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The quality of groundwater is heavily affected by human industrial activities. Looking for innovative ways to get clean waters to irrigate agricultural fields, artist Rihards Vitols is currently experimenting with a new type of agronomy that relies on “cloud-farming”. In his scenario, people will raise thousands of helium balloons over their land to collect water from the cloud

The OpenSurgery initiative investigates whether building DIY surgical tools, outside the scope of healthcare regulations, could plausibly provide an accessible alternative to the costly professional healthcare services worldwide.

By presenting a semi-functional DIY surgery robot, theoretically capable of assisting in domestic keyhole surgery, the project provokes alternative thinking about medical innovation and aims to challenge the socioeconomic frameworks healthcare currently operates within

The artist harvested 24kg of an invasive weed from a highighly polluted area in Spain, extracted the iron ore from the plants and used it to make an iron ring. The innovative experiment brought together the biological, the industrial, the technological and even craft to create a piece of jewellery that weights 2 grams. The project also suggests a way to reverse the contamination process while at the same time mining iron ore from the damaged environment

Pigeons, fungi, human cells, finches and flowers are just some of the mediums of bioart and design. These emerging fields are the source of daring experiments and thoughtful reflections about how aspects of culture, such as our concepts of identity, nature and environment are changing.

Matter of Life presents nine such research projects at the intersection of art, design and the life sciences

Experimental Eating demonstrates how current creative collaborations are pushing the boundaries of how we understand, experience and relate to food and the rituals of dining. The book encompasses unusual and cutting-edge foods, radical dining events, “kitchen laboratory” experiments, food sculptures and other documentation of the transient moments that make up this field of experimentation

The exhibition seeks to investigate the historical and social implications of the plant world in light of the ever-increasing resurgence of “green” as an agent of change in relation to current economic processes. To place a plant within a historical context means to consider not only its biological constitution, but also the social and political factors which see it already positioned at the centre of the earliest forms of economic globalisation

The artist has worked with media as diverse as fetal calf cells, human blood, maggots, multi-component 3D Human Skin Equivalent models or taxidermied insects. She is currently participating to Experimenta Recharge biennial of media art with an ever-changing face mask that uses Saos-2, a cell line that originally came from the bone cancer lesion of an 11 year old girl who died in 1973

By bringing together works by artists, designers, scientists, meteorologists and engineers STRANGE WEATHER asks questions such as: Should human culture be reshaped to fit strange weather or should we reshape weather to fit our strange culture? Who is going to take advantage of climate chaos and how will strange weather benefit me? How will you choose to work, celebrate, live and die when weather gets weird?

Speculative designer Lisa Ma is looking for the relevance of Luddism in the modern era by shifting focus from digital and communications technologies to the innovations of biotechnology industries. These biotechnologies which have started to pervade the food, health and ecological systems will undoubtedly attract their own forms of luddism. So who are the BioLuddites? Where are the group and individuals who ask for a demystification of biotechnologies and who are calling for a public debate about GMOs, systems ecology, hormone replacement, etc?

A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World is a catalogue of 55 curious creatures and life-forms that have evolved in often unexpected ways to cope with the stresses and pressures of a changed world. Other organisms documented iare the results of human intervention, mutations engineered to serve various interests and purposes ranging from scientific research to the desire for ornamentation

In this book, synthetic biologists, artists, designers, and social scientists investigate synthetic biology and design. After chapters that introduce the science and set the terms of the discussion, the book follows six boundary-crossing collaborations between artists and designers and synthetic biologists from around the world, helping us understand what it might mean to ‘design nature.’

Ivan Henriques collaborated with scientists from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to develop the prototype of an autonomous bio-machine which harvests energy from photosynthetic organisms commonly found in ponds, canals, rivers and the sea

The Symbiotic Machine uses the energy collected from micro organisms to move around in search for more photosynthetic organisms which it then collects and processes again

The Bio Art & Design Award used to be called the Designers and Artists for Genomics award but its objective remains unchanged: the award invites designers and artists interested in life sciences to propose projects that push the boundaries of research application and creative expression. Each year the three most exciting ideas are awarded a 25,000 euro grant to bring the project to life and exhibit it

The book contains 17 articles (in both English and Finnish) that report and meditate on the research, reflections and activities that took place during the scientists and artists’ stay in Kilpisjärvi, Lapland. The event was organised by Finnish Society of Bioart and offered one of the very few residences that allows people who engage with art&science to work and experiment directly in a natural environment and not exclusively in laboratories or galleries

Michiko and Michael’s work is never without surprise. Whether they entrust opera singers to produce food in a future world where algae have become the world’s dominant food source or explore the possibility of a city that would be isolated from the wider environment and where food, energy, and even medicine, are derived from human origin and man-made biological systems.

For her project Ergo Sum Charlotte Jarvis donated blood, skin and urine to the stem cell research laboratory at the University of Leiden. These donations have been transformed into stem cells, which in turn have been programmed to grow into cells with different functions such as heart, brain and vascular cells.

The result is a biological self-portrait; a second self; biologically and genetically ‘Charlotte’ although also ‘alien’ to her – as these cells have never actually been inside her body