western Australia, to the Kenpoku Art Festival in Ibaraki, Japan. Bianco received his BA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Alfred University (2004), an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts (2007), an MFA in Art & Design from the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan (2015), and is currently a PhD candidate with SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia.

Devon Ward is an artist investigating how information and biotechnologies intervene in living bodies, materials and processes in order to explore notions of place, scale and identity. His work takes the form of multimedia installations that include video, sound, print and sculpture. Ward earned a Master of Biological Arts from SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia in 2014 and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Florida in 2010. In 2014, he was awarded a Visual Arts Grant from the American-Australian Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Fund.

Images: Mike Bianco, Oron Catts, Devon Ward & Ionat Zurr, Vessels of Care and Control: Prototypes of Compustcubator & Hivecubator, 2016, Kenpoku Art 2016. Photo: Keizo Kioku.