Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts is a hybrid studio laboratory facility dedicated to enabling hands-on creative engagement with the tools and technologies of the life sciences.

Coalesce connects disciplines

It is a place where artists, designers and architects actively learn, use and create, using life sciences technologies as their medium; scientists explore new forms or broader cultural meanings of their work; and philosophers, writers and social scientists interact in a tangible way with the processes of the life sciences. However, it is a place where such disciplinary labels are challenged and hybrid creative practices are incubated. 

Coalesce responds to the grand challenge

From medicine to the environment, from stem cells to microbes, from genes to biomes, much of the US public is ill prepared to evaluate the most complex questions, challenges and issues facing our society today. “What does it mean to design a living organism?” “What aspects of such an organism could be called an invention… or an artwork?” “How do we presently define life?” Coalesce will complement UB’s expertise in the life sciences by addressing questions and issues vital to public understanding and participation, but beyond the analytical constraints of most disciplines.

Coalesce is part of GEM

Coalesce is a major facet of GEM, establishing a dedicated studio laboratory for biological art and emerging practices in the arts, as well as graduate positions, interdisciplinary coursework, residency opportunities, DIY workshops and exhibitions.

This hybrid facility will encourage creative engagement, becoming a place where:

  • artists, designers and architects actively learn use and create, using life sciences technologies as their medium;
  • scientists explore broader cultural meanings of their work; and 
  • philosophers, writers and social scientists interact in a tangible way with the processes of the life sciences.
For more information

Paul Vanouse
Professor of Art
Director of Coalesce
Department of Art
University at Buffalo

Special thanks to Arzu Ozkal, a UB alumnus who designed the Coalesce logo. 

Symposium_ Microbial Aesthetics: Science, Philosophy, Ethics and Art Meet the Microbes.