Hello everyone, my name is Ratushtar Kapadia. When I first saw this class I did not really know what it would entail, partly I still am not completely sure what it will cover exactly, but that just adds to my excitement and suspense of taking this course. If I had to describe myself in a nutshell, it would be I am a second year Physiological Sciences major from a small town in Florida. I like to play sports, travel, and fly airplanes. As a south campus major, who mainly takes science classes day in and day out, I would hope that this class can be different and allow me to learn more than what just slides on a PowerPoint teaches me. As far as the subject of Biotechnology and Art goes, I can only really think of genetically modified animals and organisms that have been created for mostly aesthetical or artistic purposes. Such examples that come to mind, as shown in the images bellow, include: GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) Fish and fluorescent monkeys and mice.
("GFP Mice" 2010)
("Transgenic Zebrafish" 2009)
This week’s readings and assignment also intrigued me further in understanding this class and relating it to my previous classes and me as an individual. SymbioticA’s “Fish and Chips” was very interesting and fun to see as a robot drawing art based on the neural activity in goldfish brain’s might not seem like art, but it definitely is, especially if a blank canvas can be considered art. Now entitled, MEART- the semi living artist, this project is something I would have never known about if not for the class ("SymbioticA" 2011). Thus, it excites me even more to know what is to come.
Further, Edward Kac’s GFP bunny, Alba, comes more under what I expected with Biotechnology and Art as mentioned above with GFP fish and mice. Even though, his work might be considered controversial, I find it to be very intriguing. As mentioned by Kac in an article, Alba is an albino rabbit with a extra powerful GFP gene insertion that only makes her green under certain conditions (Kac 2000). Thus, I would not really consider this unethical as some do claim. Moreover, other video artists are interesting and illustrate forms that I would not really see in my everyday studies. Most significantly though, the reading of “Observations on an Art of Growing Interest: Towards a Phenomenological Approach to Art Involving Biotechnology” by Jens Hauser highlights important points of the fusion of art and science is growing in today’s age and that the lines are blurring of ethics and boundaries (Hauser 2008). In short, even though the readings and videos only really relate to one of my past courses with Intro to Microbiology (LS 3) as far as genetic engineering GFP protein tags, I do look forward with an open mind to what’s to come in this class. This week’s reading and video already introduced me to the fusion of biotechnology and art, specifically with the “Fish and Chips” being my favorite but I do look forward to seeing more new topics and art forms in this course.
GFP Mice. Digital image. National Institute of Health. N.p., Feb. 2010. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Hauser, Jens. "Observations on an Art of Growing Interest: Towards a Phenomenological Approach to Art Involving Biotechnology." Tactical Biopolitics. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008.
Kac, Edward. "RABBIT REMIX." EKAC. N.p., Apr. 2000. Web. 10 Apr. 2017. <http://www.ekac.org/gfpbunny.html#gfpbunnyanchor>
"SymbioticA." The SymbioticA Research Group : SymbioticA : The University of Western Australia. N.p., Jun. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Transgenic Zebrafish. Digital image. The Weinstein Laboratory. National Institute of Health, Jan. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.