6 February 2008

The two-day conference which began on Friday 08 February featured international figures from a range of disciplines exploring aesthetic, philosophical, scientific and medial issues raised in the exhibition sk-interfaces (FACT, until 30 March 2008).

Professor Noble, Co-Director of Computational Physiology at Oxford University is one of the pioneers of Systems Biology. His research is focused on using computer models of biological organs and systems to interpret function from the molecular to whole body levels. He and his team of specialists created the first virtual organ, a virtual heart. Educated at University College London he obtained his PhD in 1961, which was concerned with the first computer modeling of the heart and was published in two articles in Nature in 1960.

From 1984 to 2004, he was the Burdon Sanderson Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology, Oxford University. As Secretary-General of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, he played a major role in launching the Physiome Project. Noble's The Music of Life: Biology Beyond the Genome, sets an alternative to the gene's eye view; a radical switch of perception in which genes are prisoners and the organism itself is a complex system with many interacting levels.

The sk-interfaces conference included keynote presentations, panel discussions and artist talks focusing on the emergence of new technologies, the shifting concept of interfaces and the past and future roles of skin. Leading international artists featuring in the ground-breaking exhibition at FACT, including curator Jens Hauser, Stelarc, ORLAN, Maurice Benayoun and Jill Scott. Speakers also include St├ęphane Dumas, Richard Cavell and Nicole Karafyllis, who have contributed to sk-interfaces: Exploding Borders - Creating Membranes in Art, Technology and Society, published in collaboration with FACT and Liverpool University Press