Howard Boland (PhD, MA Digital Practices Distinction, BSc Hons Software Systems for the Arts and Media, BSc Mathematics), is co-founder and artistic director of C-LAB and an artist working with Synthetic Biology. His research focuses the use of standardised genetic parts using the MIT biobricks library through an immersive laboratory based practice.
He holds a PhD (funded by the AHRC and the University of Westminster) titled “Art from Synthetic Biology” that combined synthetic biology and art to produce novel visual expressions in bacteria. The research was situated at The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) and daily practice at the School of Life Sciences working independently and alongside science researchers. He has degrees in Mathematics (University of Oslo), Software Systems for the Arts & Media and has a Masters in Digital Practices with Distinction (University of Hertfordshire).
Howard has taught and worked extensively with award winning interactive productions (e.g. Cannes Lions) for clients such as HSBC, Vodafone, Sony, V&A and Microsoft. His strong professional involvement with the creative industry include heading up interactive digital teams for major agencies. The work crosses highly technical activities and liaising client services.
Recent activities include exhibiting living synthetic biology artworks (Stress-o-stat and Banana Bacteria) at Techfest 2012, Mumbai, India and curating public art exhibitions for the EU funded European Public Art Centre - EPAC (2010-2012), the first Europe-wide contemporary art venue resulting in 16 exhibitions across 9 countries on art, science and society.
Selected Advisor/Supervisory Roles:
Postgraduate Thesis Supervisor/Specialist Tutor (2012), The Bartlett, University College London (UCL), UK
Initiator & Advisor, iSTEM (Synbio & Cancer Stem Cells), Westminster iGEM 2012, University of Westminster, UK
Advisor, Plastic Republic (Synbio binding microplastics in ocean), UCL iGEM 2012, University College London (UCL)Practical Supervisor Synthetic Biology, MSc Medical Genetics Students 2012, University of Westminster, UK
Panel Judge, Genetic Circuit Challenge 2011 – 2012, Synthetic Biology Society, University College London (UCL),UK
Advisor, Synthetic Biology Society (2011 - 2012) University College London (UCL), UK
Nutritec, Biotechnology YES 2011, Institute for Enterprise and Innovation, Nottingham University Business School & Biological Sciences Research Council (BSRC), UK
Advisor, E.coili (Synbio - Supercoling DNA), UCL iGEM 2011, University College London (UCL), UK
Synthetic Biology Supervisor, SGM Summer Scholarship 2011, funded by the Society for General Microbiology and the School of Life Sciences at University of Westminster, UK
Workshop Organiser, Bio art Forum 2010 The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) and The Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), University of Westminster, London, UK
Course Leader, Web Design, Animation & Interactivity 2001 – 2003 University of Hertfordshire, UK
Selected Exhibitions (Artworks):
Art from Synthetic Biology, The Royal Institute of Great Britain, London, UK
Evaporation of Things (2013), Inspace, Edinburgh, Scotland
Re-new 2012 Digital Art Festival, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Graduate School Launch, University of Westminster, London, UKTechfest 2012, IIT Bombay, India
(Un)Inhabitable? - Art of Extreme Environments, Festival @rt Outsiders 2009, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, FranceTransient Creatures, Microwave International New Media Arts Festival 2008, Hong Kong, ChinaUnsafe Distance 3rd International Festival for the Arts, Sciences and Technologies, Stone Bell House, Prague, Czech RepublicBios 4. Arte Biotecnológico Y Ambiental Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, SpainToday In Paradise :: Genetics & Arts Mobileart 05, Göteborg New Media Art Festival - Göteborg, SwedenSelected Conferences (Speaker):
Mutamorphisis 2012, New Stage of the National Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic
Synthetic Biology Society Kick-off, UCL, London, UK
International Media Arts Conference IMAC 2012, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Cage Rattling #1: Kill Switch, Kings Place, London, UK
Synthetic Biology Speed Debate, UCL, London, UK
The Thirteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems "Evolution in Action", Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan, USA (Declined)
Subtle Technologies, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
The Two Cultures: Visual Art and the Sciences c.1800-2011, University of York, UK
Synthetic Biology: Machine or Life?, Dana Centre, Science Museum, London, UKLess Remote: The Futures of Space Exploration, 2008 International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow, ScotlandTelling Places: Narratives and Identity in Art & Architecture, The Slade Research Centre, London, UKMutamorphosis: Challenging Arts & Sciences CIANT – International Centre for Art and New Technologies, Prague, Czech RepublicBiorama Digital Research Unit, Huddersfield, UK
Dias De Bioart Centre d'Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, SpainArts & Genomic Centre Launch Arts and Genomic Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NetherlandsTransgenic Art Forum Edinburgh International Science Festival, Scotland.Göteborg New Media Art Festival Symposium, Röda Sten, Göteborg, Sweden
Selected Publications (authored):The Martian Rose, Leonardo, Vol. 42, No. 2, April 2009The Martian Rose, Multi: The RIT Journal of Plurality and Diversity in Design, Spring 2008The Martian Rose, Mutamorphosis: Challenging Arts and Sciences, Conference Proceedings, CIANTInternational Centre for Art and New Technologies, 2007Selected Reviews/Interviews:
#A.I.L - artists in laboratories, episode 3 with Régine Debatty (We Make Money Not Art), Resonance 104.4 FM, 2012
Ruže Z Marsu, Ceska Televise Port TV (Interview for Czech Television)
Interview with Laura Cinti & Howard Boland (c-lab) We Make Money Not Art, 12 April 2007¿Pueden Los Gatos Electronicos Sonar Con Peces De Colores?, Catano Quinta, La Fresa, Contemporary Art Magazine, Malaga, Spain, 2007
A Rose on Mars Is Still a Rose Wired Science, 24 July 2007
Containing ET Astrobiology Magazine, 28 May 2007
HSBC yourpointofview.com, Communication Arts, Interactive Annual 2006
Hot Sites USA Today, 1st March 2004, USA.