Workshop:"BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik'"

February 10 - 17, 2018 [8days]
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo, BioLab Tokyo / FabCafe MTRL
Organizer: The Japan Foundation Asia Center Co-organizer: TodaysArt JAPAN/AACTOKYO
  • Photo by Aya Suzuki

  • Day 1

  • Day2

    Photo by Aya Suzuki

  • Day 3

    講師: 山内 朋樹 / Lecturer&Instructor: Tomoki Yamauchi

    Photo by Aya Suzuki

  • Day 3

    Photo by Aya Suzuki

  • Day 4

    講師: グンタ・サイフリートゥ/ Instructor: Günter Seyfried

  • Day 5- 7

  • SymbioticAイオナ・ズール氏スペシャルト-ク

    Talk by Ionat Zurr (SymbioticA)

  • ジョー・デイヴィス氏 基調講演

    Keynote Lecture by Joe Davis

    Photo by Ryohei Tomita

  • Day8

    成果発表 /    Public Presentation

  • 成果展 / Exhibition

    会場:ラフォーレミュージアム原宿 / Venue: Laforet Museum Harajuku

    Photo by Ryohei Tomita

“BioCamp: Gardens as Biotechnik” was an open-call biotechnology-art crossover camp bringing together participants from Japan and overseas.

Biotechnology is today regarded as a field with immense potential to impact our lives, and research into how its technology can be developed and applied is advancing rapidly. At the same time, we can also see the spread of DIY bio (sometimes called biohacking) in workshops and biology labs among individuals and community groups, or, in the creative fields of art and design, a variety of endeavors are reinterpreting and critically examining biotechnology and how it relates to our lives as well as its legal and moral implications.


The BioCamp: Garden as ‘Biotechnik’ was a special workshop directed by Andreas Siagian from Lifepatch,  Chiaki Ishizuka and Georg Tremmel from BioClub, a Tokyo-based platform for practices and discussions pertaining to biotechnology’s potential. Viewing biotechnology as “biotechnik,” a “living technology” necessary for understanding life, the workshop brought together artists, researchers, designers, and DIY bio practitioners from around the world to consider the future social environments that would encompass biotechnology. Through an approximately one-week intensive curriculum, the workshop encouraged extensive exchange, dialogue, and encounters as well as shared understanding and issue awareness while searching for organic biotechnology design methods that can facilitate new ways of living.



●”Gardens of Biotechnik”

In the same way that a garden in Japan encompasses specific aspects of Japanese nature, climate, geography and aesthetics, a “garden” in other parts of the word such as English-speaking countries or Indonesia integrates the characteristics and functions reflecting their respective social and cultural backgrounds. This workshop encouraged mutual understanding through the context of gardens in different regions, construing the garden as an interactive environment for mankind to encounter and associate with other life forms. When we regard the garden as something that designs organic relationships with space, landscape, environment, and the life forms arranged there, what kind of garden then becomes possible through biotechnology? Attending lectures related to arts and BioArt, participants acquired fundamental techniques in DIY lab equipment, bioink, CRISPR kits, and plant tissue cultures, and then used these to attempt new garden designs based on organic functionality.

Produced by BioClub, The Japan Foundation Asia Center, TodaysArt JAPAN/AACTOKYO
Special Supported by Digital Choc / Institut français du Japon – Tokyo
Supported by Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo, metaPhorest (Waseda University),  Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Ministry of the Environment
Grant from Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), U.S. Embassy, Tokyo


Public Programs


February 12 (Monday), 2017  7 to 9 p.m.
Documentary Film Screening: HEAVEN + EARTH + JOE DAVIS
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo
2011 / 85 mins. / HD,  Director & Producer: Peter Sasowsky


February 15 (Thursday), 2018  7 to 9 p.m.
Talk by Ionat Zurr (SymbioticA)
“Care and Control – a living affair”
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo
Guest: Ionat Zurr
Moderator: Georg Tremmel


February 16 (Friday), 2018  7 to 9 p.m.
Keynote Lecture by Joe Davis
Venue: Red Bull Studio Tokyo
Guest: Joe Davis
Moderator: Georg Tremmel


February 17 (Saturday), 2018  1 to 4 p.m.
Public Presentation
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo
Presenters: BioCamp participants
Moderators: BioCamp Program Directors

BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik' Report [Japanese and English written together] (6.5MB)

Day2 Excursion

Filming Locations: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo, Japan
Cinematography & Editing by Daizaburo Nagashima

Day 3 Garden Workshop

Filming Locations: RedBull Studios Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Cinematography & Editing by Daizaburo Nagashima

Produced by

BioClub(Open bio lab and community platform)[ Japan]

BioClub, launched in 2016 by Georg Tremmel, Shiho Fukuhara and Loftwork Inc, is a
platform for practicing and discussing the potential implications of biotechnology. As
well as holding regular events such as talks and workshops, it provides visitors with
opportunities to interact with biology and biotechnology. It has also established an
experimentation and research bio lab that meets the biosafety standards level of P1,
allowing it to engage in genetic recombination projects. It arranges workshops inviting
specialists from a wide range of fields, as well as exhibiting genetic recombination
artworks by bio artists.

Program Director
Andreas Siagian (Artist, Engineer / Lifepatch) [Indonesia]

Andreas Siagian is an artist-engineer living and working in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It was during his college years in civil engineering Atma Jaya Yogyakarta that he independently studied computer science, which sparked his interest in interdisciplinary practices. A dedicated autodidact, his practice soon evolved over time to encompass audiovisual creative programming, DIY electronics, sound sculpture, installations and instrument building. Desiring to affect real impact, he often engages in activities on the creative communities, alternative education, DIY/DIWO culture and interdisciplinary collaboration since 2004. These engagements include working with community-based initiatives to create a wide variety of installations, workshops, and to organise events and festivals in Indonesia. His collaborative activities with local creative communities led him to be the co-founders of Lifepatch, a citizen initiative in the arts, science and technology and in Hackteria network, he was the co-director of HackteriaLab 2014 in Yogyakarta.

Photo by Sas Schilten
Chiaki Ishizuka (Artist/Loftwork) [Japan]

Chiaki Ishizuka is a graduate of the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) at Tama Art University in Tokyo. As a director of BioClub, she runs a space for open debate and experimentation that explores possibilities in the bio field. As an artist, she has continued to create and show work that is focused on the interaction and border between life and humans. The main exhibitions she has exhibited at include “human/nature – between the natural and the artificial” (Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Fukuoka, 2015); “EEC / ECO EXPANDED CITY” (Poland, 2016); and “IAMAS20 CALCULATED IMAGINATION” (Laforet Museum Harajuku, Tokyo, 2017).

Georg Tremmel (Artist / BCL) [Austria, Japan]

Georg Tremmel has a background in Biology, Informatics, and Media Art, and has been working on the intersections of art and biology since 2001, intertwining biological, cultural, ethical, and societal codes, and creating objects, installations, and situations for contestable discussions. With Shiho Fukuhara, he founded BCL, an Artistic Research Framework for critically exploring Art & Biotech that aims to explore the relations, congruences, and differences of biological and cultural codes through artistic interventions, social hacking, and basic research. Tremmel is also a researcher in the Laboratory for DNA Information Analysis at the University of Tokyo and a Visiting Researcher at the metaPhorest Art/Science Group at Waseda University. Lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Günter Seyfried

Lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Günter Seyfried has a background in medicine and psychology, which he studied at the University of Vienna, and has strong links to the fine arts, digital art, and media art, having graduated from the Department of Digital Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He is teaching at the Department of Manual and Material Culture of the New Design University in St. Pölten, Austria, and also at the Department of Media Theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He combines science and art education and develops projects as an independent artist, participating in national and international exhibitions and publication projects. He is a founding member of Pavillon 35-Gesellschaft für wissenschaftsbasierte Kunst [Pavillion 35-Society for Science-based Art].


Photo: Enzo Addi
Ionat Zurr (Artist, Researcher / SymbioticA,University of Western Australia) [Australia]

Born in London, UK and lives in Perth, Australia. Ionat Zurr developed the biological arts initiative, the Tissue Culture and Art Project since 1996 together with Oron Catts. She is considered a leader in the growing field of Biological Art, both as a practitioner and a theoretician. Her research was instrumental to the development of SymbioticA in 2000, an artistic research center housed within the School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia. Her main interests concerned with our shifting perceptions of life and the evolving relationships we have with the different gradients of life through the use of biotechnology. She runs the academic program in SymbioticA and is a faculty in the School of Design at the University of Western Australia. She is also a Visiting Professor, Aalto University, Biofilia, School of Art, Design and Architecture 2015-2020.

