Marc Dusseiller was at IC on the 6th of June and proposed us a guestlecture where he introduced us to hackteria and the DIY Bioart scene.
The latter appeared to be a way to bring some basic Biotechnology’s issues in the common life, where nowadays is lacking: the high-specialized labs, where the research is done, are far away from the everyday, but since the mankind is dealing with animals and plants, he is modifying those. The aim of the workshops and lectures is to give some awareness of those processes to the participants, showing them the basis of the complicated techniques used in research environments. This is on one side a possibility of diffusing knowledge into different layers of society, as well as on the other side gives some really basic tools to countries in development, where open labs in schools are not always available.
He showed us then his portable Bioart Lab, cheap/hacked/self-made tools that are useful during the research, such as a microscope based on a simple hacked webcam. A very cheap solution for workshops and labs in schools, it gives also a lot of hints about how the technical side of it works. On the practical side he showed us how to extract DNA from strawberries! Of course it wasn’t the “clean” and official way of doing it, probably scientists don’t use dish-detergent and super-alcoholic but for sure it is a way to speak about DNA and his structures, how the cells are made, how the process of extraction works, doing it at the same time.
This practice can therefore conduce to some “artistic results”, especially if used under certain conditions and intention towards the approach itself.
Simple curiosity and a little bit of tinkering lead us to discover unexpected properties of our surroundings and bodies, towards the point where scientific practice and artistic research are meeting one each other.
Take a look at some photos of the guestlecture!