Introduction to Bioart

When I first enrolled in this class, I truly had no idea what bioart actually was. If I’m being completely honest, I hadn’t really heard of it either. I didn’t really know what to expect coming in but I was quite intrigued to see what I would learn. After doing the first few readings and watching the lectures, I’m thrilled to be apart of this class!

 

One piece of art that struck out to me was the work done by Joe Davis, with regards to the Microvenus Project. The Microvenus Icon is what really stood out to me. While I appreciate the simplicity of the image, the reference to female genitalia to represent the importance of women is what truly projected with me. While the project itself is related to the engineering of E.coli genome to send a message out into space; I thought it was really impressive how he was simultaneously sending out a message of female recognition within the field. I think this is really important, especially in today’s day and age where more and more women are seeking out professions within scientific fields, to recognize gender equality, and truly appreciate Davis’ contribution with the Microvenus Icon. 

 

 

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I found the GFP protein along with the corresponding imagery to be really intriguing as well. While I’m not sure exactly where my stance on genetic modifications to living beings is (in terms of the ethical aspect), I found it really cool how the GFP originates from a type of jellyfish (Aequorea Victoria) making it natural and organic, rather than artificially being made within the lab. While the whole idea of being able to trace nerve and cell development through illumination is fascinating to me (I loved glow in the dark wall stickers as a child), the neat artwork associated with this work is just a bonus! 

 

 

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While I found this particular image to be aesthetically pleasing, I disagree with the work that was done.  The genetic modifications on the wings of the butterfly resulted in the formations of holes, which ultimately turned out to be lethal for them. While I’m in favor of pioneering new research, I do believe this should not be detrimental to other forms of life. The quote, “They are an example of art with a lifespan – the lifespan of a butterfly. They are an example of something that is simultaneously art and life,” really stood out to me as well. I believe this particular work by Menezes personifies life in the form of art, and truly ties the two together as all form of life must eventually come to an end.

 

References: 

Genetics and Culture: From Molecular Music to Transgenic Art. 11 April 2017 <http://geneticsandculture.com/genetics_culture/pages_genetics_culture/gc_w03/davis_microvenus.htm>.

Hauser, J. (2008). Observations on an Art of Growing Interest. Tactical Biopolitics, 83-98. doi:10.7551/mitpress/9780262042499.003.0006

Kac, Eduardo. THE EIGHTH DAY, A TRANSGENIC ARTWORK. 11 April 2017 <http://www.ekac.org/8thday.html>.

Moshi, Moshi. Marta de Menezes. 2012. 2017 <http://martademenezes.com/portfolio/projects/ >.

Transgenic Animals: Models for Disease. 11 April 2017 <http://transgenicstransgenicmodelsforhumandisease.yolasite.com/background.php>.