Reassess and rethink

Across the globe, our human bodies, emotions, values, politics, systems and insights have been shaken, stirred, tested, in some cases ruined, in other cases moved by the recent impact of one small virus. We see the continued need to process the changes that are taking place, whilst forging new bonds and inspiring wide outlooks in order to proceed fruitfully into the unknown territory of post-corona society.

The virus gives us a chance to reassess, rethink and to make new sense(s) of the world we inhabit together, with all its varied species and networks.

Across disciplinary boundaries

The second NOBA – Norwegian Bioart Arena – symposium, Viral Life, offers a space in which to discuss the situation we are currently in across perspectives and disciplinary boundaries, from the microscopic to the macroscopic, from the global to the close at hand. We will host a local audience and some on-campus speakers, whilst inviting a global audience and including international keynote speakers that will give virtual (yet live and interactive) talks. The day will be concluded by an alternative “cook-along” symposium dinner with chef Haffi (previously of Noma and Vaaghals). The topics up for discussion during Viral Life include Ecological connections, contagion, contamination, Susceptibility and resistance, Body hacking and posthumanism, WET labs, WET markets, WETware, Life-death, sorrow and new ways of mourning.

Due to covid-19 restrictions, the symposium was streamed on an innovative digital platform from Vitenparken Campus Ås.




  • Anna Dumitriu: Art and the Impact of Infectious Disease
  • Luís Graça & Marta de Menezes: Adaptive Responses
  • Dag-Ragnar Blystad: Can Plant Viruses Give Their Hosts Ornamental Value?
  • Heather Dewey-Hagborg: Lovesick: Biotechnology and Intimacy