Anna Dumtriu’s work combines microbiology and textiles, robotics and digital media. Her artwork includes installations, performances and workshops, which for instance use live bacteria or ‘social robots’. An example is her recent ‘Infective Textiles’ workshop in Newcastle, UK as part of “(DIY)biology: Designing for Open Source Science”. As part of the workshop participants were taught DIY lab protocols to work safely with bacteria and mould. (http://annadumitriu.tumblr.com/post/24679270544/anna-dumitriu-will-lead-an-infective-textiles )
Her work gives prominent place to the ethical issues raised by these new technologies. Among her recent projects is Trust Me I’m an Artist (http://www.artscienceethics.com ), a series of events and a book project reflecting on ethics in science based art. Another project The Institute of Unnecessary Research “presents a new paradigm in the way artists are engaging with the world through transdisciplinary practice and connective aesthetics. Bringing together art, science and philosophy by creating participatory audience experiences, performances and installations. Sometimes humorous and sometimes grotesque, their work pushes the boundaries and critically questions the means of knowledge production in the 21st Century. Artists are innovators, if a new piece of technology or a new medium, becomes available; artists want to try it, to experiment with it- from microbiology to robotics; from tissue culture to neuroscience” (source: http://www.unnecessaryresearch.org/ )
Together with artist Alex May, Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn and Dr Michael L Walters ( from Adaptive Systems Research Group) Anna Dumitriu worked on the project My Robot Companion?, 2011, which raises complex questions about the role of the ‘anthropomorphic’ robots in our societies. At a time when robots are being developed to be care givers for the elderly or provide private or public security, what are the potential social and psychological roles of ‘human-like’ machines in our lives?
More information about the work of Anna Dumitriu at: