SUZANNE ANKER, Laboratory Life, Digital print edition of 46 with 5 artist’s proofs, 13 x 19 inches, 2007.

Laboratory Life

Suzanne Anker, who served as moderator for the recent online symposium Visual Culture and Bio-Science, is a visual artist and theorist working with genetic imagery. She is the coauthor of The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2004) and was curator of Gene Culture: Molecular Metaphor in Contemporary Art (Fordham University, 1994), the first exhibition devoted entirely to the intersection of art and genetics. Anker teaches art history and theory at the School of Visual Arts, New York, where she is chair and editor of ArtLab23. She is also the host of BioBlurb on WPS1 Art Radio.

Laboratory Life brings together the scientific laboratory and the artist’s studio. As an ode to the osmotic membrane of what was once a nature/culture divide, this image reflects the ways nature and culture now intersect. The laboratory pictured here is located at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory just outside of Rome, Italy. The superimposed image of grass denotes the ever-changing cycle of renewal in the natural world. Combining these images creates an atmosphere in which aesthetic devices underscore embedded aspects of reason within the scientific realm.

The print was commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences in conjuction with the online symposium Visual Culture and Bio-Science (March 2007).

To view the transcripts of the online symposium, visit

Cite this Article

"Archives." Issues in Science and Technology 23, no. 4 (Summer 2007).