Marta de Menezes
Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist (b. Lisbon, 1975) with a degree in Fine Arts by the University in Lisbon, a MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture by the University of Oxford, and a PhD candidate at the University of Leiden. She has been exploring the intersection between Art and Biology, working in research laboratories demonstrating that new biological technologies can be used as new art medium.
In 1999 de Menezes created her first biological artwork (Nature?) by modifying the wing patterns of live butterflies. Since then, she has used diverse biological techniques including functional MRI of the brain to create portraits where the mind can be visualised (Functional Portraits, 2002); fluorescent DNA probes to create micro-sculptures in human cell nuclei (nucleArt, 2002); sculptures made of proteins (Proteic Portrait, 2002-2007), DNA (Innercloud, 2003; The Family, 2004) or incorporating live neurons (Tree of Knowledge, 2005) or bacteria (Decon, 2007). Her work has been presented internationally in exhibitions, articles and lectures. She is currently the artistic director of Ectopia, an experimental art laboratory within a biological research institute – the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência – in Lisbon, and Director of Cultivamos Cultura in the South of Portugal.
Maria Manuela Lopes
Maria Manuela Lopes is a visual artist and researcher based in Portugal and the UK. Her current practice is transdisciplinar and based on issues of memory and self-identity informed by life sciences and medical research and presented in the form of time-based installations, occasionally including biological materials. She has been working and showing nationally and internationally and also teaching fine arts in Portugal since 1998.
She has studied fine arts – sculpture at the FBAUP-Porto, Portugal and did an MA at Goldsmiths College in London. She is presently doing a practice based research degree at UCA Farnham, UK, working with representational strategies of Alzheimer’s disease in a neuroscience laboratory at Hospital Santa Maria and Molecular Medicine Institute in Lisbon.Maria is also assistant-Director of two residency programs: 1) ‘artists in Labs’ Ectopia – Lisbon, and 2) Cultivamos Cultura, an ecological oriented residency program in a farm in Alentejo. She has concurrently been presenting her work internationally at conferences and also publishing.
Claudia Figueiredo is a Portuguese producer with a degree in architecture by Universidade Lusiada and a post graduation in Events Marketing and Production. Between 1998 and 2006 was assistant producer of different bands such as 16HP, Soulwax, dEUS and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Since 2007 became executive producer for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman and Nick Cave solo performances. From 2011 to 2012 worked as executive producer for the theatre director João Garcia Miguel in Lisbon.
During this period was executive producer for the company’s European project “Islotes en Red”, with the show “As Barcas” which premiered at Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture. Claudia was also involved in preparing the company participation in Marseille 2013 European Capital of Culture. Claudia has also been promoter representative for the Portuguese shows of Hugh Laurie, Bombino and Yann Tiersen among others. Since 2013 she is executive producer for Cultivamos Cultura, an organization focused on experimental practices in visual arts, producing artistic residencies, exhibitions and an outdoor cinema cycle in S. Luís, Odemira, as well as international visual arts exhibitions.visuais.
Luis Graca has an MD from the University of Lisbon, Portugal; and a PhD in transplant immunology from the University of Oxford, UK. He developed his post-doctoral research first in Oxford and later at the Institute for Child Health Research, in Perth, Australia. He is currently Associate Professor at the Lisbon Medical School, directing a research group in cellular immunology at Instituto de Medicina Molecular.
His most significant scientific contributions have been related with the development of strategies to teach the immune system not to reject transplanted organs, also known as immune tolerance. Currently he is extending his findings to the fields of allergy and autoimmunity (where the immune system attacks its own body). Luis Graca is author of 52 research publications, three patents, and co-founder of Acellera Therapeutics. Besides his scientific research he has been interested in the intersection between art and science. In this field Luis Graca has collaborated with several artists, including a long-term relationship with Marta de Menezes (www.martademenezes.com) and he is now scientific advisor for Ectopia and Cultivamos Cultura (www.cultivamoscultura.org) – two Portuguese institutions involved in fostering art-science collaborations. He has three publications in this field, describing the scietist’s view of art-science interactions.