Image of Dr. Adam Zaretsky

Contact Information

Academic School

School of Communication and the Arts


Lowell Thomas 251



(845) 575-3000 ext. 2652


Dr. Adam Zaretsky

Professional Lecturer of Media Arts


Adam Zaretsky, Ph.D. teaches video, performance, video compositing, new media, art and technology, web/interactivity, digital audio, digital imaging, and contemporary theory. A former researcher at the MIT department of biology, for the past decade Zaretsky has been teaching an experimental bioart class called VivoArts at: San Francisco State University (SFSU), SymbioticA (UWA), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), University of Leiden’s The Arts and Genomic Centre (TAGC), and with the Waag Society. His art practice focuses on an array of legal, ethical, social and libidinal implications of biotechnological materials and methods with a focus on transgenic humans. Zaretsky stages lively, hands-on bioart production labs.


Doctoral Degree, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Integrated Electronic Arts, Earned Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Arts Practice / Electronic Arts, Spring 2012.
Art and Biology Research Affiliate, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999-2001
M.F.A. Art and Technology, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago 1999
B.F.A. Art Studio, University of California at Davis, 1995

Research Interests / Areas of Focus

Art and Technology, Bioethics, Eugenics, Transgenic Aesthetics, Independent Media

Selected Publications

Dissertation, VASTAL: The Vivoarts School for Transgenic Aesthetics, Ltd. by Zaretsky, Adam, Ph.D., RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE, 2012, 203 pages; 3530013

NA/SA (New Art/Science Affinities), Published by: Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University + CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, ed. Régine Debatty and others, pg. 98, 2011

La Mutation Aleatoire N’est Pas Un Mal, Art et Activisme, Inter, Art Actuel, pg. 62-63, 2011

GOFP: The GloFish Freedom and Reconciliation Project, TDR: The Drama Review Provocation 54:4 (T208) Winter 2010, New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pg. 2-3

Transient Creatures (Catalogue), Microwave International New Media Arts Festival, Hong Kong, China 2008

The Bioart Initiative, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute Arts Department with the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies(CBIS), RPI, Troy, NY, USA 2008

Kac, Eduardo. Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond. “Vivoarts” Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2007 pg. 267-276.

The Mutagenic Arts (Feature) and Bioart in Question (Interview), Centre international d'art contemporain de Montréal, Electronic Magazine #23: BioArt (in French and English) 2006

The Workhorse Zoo Bioethics Quiz, (in Russian and French) Biomediale. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture, The National Centre for Contemporary Art, Kaliningrad, Russia 2004

Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age", Edited by Dmitry Bulatov, book contains two DVDs, pg. 112-113 plus 11 min. video documentary, NCCA, Kaliningrad, 2009.

Imagining Science: Art, Science and Social Change, Ed. Sean and Timothy Caufield, “Birdland” pg. 15-18, University of Alberta Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0-88864-508-1

Viva Vivo!, Leonardo, Vol. 37, #1, pp. 90-92, 2004

Creative Work


FIST.SAVE.MOP.BAIT Ja Natuurlijk, Gemeente Museum, Ine Gevers curator, den Hague, 2013,

VASTAL, Heads, Shoulders, Genes & Toes, Professor Judith Rushin, Guest Curator, FSU Museum of Fine Arts, 2013

VASTAL, Workhorse Zoo, part of the project The Worldly House. An archive inspired by Donna Haraway's writings on multi-species co-evolution, (Ein Archiv inspiriert von Donna Haraways Schriften über Multispezies- Koevolution) compiled and presented by Tue Greenfort in dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany, 2012

Solar Zebrafish and Errorarium (with Mason Juday and Casper Electronics), Hands on multispecies microinjection and public photosynthetic personality data tabulation, Llowlab, Lowlands Festival, Biddinghuizen, 2012. Supported by Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), The Arts and Genomics Centre, Leiden University, Waag Society and BioSolar Cells. 2011-2012

GFRP: The GloFish Freedom and Reconciliation Project, Multispecies: Swarm, in New Orleans & Certified Copy at the Verbeke Foundation, Belgium 2010

Genegun/Shotgun and Dangerous Liasons, Imagining Science Exhibition, Art Gallery of Alberta, 2008-2009 & Festival Key of Life, Leiden NL 2009 & Wunderkammer, Verbeke Foundation 2010 & Alter Nature: We Can, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium 2010

Selected Presentations

Forced Interspecies Symbiosis Transgenic Solar Animal Vegetable Environmental Microinjection Organismic Personality Behavioral Audio Integrity Test, PostNatural, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA),  University of Notre Dame, 2013

Microinjection Arts, Genspace, Brooklyn NY, 2013

Tattoo Traits, Led by Adam Zaretsky as a part of Laboratory Life (Andy Gracie), Collaborators: Zack Denfield, Helen Bullard, Simon Hall, Microwave Festival, Hong Kong, China, 2011, Funded by The Wellcome Trust, 2011

Non-Human Enrichment Art, 100 Days of Manifestation, No Border Cafe, Bblackboxx, Basel, 2011

Seed Bombing Lab, Hybrid DNA Isolation Lab, (De)Mystified Bioinformatics Lab, Tissue Culture Scupture Lab, Art for Non-humans Lab and Body Alterity Lab, The Vivoarts School for Transgenic Aesthetics Ltd. (VASTAL), The Waag Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2008-2009

Awards and Honors

Solar Zebrafish, Supported by Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), The Arts and Genomics Centre, Leiden University, Waag Society and BioSolar Cells. 2010-2013

Studiolab: Solar Zebrafish, collaboration of Waag Society, The Arts & Genomics Center (TAGC), Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Innovatieregeling Cultuuruitingen of the Ministry of OCW) and TAGC/Leiden Institute of Chemistry, 2010-2012

Honorable Mention, The Next Idea Voelstalpine Art and Technology Grant, Ars Electronic, Solar Zebrafish, Studiolab,2010

SNS Reall Fonds and Mondriaan Stichting, Viva la Vivo, The Vivoarts School for Transgenic Aesthetics Ltd. (VASTAL), The Waag Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2008-2009

The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art Science and Technology, MMMM… and The Workhorse Zoo, 2001