This blog is written by Wysing's Director, Donna Lynas, and is about some of the things happening at Wysing, or influencing what happens at Wysing.
Archive: September 2016
Ophiux tumblr 15 September 2016
On the residency I was introduced to two scientists working in Cambridge, one of which was a Biologist specialising in these creatures which live in the deep Antarctic Ocean. The other was a computational biologist whose specialism was in genetics. I began to think about how different species of animal and plant life are sampled in science and utilised for our own means. I imagined a future in which every single life-form, human and animal had been discovered and used as 'data' for human evolution – which is where the idea for Ophiux began. I imagined a high-tech medical room, completely automised which was being fed information from a diverse data bank sampled from the furthest regions of the natural world. The title of the exhibition is also the name of a speculative pharmaceutical company.
Click here to go to the Ophiux tumblr page.
On Deprofessionalizing Surgery – Benjamin Bratton 15 September 2016
Biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence will soon enable humans to reshape living beings in radical new ways, which will redefine the very meaning of life. The artwork creates a sci-fi scene of a futuristic medical room, with the audience at the very centre. Life-size models of high-tech medical imaging equipment include an MRI scanner and C-Arm X-Ray machines. The work explores the promise of a 'networked' world; connecting genetic data directly and fluidly to biomedical equipment in order to carry out medical procedures by computers.
Click here to read Benjamin Bratton's On Deprofessionalizing Surgery.
Genetic Sequencing 15 September 2016
My practice responds to very current concerns in the bio/tech realm, creating speculative scenarios that reflect on advances within the life sciences. Ophiux imagines a future in which synthetic biology has been fully realised and applied to advance human evolution, and increase life expectancy; where human biology has been computer programmed. The work visualises how current digital developments are being used to extract data from DNA; proposing that the human population, and millions of other organisms, will have been genetically sequenced in order to extract data, with the aim of furthering life. As part of this research I looked at companies like Illumina, one of the leading manufacturers of genetic sequencing machines.
Click here to read about Genetic Sequencing
Global Ocean Sampling Expedition 15 September 2016
The ideas for Ophiux started out on a residency at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge in the spring of 2015 within the theme of The Multiverse. Rather than thinking about the multiverse as something outside of our own worldview, something that lies beyond, in outer-space or elsewhere, I wanted to focus on our own environment. Much of the world’s natural life remains undiscovered; for all our technologies we still don’t know most of the bacterial life that exists on the palm of our own hand. We frequently hear about scientific discoveries that dispel our preconceptions; life-forms that have evolved to deal with intense conditions and hostile environments. One of the most perplexing is the existence of complex communities of creatures in deep volcanic ocean trenches that survive in extreme heat without light or oxygen. To us they are inhabitable ‘alien universes’ and have the potential to change our preconceptions and theories. They are not part of speculation or science fiction and indeed are much stranger – these ‘alternate universes’ exist here on earth. This website details Sorcerer II’s sampling expeditions as scientists explore microbial life in the waters of the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas.
Click here to go to the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition website.
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