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Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology\, Society an d Art\, an exhibition of original artwork and essays that explore the c omplex legal\, ethical and social issues of stem cell research\, will make its United States debut on November 10 at Chelsea Art Museum in Manhattan.  The project brings together nine internationally recognized visual artists with scientists and scholars for an interdisciplinary collaboration that m arries science and art.

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Stem cells are unspecialized cell s within the body\, which replace tissues that are gradually lost due to na tural turnover – the sloughing of skin or the replenishment of blood.  This ability to regenerate damaged tissue endows stem cells with remarkable pot ential for therapy. Rapid advancements in biomedical research are challengi ng traditional views of the human body and its environment. Genetic and ste m cell research\, for example\, may bring significant improvements to human health and welfare\; however\, these innovations also raise complex ethica l\, legal and social questions that society must face. Art has an important role to play in the discourse around biotechnology because it can offer un ique articulations of the thoughtfully polarized and often emotionally char ged responses the public has towards technology.

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The work s featured in Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology\, Society and Art were inspired by ongoing intellectual exchanges between a group of artist s\, scientists\, philosophers\, sociologists and legal scholars who attende d a three-day stem cell research workshop in April 2010.  The exchange of i deas extended beyond the workshop to email messages\, drawings\, scientific images and research.  Collaboration remains an important theme in this exh ibition\; multiple artists created some installations\, others include the diagrams or texts produced by scientists\, and all of them require the acti ve engagement of the viewer.

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The nine artists whose work comprises the exhibition\, originally on view at the Glenbow Museum in Calg ary\, Alberta\, Canada in January 2011\, are Derek Besant\, Sean Caulfield\ , Liz Ingram\, Bernd Hildebrandt\, Shona Macdonald\, Royden Mills\, Marilén e Oliver\, Daniela Schlüter and Clint Wilson.  Without supporting one view of stem cell research over another\, the artists propound viewers to ponder current forms of biotechnology.  The art works move beyond usual debates\, confronting viewers with multiple and uncertain images of blood\, viscera and strange\, organic forms.  These creations implicate visitors\, sometime s placing them literally within a shaped space\, and sometimes asking them to slow down and draw on their own experiences to consider how historically specific conceptions of what constitutes ‘life’ are changing once again.\n

 

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The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same name p ublished in July 2011 and edited by Sean Caulfield\, Curtis Gillespie and T imothy Caulfield.  Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology\, Society and A rt is distributed by the University of Washington Press and available f or purchase at http://www.washington.edu/uwpr ess/search/books/CAUPER.html.

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For mo re information about the Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology\, Society and Art exhibition\, please visit www.perceptionsofpromise.com.

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DTEND:20111126 DTSTAMP:20140420T040816 DTSTART:20111110 GEO:40.7482057;-74.0072376 LOCATION:Chelsea Art Museum\,556 W 22nd St. \nNew York\, NY 10011 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology\, Society and Art\, Derek Bes ant\, Sean Caulfield\, Bernd Hildebrandt\, Liz Ingram\, Shona Macdonald\, R oyden Mills\, Mariléne Oliver\, Daniela Schlüter\, Clint Wilson UID:187881 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20111110T200000 DTSTAMP:20140420T040816 DTSTART:20111110T180000 GEO:40.7482057;-74.0072376 LOCATION:Chelsea Art Museum\,556 W 22nd St. \nNew York\, NY 10011 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology\, Society and Art\, Derek Bes ant\, Sean Caulfield\, Bernd Hildebrandt\, Liz Ingram\, Shona Macdonald\, R oyden Mills\, Mariléne Oliver\, Daniela Schlüter\, Clint Wilson UID:187882 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR