Waag Society, Zone2Source - Amstelpark
13 / 05 / 2017 - 25 / 06 / 2017

Waag Society and Zone2Source are proud to announce the final performance and exhibition of Trust me I’m an artist, which explores how art can help us understand the ethical complexities of emerging (bio)technologies.

Trust me, I’m an Artist investigates the ethical issues arising from art and science collaborations, particularly in the field of bioart. It considers the roles and responsibilities of the artists, scientists and institutions involved. The project addresses ethical issues around gene editing and antibiotics, consent and human tissue culture, nuclear materials and public health, trans-species communications and plant ethics, the smuggling of biomaterials across continents and the relation between rituals of self healing and personalized medicine.

Trust me, I’m an Artist is a series of performative events, which take place before live audiences. During these events artists propose and present ethically complex artworks to specially formed ethics committees. Then following the rules and procedures typical for the host country, the ethics committee debates the proposal and comes to a decision. The artist is informed of the ethics committee’s decision and, together with the audience, enters into a discussion about the result.


These performative events have taken place over several years at a number of important institutions throughout Europe and show how art and artistic practice can address some of the ethical ambiguities and complexities found in (bio)technology.

The final performance Be-wildering by Kira O’Reilly (GB) and Jennifer Willet (CAN) will take place on Friday 12 May at Waag Society. This will be followed by the launch of the Trust me, I’m an Artist final exhibition which brings together artworks and projects featured in the series of performative events at Zone2Source in het Glazen Huis, Amstelpark from 13 May untill 25 June 2017.

During the final performance artists O’Reilly and Willet will bring (or perhaps smuggle) a variety of living materials to the Theatrum Anatomicum of the Waag building in Amsterdam, questioning which species are allowed in which ecologies and questioning the laboratory as ecology and the wilderness as lab. A specially formed local ethics committee will react.

Zone2Source, a platform for nature and technology related arts located in the Amstelpark, will host the group exhibition of art works by leading artists featured or specially commissioned for Trust me I’m an artist.


– May 12 Performance Be-wildering and ethics panel 7:30 PM – 22.00 PM Jennifer Willet & Kira O’Reilly, at the Waag Society (adres Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam)

– May 13 Exhibition opening at Zone2Source 1-4 PM artists statements and discussion;

4-6 PM opening reception. With/By Martin O’Brien, Gina Czarnecki & John Hunt, Anna Dumitriu, Spela Petric, Jennifer Willet & Kira O’Reilly and Howard Boland, Erich Berger & Mari Keto

– May 14 – June 25 Exhibition, Zone2Source. Open Fri-Sat-Sun from 1 am – 5 pm and by appointment.


Consortium and funders:

Trust me, I’m an artist is a collaboration between Waag Society (Amsterdam), lead artist Anna Dumitriu and lead ethicist Professor Bobbie Farsides, Brighton and Sussex Medical School (Brighton), Arts Catalyst (London), Kapelica Gallery – Kersnikova (Ljubljana), Medical Museion (Copenhagen) and Leonardo-Olats (Paris). The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Creative Industries Fund NL, Mondriaan Fund, Gemeente Amsterdam Zuid.

An earlier pilot of Trust me, I’m an artist – towards and ethics of art and science collaboration was organised in 2013, 2014 in collaboration with Arts Catalyst (London), Science Gallery (Dublin) and Leonardo-Olats (Paris) and Leiden University (Leiden).

Links to artists websites:

– Martin O’Brien: www.martinobrienperformance.com

– Gina Czarnecki & John Hunt: www.ginaczarnecki.com

– Anna Dumitriu: www.normalflora.co.uk

– Spela Petric: www.spelapetric.org

– Jennifer Willet: www.jenniferwillet.com

– Kira O’Reily: www.kiraoreilly.com

– Howard Boland: http://c-lab.co.uk

– Erich Berger: www.randomseed.org

– Mari Keto: http://mariketo.com