Designer Maurizio Montalti is teaming up with the Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation in The Netherlands to work on an alternative to fossil fuels. He aims to build a transparent bioreactor in which one fungus breaks down plastic and the other fungus makes bio-ethanol out of it

The winning projects of the first Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award were revealed last month: a bullet proof skin, an ecological bioreactor and an opera performed by mutated worms. I’m going to dedicate several posts on the winning projects as well as on the award itself in the coming day. And i’m opening the series with the Microscopic Opera! Matthijs Munnik is going to collaborate with Netherlands Consortium for Systems Biology on an audiovisual installation in which tiny, transparent mutated lab worms are producing sounds and images

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4 design proposals were shown at the biennale: Foragers is a reflection on the future of food in an overpopulated planet; Stop and Scan and EM Listeners responds to the UK’s unique tolerance for extreme state intrusion which allows the police to use a lack of privacy laws to create a living laboratory; finally, Afterlife is a domestic product for a time when euthanasia is far more common than it is today

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Techniques to insert genes into plants are within reach of the amateur, and the criminal. Policing Genes speculates that genetic engineering will also find a use outside the law, with innocent-looking garden plants modified to produce narcotics and unlicensed pharmaceuticals. The genetics of the plants in your garden or allotment could become a police matter…

In the previous episode, Austin Houldsworth had installed a ‘Fossilisation Machine’ in the Tatton Park estates in England. He was hoping that his rudimentary machine could fast-forward the fossilisation process and petrify a pineapple and pheasant over the Summer only. Two weeks ago, the artist opened the prototype fossilisation machine and checked out the outcome of the experiment

Large amounts of sugar are excreted on a daily basis by type-two diabetic patients especially amongst the upper end of our aging population. Is it plausible to suggest that we start utilizing our water purification systems in order to harvest the biological resources that our elderly already process in abundance? In James Gilpin’s scenario, sugar heavy urine excreted by patients with diabetes would be used for the fermentation of high-end single malt whisky for export

Herbologies/Foraging Networks is a series of workshops, seminars and expeditions that explores the connection between traditional knowledge of herbs, edible and medicinal plants and media networked culture. The result of the Helsinki chapter of H/FN is a surprising fusion of hydroponic technologies, vodka-making workshop, fermentation sermon, DNA isolation experiments and lecture on subjects as diverse as biopiracy and honey beekeeping in Brussels

Austin Houldsworthhas installed a 3 tonnes and 4m-tall ‘Fossilisation Machine’ in Tatton Park, a historic estate in Cheshire, England. With Two Million & 1AD, the artist is trying to create a fossil using rudimentary, human-designed machines that would substitute and speed-up the natural processes. Houldsworth’s project starts with the attempt to petrify both a Tatton-grown pineapple and pheasant, and conclude when it is a human that ends up fossilised

The Phantom Recorder system projects a cold and damp sensation onto the skin surface, triggering the brain to hallucinate a phantom. As the phantom movement stimulates the peripheral nerves, its activity is captured by the neural implant and external wireless machinery

The “Tropospheric Laboratory” allows insights into cloud cores and other matter of the apogee. The installation narrates the synthesis of clouds and shows varying conditions and combinations of art and science in the absence of weight. The “laboratory” is the gravimetric document of “Cloud Core Scanner” – an experiment and artistic project by Agnes Meyer-Brandis, carried out on board a German Aerospace Center research plane

R&Sie(n)’s investigative approach to architecture focuses on developing technological experiments–cartographic distortions and territorial mutations–in order to explore the bond between building, context, and human relations. Each building is a process, a dynamic device with the tenacity of a parasite that uses every means offered by architecture to perform an ecologically useful function.

Among Daisy Ginsberg’s latest activities are a residency at SymbioticA, a collaboration with James King and Cambridge University’s iGEM 2009 grand-prizewinning team and then there’s Synthetic Aesthetics. The project investigates shared territory between design and synthetic biology, invites exchange of existing skills and approaches, and enables the development of new forms of craft and collaboration

The ‘Herbologies/Foraging Networks’ programme of events, focused in Helsinki (Finland) and Kurzeme region of Latvia, explores the cultural traditions and knowledge of herbs, edible and medicinal plants, within the contemporary context of online networks, open information-sharing, biological and hydroponic technologies

The artists brought together for this show reveal an imagery that has been inspired by the current mutations in our environment. They deal with diverse matters such as Chernobyl, global warming and the rise in oil rates. At times close to science-fiction, these artists imagine new stories which pay witness to the curiosity and fears derived from this changing reality

VASTAL is a temporary research and education institute that Adam Zaretsky has set up in Amsterdam following an invitation by the Waag Society. Zaretsky will give lectures and workshops on Art and Life Sciences. The School was born with the objective of showing what it means to work artistically and scientifically with living organisms and materials. It also aims to make this form of art-science accessible for a broader audience and invite them to discuss the ethical and aesthetic issues at stake.

Last Summer, curatorial research group Capsula embarked on the first of its Curated Expeditions, a series of research trips that engage with earthly phenomena through artistic investigation.

3 artists were invited to the scientific Zoo in Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia, in order to collaborate with scientists and other experts and study the impact of a total solar eclipse on animals and human beings

Part of the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and food we ingest eventually end up in waste water. As treatment plants haven’t been designed to filter them, the content of our medicine cabinets are eventually passed into the water supply. In London, tap water comes from surface water which implies that traces of our medicine can end up in our drinking water. This results in local differences in tap water which reveals potential local city-body ecologies or biotopes