Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts @ the IOTA Bio Art Kitchen Series

For the first Bio Art Hangout Kitchen Series, researchers and curators Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr as they tuned in from Perth, Australia for a Bio Art Kitchen Hangout. Together at happy hour, we raised a DNA cocktail, shared compost stories, and discussed DNA chauvinism and feminist aspects of incubation.

Recording download for this event is in progress.

This event took place:

Vancouver (PDT / GMT-7): Tues Oct 27, 8:00am

Halifax (ADT / GMT-3): Tues Oct 27th, 12:00pm

Paris (CEST / GMT+2): Tues Oct 27th, 17:00pm


  • Get your ingredients ahead of time and make your cocktail with us on Zoom!
  • Take a photo of your compost and use it as your Zoom background.

In this ongoing COVID-19 era, we’ve experienced how a bit of RNA (the 29k bases of sars cov 2) can throw off humankind and in the process, dispel the myth that humans have ultimate control over biological systems. Zurr and Catts discussed the role of chauvinism in the fields of science and bio art, in contrast to feminist aspects of incubation. In this Bio Art Kitchen Hangout, they taught participants to make a DNA cocktail in their home wet labs. Catts and Zurr created a platform to discuss DNA chauvinism and its impact on art and science and the erasure of bodies, biological, or otherwise.

In Compostcubator 0.3 (2019), Zurr and Catts used a compost heap to power a low-tech biological incubator that cared for, nurtured, and controlled other living organisms. Acting as part artwork, part experiment, this project emulated early childbirth training devices and the nesting habit of the Malleefowl, an Australian bird which uses heat from rotting organic materials to incubate its eggs. Catts and Zurr’s work demonstrates the historical ways incubators have operated as surrogates for bodies, and how incubation and compost are related to science and gender. Together in this workshop, bio art enthusiasts will create a DNA cocktail and discuss contemporary, historical and nonhuman uses of compost and incubation devices/surrogate bodies.



Oron Catts

Artist, Speaker

Catts is the Co-Founder and Director of SymbioticA: the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and was a Professor of Contestable Design at the Royal College for the Arts UK.

Ionat Zurr

Artist, Speaker

Dr Ionat Zurr is the Chair of the Fine Arts Discipline at the School of Design UWA and SymbioticA’s academic co-ordinator