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Oscillator

Tag archives for art

Lab Poetry

I recently learned that one of my advisors and mentors is not only a great scientist, but also a poet. This poem was written a few years ago for his biotech company’s clean-up day poetry contest and won him a $5 gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts. I think it’s actually quite good and deserves more…

Designer Bacteria

Synthetic biologists work on designing living cells, but engineered bacteria don’t usually come up when you think of “designer” things. This year however, a synthetic biology design is up for a Brit Insurance Design of the Year award, up against the Lanvin Spring collection, Angry Birds, and Rock Band 3! Designers Daisy Ginsberg and James…

Microbial Landscapes

The Harvard Microbial Sciences Initiative Graduate Consortium hosted a fun workshop during the January term where students learned about microscopy by taking some amazing pictures of food microbes. The images taken with the scanning electron microscope of sauerkraut, kombucha, and some stinky cheeses show beautiful and complex landscapes made by and of microbes. Sauerkraut is…

Food for Thought

Industrial food production separates us from our food, increasing the distance from living thing to food product. As factories continue to import corn and export almost everything we eat, writers like Michael Pollan urge us to eat “real” food, and projects like the Slow Food movement have gained over 100,000 members who strive to preserve…

The Symbiotic Household

With The Symbiotic Household, Elliott P. Montgomery seeks to find answers to problems caused by climate change. Low-cost, low energy solutions are proposed through complex genetic engineering of domesticated insects–”What better way to deal with a future need than with a future technology?” The project is deliberatively provocative; “By offering a problematic answer, I want…

Scientific Color

We can babble philosophically about whether or not what we call “red” looks the same from another person’s eyes, we can compare the adjectives we use to specify colors–is it maraschino red or cayenne?–but when we’re talking to our computers, categorizing flowers, designing objects for mass production, branding a company, or establishing a flag’s official…

Smellscape

My Synthetic Aesthetics partner, Sissel Tolaas, is featured in the terrific current issue of the German interview magazine mono.kultur. Her work focuses on smell, exploring the unique smellscapes of different cities, creating provocative scents to show in art galleries, branded “logo” scents for Adidas, “Swedish” scents for Ikea, and therapeutic memory-triggering scents, part of the…

I’ve written before about artificial life researchers from the 18th and 20th centuries working to create robots that attempt to recreate the human voice. I recently saw this terrifying video over at the PopSci blog of a recent robotic voice machine and wanted to share it: Over at Noise For Airports, Nick shares a very…

I’m a little late in posting about the recent work of Tuur Van Balen, a Belgian designer who uses art and design to explore the boundaries between people and technology. His work has explored synthetic biology and biotechnology for years, and I first was introduced to his work through news of his Urban Biogeography project.…

Cellularity

Cellularity is a new project by James King, a speculative designer working on biotechnology and interaction design. The project focuses on the potential future of smart pharmaceuticals, drug molecules surrounded by membranes that over time as technology advances may come to more and more closely resemble actually living things. He proposes a cellularity scale from…