Keynote Speakers

Laura Beloff (DK/FI) is an internationally acclaimed artist and researcher who functions in-between artistic practice, academic leadership and research with a core in artistic methods. She has been actively producing art works and exhibiting worldwide in museums, galleries and art events since the 1990’s. The exhibitions in the recent years include Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Russia, and Italy…  Her research interests that are located in the cross section of art – technology – science include practice-based investigations into a combination of technology, biology, biotechnology, and philosophical questions concerning manipulation of living matter. The outcome of the research and artistic practice is in a form of process-based and participatory installations, programmed conceptual structures and networked wearable objects, parallel to publications and academic papers. The research typically involves collaboration with various experts in their specific fields, institutions, artists and international universities. Throughout the years, she has been professionally active and has influenced many art projects and developments, especially in Scandinavia. She has also engaged in numerous international activities including: participation in international research and art projects, in organizing committees of international conferences and art events, editing an international publication, and invited artist/research visits (in Portugal 2014, Mexico 2015, Shanghai 2017, Estonia 2018, Italy 2018). She has been a recipient of various grants, art residencies and awards throughout the years. In 2015-16, she was a partner in the Hybrid Matters project awarded by Nordic Cultural Fund’s largest art grant. 2002-06 she was Professor for art & technology at the Art Academy in Oslo, Norway. 2007-11 she was awarded a prestigious five-year grant by the Finnish state. 2009-2010, 2011 she has been a visiting Professor at The University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Currently she is Associate Professor and Head of PhD School at IT-University of Copenhagen.
Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist 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, Marta 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 in Lisbon, and Director of Cultivamos Cultura in the South of Portugal.
Roy Ascott initiated the Consciousness Reframed annual international conference  at the University of Wales in 1997.
In 2014 he was awarded the first Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Visionary Pioneer of Media Art. He is founding president of the Planetary Collegium international doctoral research network.
In China, he is the DeTao Master of Technoetic Arts at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts – De Tao Masters Academy, and Chief Specialist at the Visual Art Innovation Institute at the China Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. He has held senior positions in art schools the US, Canada and Europe.  and is Doctor Honoris Causa, Ionian University, Corfu, Honorary professor at Aalborg University, Denmark  and at West London University, UK. His work is in the permanent Collection of the Tate Gallery and other major collections. He publishes widely in several languages, and is founding editor of Technoetic Arts Journal (Intellect) and Honorary Editor of Leonardo (MIT Press).


Victoria Vesna, Ph.D., is an artist and professor at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci Center at the School of the Arts and California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). Although she was trained early on as a painter (Faculty of Fine arts, University of Belgrade, 1984), her curious mind took her on an exploratory path that resulted in work can be defined as experimental creative research residing between disciplines and technologies. With her collaborative art projects she investigates how communication technologies affect collective behavior and perceptions of identity shift in relation to scientific innovation (PhD, University of Wales, 2000). Her work involves long-term collaborations with composers, nano-scientists, neuroscientists, evolutionary biologists and she brings this experience to students. Victoria has exhibited her work in 30+ solo exhibitions, 80+ group shows, was published in 20+ papers, multiple book chapters and gave 100+ invited talks in the last decade. She is the North American editor of AI & Society journal (Springer Verlag, UK) and in 2007 published an edited volume - Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow (Minnesota Press) and another in 2011 -- Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts. (co-edited with Christiane Paul and Margot Lovejoy) Intellect Ltd, 2011.
(credit of the photo: Aleksa Mara).