Cracker Recipe

      2 c  Flour 
      1 t  Salt 
    1/2 t  Baking powder 
    1/4 c  Butter 
    1/2 c  Milk 
      1 ea Large egg 
Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl. Cut in the 
butter until very fine. Add the milk and egg and mix to make a 
stiff dough. 
Knead thoroughly and then roll the dough very thin. Cut into 
squares or rounds and place on lightly buttered cookie sheets. 
Prick the crackers with a fork and then bake in a 400 degree 
oven for 10 minutes, or until very lightly browned. If desired, 
crackers may be sprinkled with coarse salt. 

Final Assignment- Emily Berlin

1) My definition of BioArt is a very simple one. It is art that incorporates elements or ideas from biology, the study of life, into art. My definition was pretty much the same at the beginning of the semester, it has become a little bit more lenient though. I've learned not to take the science part of the art so seriously, I mean, it's art not a science fair project.

2) I think my group, the Food group, did a very good job on our project. For a while there it was kind of confusing and not put together, but the day of the art show we got everything together and it looked very nice. I'm glad we did the map of the world, and I'm very glad we didn't make it smaller because it would have seemed insignificant. I'm disappointed that I didn't get to stay long enough to see the sensory group as I was both confused by what they were doing and intrigued. Confused in a good way, curious. I liked the way that the bioluminescent group set up there petri dishes, it was very creative.
If I was a visitor to the exhibition and didn't know what to expect I would probably be a little confused on how everything fit together. I think that we could have made a little more effort to make things flow better together, or somehow explain what we are doing more. I don't know how I would change it, but I think I would try to make it cyclical, so it's not just three separate structured groups and more of a continuous cycle that could be viewed from one direction or another. Nature is like that you know, like the nitrogen, carbon, water cycles, etc. 


Before I took this class, I envisioned bioart as way to portray a scientific idea through traditional painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. I never imagined that it could involve growing bioluminescent bacteria! Now I think of bioart as a broad category that involves any kind of media and living (or once living) creatures. It still is undefined and I have enjoyed learning about how artists have defined bioart for themselves. I am so glad I took this class and hope that it is offered in the future. 

What is BioArt? Feifei Zhang

Art can be anything which we attach meaning to and which express ideas. At the beginning of the semester, my definition of bioart is any piece or form with life can be portrayed as bioart, earthlings, nature; also works that imply the value of liveness, such as photography, paintings, sculptures, and the other ways of expression. After one semester of discussion of bioart works and exploration to find artists' works, I look at bioart with two major components. First, the bio part which emphasizing on technology promotes works to transfer the way we think, and live, such as victimless leather, tying with animal slaughter, animal rights, and a more extension to a chain of globalization, makes us to consider and reconsider. The other part is the more aesthetic part which is very close to my original definition. Both provoke more ideas. Both express values. My question is how to judge whether it is or not a piece of bioart. And it is interesting to think of perspective from different people  on one piece of work, such as the wall with planted vegetation. 

New Definition of Bioart

Throughout this semester we've been talking a lot about what we think bioart is. Because bioart is such a new topic and such a fresh type of art the rules that define what bioart is are very vague. I believe bioart is any piece that uses or portrays some form of biology in it's forefront. For example a picture of a nature scene could be seen as bioart because it is glorifying biology through the lush landscape portrayed in the picture. Or a sculpture of a tree made from human flesh could be seen as bioart because of its use of human flesh. For this class i feel that we've talked a lot about bioart being the latter of the two examples i just gave. I think for next semester the professors should maybe talk more about bioart the fashion of pictures or sculptures of nature. Sure it's not as moving or shocking but it is a type of bioart that we did not spend much time on.

Final Assignment- Shada Ahrar

1) Post your definition of BioArt.

- BioArt is a unique combination of biology and art. The BioArt pieces are often left to viewer interpretation and can be displayed in different ways. BioArt can be shown through nature's beauty, artists/biologist experimenting with organisms, relationships between plants and animals and much more.

·         How has your definition changed over the semester?

