Anna Dumitriu is director of the Institute of Unnecessary Research, which she founded in 2004. She is an award winning, internationally renowned, British artist who works with BioArt, sculpture, installation, and digital media to explore our relationship to infectious diseases, synthetic biology and robotics. She has an extensive international exhibition profile including ZKM, Ars Electronica, BOZAR, The Picasso Museum, The V & A Museum, Philadelphia Science Center, MOCA Taipei, HeK Basel, LABoral, Art Laboratory Berlin, the 6th Guangzhou Triennial, and The History of Science Museum Oxford. She was the 2018 President of the Science and the Arts section of the British Science Association. Her work is held in several major public collections, including the Science Museum London and Eden Project.
Dumitriu is a renowned speaker and has presented talks on her work at prestigious venues including TATE Modern, Princeton University, Imperial College London, The University of Oxford, La Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, and UCLA.
Her work is featured in many books including Bio Art: Altered Realities published by Thames and Hudson in 2016 and many other significant publications across contemporary art and science including Frieze, Artforum International Magazine, Leonardo Journal, The Art Newspaper, Art Quarterly, Nature and The Lancet.
She holds visiting research fellowships at the University of Hertfordshire, and Waag, as well as artist-in-residence roles with the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at the University of Oxford, and with the National Collection of Type Cultures at The UK Health Security Agency.
Her current collaborations also include “Biotechnology from the Blue Flower” with the EU H2020 CHIC Consortium exploring new plant breeding methods and CRISPR, “Fermenting Futures” focussed on yeast biotechnology in collaboration with the Institute of Microbial Biotechnology at BOKU in Vienna, “The Mutability of Memories and Fates” with Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells at Helmholtz Zentrum München, and an exploration of wearable technologies and artificial intelligence with the EU CAPABLE Project.
She recently completed her “Cyberspecies Proximity” project with Schindler as part of an EU Vertigo STARTS residency exploring how we will share cities of the future with robots, and “ArchaeaBot: A Post Singularity and Post-Climate Change Life-form” an underwater robot based on the most ancient forms of life on each, created through an EMAP residency with LABoral.
She has worked with the Liu Laboratory for Synthetic Evolution at The University of California in Irvine (USA) to explore synthetic biology and the resulting artworks were featured in the ground-breaking exhibition “WETWARE” at the Beall Center for Art and Technology in Irvine (USA) curated by Jens Hauser and David Familian. Notably she also worked with the MRG-Grammar project to create what the CRISPR Journal described as “perhaps the first application of CRISPR gene editing technology in BioArt” and collaborated with BeyondSeq at the University of Birmingham to explore the biochemistry of DNA and visually observe her CRISPR edit using super resolution laser microscopy.
Dumitriu was lead artist on the Creative Europe supported project “Trust Me, I’m an Artist” which investigates the novel ethical problems that arise when artists create artwork in laboratory settings. Her book of the same name, co-authored with Professor Bobbie Farsides, was published in 2014. She is also the founder and director of “The Institute of Unnecessary Research“, a group of artists and scientists whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries and critiques contemporary research practice.
In 2012 Dumitriu received the Society for Applied Microbiology Communication Award and in 2020 she was awarded the Grand Prize: Best Art Overall in the Microbe Art 2020 Competition by the Federation of European Microbiology Societies (FEMS).
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