Joe Davis (Artist, Philosopher)[USA]

Joe Davis is an artist working in the fields of molecular biology, bioinformatics, “space art” and sculpture, and also explores the area of biotechnology. In 1988, Joe created Microvenus, the world’s first genetically engineered artwork. His Bacterial Radio Project won the Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2012. Other important works include Mouse Ear and RuBisCo Stars. He has worked for the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in the laboratory of Alexander Rich, who also worked at MIT. He currently holds the unique position of Artist Scientist at the George Church Lab at Harvard Medical School.


Photo:2009 Peter Sasowsky (Producer_Director)
Thomas Landrain (Biohacker, Entrepreneur / Just One Giant Lab, PILI, La Paillasse)[France]

Based in Paris, France. Thomas Landrain is co-founder of Just One Giant Lab (JOGL) which helps sync humanity onto solving our most urgent and important problems using Open Science, Responsible Innovation, and Continuous Learning. He also co-founded and directed La Paillasse, one of the world’s largest open community labs providing resources and opportunities to indie scientists, in addition to PILI, a biotech startup making natural dyes using fermentation as an alternative to petrochemical dyes.

Tomoki Yamaguchi (Lecturer, Gardener/ Kyoto University of Education)[Japan]

Tomoki Yamaguchi is carrying out research about the way of thinking and practicing contemporary European gardens and landscape architecture through the analysis of Gilles Clément’s theories. His main projects include, Deer and Children Garden (Otsu, 2013–14), Eight Herbs Garden (Kyoto, 2012–16), and Micro Landscape in Movement (Yebisu International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions, 2016). Yamauchi translated Clément’s Le jardin en mouvement into Japanese as Ugoiteiru niwa (Misuzu Shobo, 2015).

Guest Facilitator
Nur Akbar Arofatullah (Scientific researcher / Lifepatch)[Indonesia / Japan]

Nur Akbar Arofatullah is currently studying at the Department of Biological Production Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology(TUAT)as a researcher in the field of Agricultural Biotechnology. His hobby is making equipment which sometimes he himself does not know the reason why he made it. Currently, he lives in Ami Town, Inashiki District, Ibaraki, Japan. He is interested in Do-It-Yourself(DIY)biology and the development of generic low-cost lab equipment. Now he is working on the Introduction of Open Platform Ubiquitous Environment Control System(UECS-Pi)for Greenhouse Management at Ibaraki University, and his Ph.D research at TUAT is on the molecular mechanisms of heatshock-induced resistance on tomato plants.

Hiroo Komine (Ayurvedic doctor, Hatai Clinic) [Japan]

Hiroo Komine is the first male Japanese Ayurvedic medical practitioner approved by the Indian government. He is also director of the Ayurveda Society in Japan. He moved to the United States in 1995, where he studied environmental science, before then graduating as an Ayurvedic medical practitioner from Gujarat Ayurved University in India. He trained at SNS Ayurveda Nursing Home and Praanadah Ayurveda Cikitsalaya, learning traditional Indian clinical approaches. Since 2008, he has worked as the resident Ayurvedic practitioner at Hatai Clinic, which offers integrative medical care. Since 2014, he has aspired to build do-it-with-others participatory forms of healthcare and find ways to integrate his practice with the biohacking scene. He is a member of BioClub.

Sachiko Hiroe (Bioengineer, Education / Hackteria) (Japan/Switzerland)

Based in Switzerland, Sachiko Hiroe is a member of Hackteria, an international and open source network of artists, scientists, and hackers in the field of BioArt. She served as co-chair of the Subtle Technologies Festival, which is held in Toronto, from 2005 to 2008, and curated and organized the SymbioticA workshop “in situ: art | body | medicine” in 2007. At the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), she is a senior researcher conducting work on biotechnology in the School of Life Sciences. In partnership with EPFL and (Art)ScienceBLR in India and Lifepatch in Indonesia, she established BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD, which engages in interdisciplinary joint research with a focus on water.

Photo: Jen Morris

Workshop:"BioCamp: Gardens as 'Biotechnik'"

Organized by The Japan Foundation Asia Center Co-organizer: TodaysArt JAPAN/AACTOKYO