Project Genesis

Three of our projects are currently on display in a new exhibition at the Ars Electronica centre in Linz, Austria. Project Genesis, Synthetic Biology – Life from the Lab will be up until August 1st 2014, and features Into Your Hands Are they Delivered by Tobias Revell, Dynamic Genetics VS Mann by Superflux and The New Weathermen by David Benqué.

“The scientific achievements of recent years have catapulted us into a new age—one in which we can not only read the genetic information of living creatures but write it as well. Nevertheless, just because we’re able to, does that mean that doing so is a good idea?

This all began with the discovery of DNA as the molecular key to life. Now, synthetic biology enables us to create completely new life forms—to configure them from scratch according to our own design concepts and assemble them from customized components to build in desirable traits. At the same time, these high-tech marvels have gotten more affordable, and the know-how is no longer insider information accessible only by experts.

But in light of our all-too-human mental capacities, isn’t it expecting too much of humankind to be able to form the living creatures of this world? The more we deal with synthetic biology, the more questions emerge—a number far exceeding the questions answered—from the virtually limitless spring of possibilities. And after all, this is a matter of nothing less than life itself; this is about us! It’s high time to give some thought to the future, one in which our genetic fate is no longer cast in stone.

In this exhibition, the works of art themselves occupy the focal point of attention. They provide food for thought about these issues, and interesting enlightenment as you go about coming to terms with the consequences that will necessarily affect us all. But you also have easy access to authoritative assistance: on the walls of the entire exhibition space, you’ll find brief texts about basic scientific concepts. Get active and get involved in Project Genesis! It’s all about a very important person: You!”