Artist Talk: Science of the Body in Protest Art

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

6:30 PM To 7:30 PM

Online: USA - EDT - UTC-4

See website for fee details

Event Description

We’ll discuss science and politics of the body, and explore these ideas in the interdisciplinary practices of art.

This lecture is designed as a foundational class for the hands-on workshop, where participants will design their own protest art.

How do the scientific and medical gaze affect how we know, define, value and govern bodies as material and data? How do the politics of the individual to maintain a healthy body compare to the politics of nations to facilitate the achievement of healthy communities and populations? Do we all have a right to health? Who do we save first and why? The COVID-19 pandemic has cast us deep into these questions of how the science and politics of health affect our private and public lives. These times have impressed upon us how the science and politics of the body are a reflection of how we value our fellow humans near and far.

In this free lecture, artist and designer Elaine Young will guide us through the science and politics of the body with examples from the visual culture of civil rights protests and the portrayal of the disabled body within a historical context. Elaine will talk about:

  • how her practice as an artist and designer draws on her background in bioethics and medical anthropology
  • her love of engaging people with science through the intimacy of designing items of personal adornment
  • projects including: modern lockets that can be personalized with DNA from a person, pet or plant; graphics incorporating microscopic images of viruses and IVF, life expectancy and geopolitical population data

Your registration gets you access to the live Zoom class, along with a recording of the talk’s highlights to view afterwards.

Accessibility Statement: Genspace is committed to ensuring that our online classes, events, and workshops are as accessible as possible, and can meet the ever-changing needs of our community. As we navigate the opportunities and challenges of online programming, we are constantly learning and adjusting our workflows to prioritize accessibility, and we’d love to hear any feedback our community might have. Please contact us ( if you have specific accessibility requests or questions.

Meet the Instructor

Elaine Young 楊綺鈴 is a cultural producer, artist and designer with a background in bioethics and medical anthropology. Her mission is to attract and provoke people to engage with difficult questions about how we know, define, protect, value and govern bodies as material and data through science and science-fiction aesthetics and narratives. Elaine communicates through the intimacy of designing items of personal adornment that incorporate real DNA, scientific images or geopolitical population data into wearable visual essays that question the future of humanness.

Find her at @LAByrinthPROJECT and


Genspace NYC

About the Organizers

Genspace is the world’s first community biology lab—a place where anyone can learn and work on biotechnology.

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