-          At the beginning of the semester I did not know how to define BioArt.  When I was looking through the freshmen seminars for fall semester and saw BioArt it sounded interesting but I did not know what it was going to be about. So I emailed the professors to ask them what the course was about and they sent me links to BioArt pieces. Whenever I told someone my schedule for the semester they would always asked me "What is BioArt." I did not know how to give them a good definition of what the course was or what BioArt really was. I would resort to telling them that it is biology displayed as art and would tell them about the pieces of BioArt that the professor's sent me.

2) Reflect upon your experience of the BioArt exhibition and the particular elements that you developed for the exhibition?

-The BioArt exhibition was interesting. It was nice to see our BioArt pieces displayed. All the groups did an amazing job coming up with unique ideas and displaying their ideas in a creative ways. I liked how we (the bioluminescent group) was able to work with E. coli and display it in a different way then what some people might associate E. coli with. I though the food group did an awesome job creating the world out of crackers and blue frosting. Also I liked the grain spelling out please take one- went along with the food theme really well! The sensory group also did a fantastic job. The clay dissolving in water was really eye catching and had so many different meanings behind it. Also the different scents on the cloth gave the visitors a chance to interact with the BioArt work and become part of the piece. Visitor interaction with the BioArt work was a big part of all the BioArt pieces.  

·         If you were a visitor the exhibition and did not know what to expect, how would you interpret your experience?

-          I would say that it was an event that I have never experienced before. Not many people would find E.coli attracting or even consider using it was a display. Also at many other exhibitions you don't have a chance to interact with the work so this exhibition was a nice change that allowed viewers to get a better sence of the BioArt pieces displayed.

·         What changes would you make so that each of the projects and the exhibition as a whole convey your artistic intent as fully as possible?

-          Something I would change would have been adding what we thought our pieces meant/ what we were trying to portray. I like the idea that the piece were left up to interpretation but I think it would have been nice for the audience to know what they are looking at and what the artist/biologist meant with their display.


Food Group

We will create a food series of a wheat-based product starting with a seed and ending with the processed food. We will have various "capsules" each with a different growing stage. The first one will have a seed, the next will have the seedling, etc. We would like to include live yeast along with flour and other baking ingredients. The last capsule will have some kind of bread/pastry. With help from the agronomy department, we will get seeds, plants, etc. The project is designed to make viewers consider the growing/processing time it takes to make everyday foods like bread. 

We will also create a mosaic of crackers. We will dye them different colors and arrange them in the shape of the world. Different countries will have different colored crackers and different sizes of crackers to represent global food distribution. The mosaic will be presented horizontally on some surface such as a board, plastic table cloth, wax paper, etc. The mosaic will be 3-4 feet in diameter with the crackers set in paste (honey or frosting). We would like viewers to participate by taking crackers from the mosaic.

Bioluminescent Group

Our project will include plating three different colors of E. coli and putting them on display (live art). We also want to include a center piece. Possible center pieces include: glowing worms or a log dipped in agar with bioluminescent mushrooms. With the help of Professor Neil and his lab this project will be accomplished! We will plate the three different colors of E. coli possibly on different shaped plates in the lab and put them on the wall for display during the exhibition. Our center piece will be a little more complicated - we have to wait to see what is available for us to buy and use.

Food Group

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Possible themes to explore:
importance of food aesthetics
awareness of food content
dependence on staple foods (grains, milk, eggs, etc.)
where do products of digestion go?

How will we present our ideas?
-eliminate staple out of food (what does a cookie look like without flour?)
-present an ironic display of food (chocolate truffles shaped like hep-C virus)
-take x-ray images of food being digested in the body
-take dye out of food 
-body sculpture made of food
-make a "food series" with increasingly fancier representation of food

Visitor interaction
-provide food samples
-create aroma for added experience
-blindfold guests

Which food should we use?


I would really like to do an artistic time lapse video of a spider building it's web along with some very close up digital images of the spider. Last year in AP Bio I learned how beautiful bugs are up close when we did a lab on fruit flies. They have the prettiest iridescent wings I have ever seen. Maybe that's something we could do in the imaging lab?
Like this:

This is an electron microscope image of a spiders silk spigots.

But I don't necessarily mean that close up, It is pretty cool though.

This one is neat also:

This is also an electron microscope image of a spider, but not quite so close up. Pretty neat, huh?

Recent Comments

  • wang1642: Hi Laura, Here is some idea about the body sculpture read more
  • ahrar005: I really like this idea. If we are able to read more

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