In the run up to our next series Nonhuman Subjectivities,
opening 26 February 2016 with the exhibition The Other Selves.
On the Phenomenon of the Microbiome, we are glad to announce
a series of events together with the Vorspiel programme of the transmediale
Café with Berlin iGEM team
The iGEM Berlin team (http://igem.berlin/)
presents their fourth SciArt Caf. Under the main theme of "Programming
Life - Good Code/ Bad Code?" we will hear scientists and artists
working with bioscience and afterwards discuss topics of synthetic
biology. Join us on the 31th of January from 3.00 - 6.00 pm at Art
Laboratory Berlin. After four warm up talks at ArtLaboratory Berlin,
we will start the discussion over food and drinks.
In this science café we want to address the images and techniques
in art and science that apply to the living organism at its source:
the organism as bacteria, as gene, as a storage, as connecting element,
as an imaginative. Which problems, challenges and questions drive
the artists and scientists that are dealing with life in its smallest
and most complex form?
Biotechnology aims at prolonging life and minimizing disease. At
the same time they have to comply with strong security regulations.
The assumption that biology equals technology, which in consequence
leads to an engineer-like approach towards life, is opposed to living
organisms being complex and contingent systems. Biotechnology
not longer describes its objects. Under the lead of the industry
it is more and more split into specialized fields such as microbiology,
genetics and synthetic biology. This development is strongly connected
with new hopes and imagination, figuring a new knowledge and science
of life, that might lead to both a longer and healthier life and
a new industrial revolution.
short presentations engage with different perspectives ranging from
synthetic biology, speculative science and art.
iGEM Berlin: Building with BioBricks
2. Dr. Caroline Mair : Research with pathogens - Biodefense
3. Margherita Pevere: SEMINA AETERNITATIS
4. AnneMarie Maes: Urban Bee Lab
In the international Genetically Engineered Machines Competition
students from all over the world are building molecular machines
by reprogramming organisms. In this regard, living cells are seen
as machines that can be engineered with standardized DNA building
blocks. Today, these students and scientists have access to a high
repository of these standardized BioBricks. Last year iGEM Berlin
was awarded a silver medal from the iGEM (MIT) as well as from the
BioMod competition (Harvard). We worked on a molecular filter mechanism
that would allow us or future iGEM teams to develop are filter for
microplastics. These microplastics are threatening our environment
and our health. Being part of our daily consumer industry they reach
our rivers and oceans as they are not efficiently filtered by the
sewage water treatment facilities. Maybe synthetic biology can help
us to deal with that problem.
Caroline Mair, Scientist, Charité Berlin:
In the biotechnological field microorganisms are primarily regarded
as molecular workhorses being indispensable for the industrial production
of food, chemicals and medicine. However, some of these organisms
are also the origin of infectious disease and are thus pathogenic
for humans, animals and plants. Scientists working with pathogens
chance to find new therapies but at the same time have to face strict
regulations in their research. Thanks to the creativity of many
talented people in this field new methodologies have been developed
to understand complex processes in disease such as fluorescence
microscopy techniques and molecular model systems. These methods
do not only lower the risk
for the scientist and help to find possible intervention strategies
but also have been used as source for inspiration in visual arts.
Mair studied Biotechnology at the University of Natural
Resources and Life Sciences. She obtained a Marie Curie fellowship
to do her PhD in the frame of the European ITN network Virus Entry
at the Humboldt University in Berlin. During her PhD she gained
major practical experiences with the work of influenza A viruses
and the use of biophysical methods to analyze virus-host cell interactions.
After another year as postdoctoral researcher in the field of systems
Caroline is now looking for new challenges in the field of Biotechnology.
Pevere, Artist, Berlin
The visual works created using bacteria with modified DNA are a
vault of memories and identities: those of the bacteria, of myself
as an artist, of the people whose memories have been encoded in
the hybrid DNA. The hybrid nature of the modified cellulose challenges
the idea of DNA as ultimate evidence of a defined self and investigates
the boundaries of subjective identity. Since DNA is a resilient
material, the information stored on DNA present in the cellulose
also will be readable in a far away future. This work can be thought
of as something that might last for millennia, preserving people's
memories for future readers.
Maes, Artist and Beekeper
AnneMarie Maes and the Brussels Urban Bee Lab create projects that
stimulate the development of a more sustainable world. Her research
practice combines art and science with a strong interest for DIY
For AnneMarie Maes art is life and life is ecological. Inspired
by nature, she wants to make the invisible visible. Her installations
and long term projects such as the Transparent Beehive, Urban
Corridors or the Politics of Change use a range of biological,
digital and traditional media, including live organisms. These projects
lead to a stream of art works, interventions, experiments and books.
She has a strong international profile, having exhibited (amongst
others) at Bozar in Brussels, Koç Gallery in Istanbul, Borges
Center in Buenos Aires, Skolska Gallery in Prague and the Institute
of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona.
She is affiliated to the artist collectives Okno and So-on, has
managed several international art projects granted by EU Culture
and she collaborates on regular basis with science groups in Brussels,
Paris, Barcelona and Tokyo. [http://annemariemaes.net/
iGEM Berlin - Mariam Hammoud: Building with BioBricks
Margherita Pevere: SEMINA AETERNITATIS
Dr. Caroline Mair : Research with pathogens - Biodefense
AnneMarie Maes: Urban Bee Lab
of the Vorspiel Programme of transmediale
art&digitalculture and CTM