Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 4: BioTech+Art

I never knew that BioTech and Art could be combined to create bio art. It still amazes me that bio art is valid and real. Bio art is defined to be an art practice in which humans work with live tissues, bacteria, living organisms, and life processes producing artwork in laboratories, galleries, and studios. As the pioneer of bio art, Joe Davis contributed many different and interesting pieces to bio art. In some of his experiments, David sought to examine how E.coli interacts with jazz music, set out to send genes to space, and even "invented a bacterially-grown radio and a frog-leg powered airplane" (McKenna). It was very interesting to see that even the musical arts can be associated and mixed with science. Overall, I came to know what bio art is and how people work with it.

Eduardo Kac is an individual who was known for his transgenic organisms. One organism that is well known in particular is Alba, an albino bunny. Eduardo Kac "collaborated with a French laboratory to insert the green fluorescent protein gene (GFP) from the jelly fish Aequoria victoria into a white rabbit egg" in order to create Alba, a green glowing albino bunny (Labiotech). However, here comes the question of: "Is life a valid expressive medium?". At first, I would have said no to that question. I believed that people should not tamper with life in any sort of way. However, after viewing the different artworks involved with life and the potential to learn from them, I realize now that life is a valid expressive medium.

Furthermore, Stelios Arcadious's implant of an ear onto his arm demonstrates transhumanism. Transhumanism is going beyond human limitations with the aid of science and technology. I saw Arcadious' third ear as another way of expressing art. Stelios Arcadious "said he thought art 'should be more than simply illustrating ideas'" (DailyMail). After 4 weeks of learning in DESMA 9, I can say that I agree with him. Art is not just paintings or illustrations. Art involves learning, researching, using resources, and developing ideas.

After going through this lecture, it truly reinforced the idea that science and art can and have been mixed. They are not two separate cultures, but ones that depend and learn from each other. This lecture also made me wonder about the limits of human thought and ideas. What can we not imagine or achieve?
  1. "Artish Implants 'Third Ear' on His Own Arm." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 11 Oct. 2007. Web. 15 July 2016.
  2. "BioArt: Eduardo Kac and His Transgenic Organisms." Labiotecheu. N.p., 15 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 July 2016.
  3. "BioArt." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 July 2016.
  4. "Eduardo Kac." (biography). N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2016.
  5. McCafferty, Georgia. "The Man with an Ear on His Arm." CNN. Cable News Network, 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 15 July 2016.
  6. McKenna, Phil. "Joe Davis: The Mad Scientist of MIT?" CultureLab. N.p., 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 July 2016.
  7. "Transhumanism." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 July 2016.
  8. Vesna, Victoria. "5 bioart pt1 1280x720." YouTube. YouTube, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 July 2016.


  1. Cascone, Sarah. "Artist Grows Third Ear to Let the Internet Listen In on His Life." Artnet News. N.p., 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 15 July 2016. <>
  2. Collman, Hannah. "Bio Art: An Overview of New Media's Thriving Sibling. by Hannah Collman." Tiltfactor. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2016. <>
  3. Eddy, Cheryl. "Science And Art Need Each Other, And Here's Why." Io9. N.p., 27 Jan. 2015. Web. 15 July 2016. <>
  4. "DARPA Launches Biological Technologies Office - Pakalert Press." Pakalert Press RSS. N.p., 02 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 July 2016. <>
  5. "Green Fluorescent Protein - Cool Uses - Alba." Green Fluorescent Protein - Cool Uses - Alba. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 July 2016. <>

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