â€œI wonder how much of this Making Life project (whatâ€™s in a name) will consist of critical reflection on â€œthe making of novel life-forms from â€˜scratchâ€™â€, and how much â€“ through its association with art â€“ will in fact be providing social and moral legitimacy (and a touch of appealing avant-gardism) to what are, in my view, basically very dubious undertakingsâ€¦â€
Jan van Boeckel â€“Â www.naturearteducation.org
…is a new area of biological research that combines science andÂ engineering. Synthetic biology encompasses a variety of differentÂ approaches, methodologies and disciplines, with the aim to design andÂ construct new biological functions and systems not found in nature. MostÂ approaches of synthetic biology are based on genetic engineering butÂ goes much further. In genetic engineering the goal is to manipulate anÂ organismâ€™s genes, usually by transferring one gene from a donor to a host organism. Synthetic biology, on the other hand, aims at creatingÂ whole new biological functions, systems and eventually organismsÂ (Schmidt 2012). Other SB approaches are dealing with making novelÂ life-forms from â€œscratchâ€ (for example protocells). Synthetic Biology isÂ still in its beginnings but if it reaches its potential promises it willÂ become a highly transformative technology in terms of economy, ecologyÂ and ethics.
…is a series of three consecutive work periods over the course of 12Â months. The first period will take place between 22nd â€“ 27th of May 2014Â in Helsinki, the second is planned for November 2014 in Vienna, and theÂ third, in May 2015, will take place again in Helsinki. The goal ofÂ Making_Life is, according to the organizers, to enable practitioners to critically and in an informedÂ manner, engage with the socio-cultural, political and ethicalÂ ramifications of synthetic biology through art.Â The organizers will select a groupÂ of international multidisciplinary participants composed of artists,Â designers, engineers, scientists and students who will cooperate withinÂ this bottom-up devised program. The methods will shift from workshops,Â laboratory sessions and field trips, to forums, seminars and lectures.<
It will comprise theoretical as well as hands on approaches. The firstÂ and second work period will cover the introduction to synthetic biology,Â its sciences and technologies, the work on associated questions in art,Â ecology, ethics and politics and practical experience in the laboratoryÂ and with experiments. The third work period will be an intense sessionÂ to create prototypes for artworks. The time in between the periods is for developing and deepening the participantsâ€™ focus of investigation.
Participants are expected to join work periods I+II after which theÂ participants for the period III are selected.
About the organizers:
The Finnish Society of BioartÂ http://bioartsociety.fiÂ
Biofilia â€“ Base for Biological Arts -Aalto University HelsinkiÂ http://biofilia.aalto.fi/en/Â
Oron CattsÂ http://www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au/residents/cattsÂ
SYNENERGENEÂ http://www.synenergene.eu/Â Funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.
Cultura21â€²s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.
– Sacha Kagan (based in LÃ¼neburg, Germany) and Rana Ã–ztÃ¼rk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)
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