Beatriz da Costa is an interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of contemporary art, science, engineering and politics. Her work takes the form of public participatory interventions, locative media, conceptual tool building and critical writing. da Costa has also made frequent use of wetware in her projects and has recently become interested in the potential of interspecies co-production in promoting the responsible use of natural resources and environmental sustainability. Issues addressed in previous work include the politics of transgenic organisms, and the social repercussions of ubiquitous surveillance technologies. Through her work da Costa examines the role of the artist as a political actor engaged in technoscientific discourses. This topic is also addressed in a recently published anthology she co-edited with her colleague Kavita Philip entitled Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience, (ed. Beatriz da Costa and Kavita Philip, MIT Press, 2008).
da Costa is a co-founder of Preemptive Media, an arts, activism and technology group, and a former collaborator of Critical Art Ensemble (2000-2005). She has exhibited and lectured both nationally and internationally at venues such as the Andy Warhol Museum, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla (Spain), Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medien (Germany), Museum of Contemporary Art, (Serbia), Exit Art Gallery, Cornerhouse (UK), Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts (Montreal), and the Natural History Museum in London. Media coverage of her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, CBS Evening News, BBC, CBC and the New Scientist. da Costa is a current has Creative Capital grantee, received support from the Durfee Foundation, the Inter-Society for Electronic Arts and the University of California Institute for the Research in the Arts. She has also received an Honorary Mention from the Adobe Emergent Artists Award, an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica and been nominated twice for the Rockefeller New Media Arts grant. Together with Preemptive Media she received the Social Sculpture Commission from Eyebeam and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, as well as funding from Franklin Furnace, Turbulence, the Experimental Television Center and the Beall Center for Art and Technology.
Beatriz is Associate Professor of Studio Art, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California Irvine. She is a core faculty member of the ACE program and affiliate faculty of the Culture and Theory Ph.D. at UCI.
da Costa’s main area of teaching at UCI resides within the Arts, Computation, Engineering (ACE) graduate program. In addition she also teaches undergraduate courses in Studio Art and Computer Engineering, and frequently supervises graduate students across a range of other disciplines.