Saturday, 3 November 2012


BioArt is an art practice where humans work with live tissues, bacteria, living organisms, and life processes. Using scientific processes such as biotechnology (including technologies such as genetic engineering, tissue culture, and cloning) the artworks are produced in laboratories, galleries, or artists' studios. The scope of BioArt is considered by some artists to be strictly limited to “living forms”, while other artists would include art that uses the imagery of contemporary medicine and biological research, or require that it address a controversy or blind spot posed by the very character of the life sciences.
Although BioArtists work with living matter, there is some debate as to the stages at which matter can be considered to be alive or living. Creating living beings and practicing in the life sciences brings about ethical, social, and aesthetic inquiry.

An example of BioArt, made with bacteria expressing 8 different colors of fluorescent proteins.
BioArt is often intended to be shocking or humorous. One survey of the field in Isotope: A Journal of Literary Science and Nature Writing puts it this way: "BioArt is often ludicrous. It can be lumpy, gross, unsanitary, sometimes invisible, and tricky to keep still on the auction block. But at the same time, it does something very traditional that art is supposed to do: draw attention to the beautiful and grotesque details of nature that we might otherwise never see."

Anna Dumitriu.
A bacteria dress

Joe Davis
Rubisco Stars, SETI Molecules and the Paradox of Scale

Hunter Cole

Bioluminescence - a bacterial light show

Having just stumbled across the work of Hunter Cole, I couldn’t help but share it ! Hunter Cole creates works of art from precisely created cultures of bioluminescent bacteria.
Bioluminescence is the production of light by an organism where energy is released by a chemical reaction (often involving Adenosine Triphosphate) in the form of light. Many animals have developed bioluminescence, such as ‘fireflies’, the ‘glow worm’, angler fish like the one in Finding Nemo, and in spectacular form in squid. Indeed this is true for many other marine vertebrates and invertebrates, around 90 percent of marine life is estimated to bioluminesce in one form or another!
Hunter Cole grew the bacteria responsible for this bioluminescence, in cultures on arranged agar plates and filmed as they grew, showing the ways in which their light emission developed and changed as they grew and died.

 and others

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