Recently in 9/23 Category

The Fluorescent Bunny

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Alba, the fluorescent bunny

Once again Eduardo Kac uses his ingenuity to concoct a strange artwork with a scientific twist, from petunias displaying human veins to a green fluorescent bunny.   The GFP, green fluorescent protein, bunny was originally albino.  Now, when shined with blue light, Alba glows a bright green light.  Alba was created with EGFP, an enhanced version of the gene found in Aequorea Victoria jellyfish.  When introduced to mammalian cells, EGFP produces fluorescence two times brighter than the original jellyfish gene.  However, Alba is specifically a transgenic art not created for the purpose of breeding.  She is to be viewed as a piece of artwork, bio-artwork.  I think that since that the right amounts of precautions were used in modifying this bunny and she was not created for breeding purposes, it is acceptable.  Alba is living, biological artwork, just like the rest of nature.

Feifei Zhang Semi-Living food




Growing vegetables is normal. How about growing meat over bio polymer for food assumption? 
Disembodied Cuisine is such a project that makes attempt grow frog muscle over biopolymer after the try-out for semi-living steak. This is really interesting to think about our human beings  relationship with other livings in nature. My first thought after reading about the idea of growing meat is probably chickens can "lose some weight". I made the connection of fast food industry and huge consumption on chickens. Saying lose weight does not only mean their biological condition but the whole environment of their living condition. If it becomes the main source of meat consumption one day, there will be no more vegetarians. However, I am wondering whether the new method of gaining food will change the chain of lives and how to balance between humans and the other livings? 

Worry Dolls

I read about an interesting piece of Bioart entitled "Worry Dolls". They were created by a group from the University of Western Australia known as SymbioticA. The idea to create these dolls was inspired by dolls made in Guatamala that children could tell their worries to every night before they went to bed so the dolls could fix their worries before they woke up the next morning. These pieces are initially crafted out of a polymer and then muscle, bone, and skin tissue is grown over that, essentially creating a living form of art. To grow the tissue they put the dolls in a bioreactor, which is basically a machine that simulates the human body in that it provides the right temperature and nutrients to grow live tissue. They created seven of these dolls. All in all I thought it was a really neat idea.

Extra Ear (Char Bogonko)

The Tissue Culture and Art project uses living tissue to create art. In this instance, there was an ear generated from living tissue and able to sustain itself outside of being connected to a body.  The artists use tissue engineering technology to create semi-living entities in a controlled environment allowing the artists to determine the shape of the creation. In this case, living cells from one of the artist's, Stelarc's, ear were used to create the semi-living ear. The suggestion for this art piece is not to let it be a prothetic replacement for a missing or malfunctioning body part, which it could be, but rather to let it be a possible addition to a body.
The idea is actually pretty amazing, partially because it is a body part outside of a body and because of the challenges it poses to the general ideas of life and wether or not it shoudl or should not be manipulated. 

9/23 The "Move 36"

(Matthew Paul Schroeder) Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

2a1.jpgEpcot's Flower and Garden Festival is a full on experience starting from March 18th to May 31'st every year. This event takes place at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center and features many luxurious flower beds and lush topiaries like you see above. This event is funded and ran by Disneynature. Biologists and artists alike spend all year growing and sculpting these flowers into the forms you see above. All in all this year's Flower and Garden Festival featured 70 amazing topiaries including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and her 7 Dwarfs. You can even meet with top horticulturists and botanists for fun facts or gardening tips. Along with the Flower and Garden Festival you can head over to The Land pavilion and take a "Behind the Seeds" tour of the entire facility to learn about the cutting edge of agriculture. In conclusion Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival is the perfect combination of biology together in a beautiful display of art for everyone to see.

Lauren Mackmiller- 9/23- GFP Bunny

GFP stands for Green Fluorescent Protein. It is a transgenic "art piece" by Edaurdo Kac. They took the GFP from a jellyfish. Eduardo claims that he has a connection with the animal and feels really close to it. It is genetically an albino bunny in normal light, but when blue light is shone on it, it turns a fluorecent green. I honestly don't think this is any sort of bioart. You could say that the cloned sheep was artwork, saying that you display the same creature created by nature and the beauty of man's work in it. I've read an article this summer about puppies that glow red when a certain light is shone on it. It wasn't advertised as art, it was pure science. I disagree that this project is art.

Erika Haug - Victimless Leather

Victimless Leather is a project that is a interesting piece of bioart. The project is a lab grown garment made out of cells of skin that are grown. It isn't meant to be a way for making more clothes for people, but more of a comment on the lengths that we will go for our clothes. Also it is about how clothes tell so much about us, they aren't just clothes, they are an extension of ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world. It is also meant to be an eye-opener to the fact that we don't need to kill animals for leather to dress ourselves, there are other ways that wouldn't end with an animal dead. I think it is a strong comment on our society and makes the view really think about the lengths we will go for our clothes, killing innocent animals to make us look better. victimless_leather02.jpg

Shada Ahrar

"Engineered for Empathy "is an interactive Bioart sculpture by Amy Youngs. It is made from Live Mammillaria Elongata Monstrosus cactus, clay, soil, wood and electronics - including LEDs, microprocessor and Qprox proximity sensor from the Quantum Research Group. I thought this Bioart project was interesting because this cactus is engineered to "elicit empathy" for humans, so that we feel obligated to take care of it. Amy Young says, this engineered cactus "creates empathy because its signal to us is a pulsating, glowing heartbeat that speeds up as a person comes near it." Does everyone feel some sort of empathy towards this plant?

Here is the website:

Living Letters - Sammy Dunne

Gunnar Green's approach to BioArt is using living things to create/form graphic designs. In the particular piece, Living Letters, Green injected seeds and bacteria into different pieces of paper. One, with the intention of growing plants or flowers to spell out messages. Another letter uses E.coli Bacteria to display the note - the bacteria "grows" with heat, thus forcing the recipient to warm the letter in order to read it. I think this concept of depending on nature to relay a message is very powerful to our world today. Its curious though, how long does it take for one message to be revealed? 

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