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Art&Science: LBI Trauma contributes to first LASER event at Vienna Art Week


The Leonardo Art&Science Exchange Rendevous (LASER) events are a unique event series around the globe that aim to bring together artists, performers, scientists and the public. In the course of this year’s Vienna Art Week, the event was for the first time held in Vienna, Austria. The premier of this bio-art happening, which was co-hosted by Klaus Spiess from the Medical University of Vienna and Ingeborg Reichle from the University of Applied Arts was dedicated to the biomedical, ethical and religious aspects of foreskin harvest.

Apart from art and science talks, the Vienna LASER also featured an installation and performance by Roland Rauschmeier. In the course of the installation human dermal fibroblasts from foreskin were on display in a cultivation device. The cells were provided as a loan from the Vascular Biology group around Wolfgang Holnthoner from the Department of Tissue Regeneration at the LBI Trauma. Johannes Zipperle from the LBI talked about “being a good host” and the simulation of physiological conditions for growing cells in culture. Connected via skype, Guy Ben-Ari from the University of Western Australia described his  work on the famed installation “in potentia” and provided insight in the reprogramming of foreskin cells into neurons.

The LASER at Vienna Art Week represented the launching event for the series in Vienna, which will continue to be hosted with a specific topic at the interface between art and science.