In the morning of April 5th, our class had a follow up discussion on Margaret MacDonald’s exhibition Culture as Medium. At the opening in Motor House, many of the students from Biofabrication participated in assisting performance and initiating provocative conversation
The exhibition Culture as Medium blurs the boundaries between science and art, artists and scientists. As François-Joseph Lapointe states, “For me, experimental science and experimental art are two branches of the same tree, identical twins separated at birth.” Tal Danino’s series of Microscopic Bacterial Videos (on view at Motor House) imparts the haunting beauty of the synchronized dynamic behavior of bacteria while revealing cutting edge research in synthetic biology. To produce Sequence Dress (on view at BUGSS), Anna Dumitriu immersed herself in whole genome sequencing research of clinically important bacteria in order to, as Dumitriu writes, “artistically explore the emerging technology of whole genome sequencing of bacteria and consider what it means to us personally, culturally and socially.” With his performance experiment, 1000 Handshakes (to be performed in Baltimore on April 2, 2016), Lapointe creates what he describes as “metagenomic self-portraits” or “microbiome selfies” that illustrate the metamorphosis of his bacterial self as he shakes hands with those around him.
In the afternoon, the class broke into three research groups(Body as site of manufacturing, Machine as site of manufacturing and Outdoors as site of manufacturing) to further discuss the idea and research as our research papers and presentations are due the next class meeting.