Transgressing Boundaries: Bioart and Bacterial Transformation

Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts
Participatory Workshop and Discussion
Transgressing Boundaries: Bioart and Bacterial Transformation
Coalesce Center for Biological Arts
University at Buffalo
Download Lab Protocol (PDF)

Transgressing Boundaries: Bioart and Bacterial Transformation

with Bioartist-in-Residence Laura Splan

February 7, 2020

Coalesce Biological Art Laboratory
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

This bioart workshop explores membranes and metanarratives while performing bacterial transformations. We transform E. coli to produce pigment and florescence while discussing the fraught metaphors used to explain biology that include national security, violence and trickery. We also brainstorm for new metaphors.

Special thanks to:
Paul Vanouse, bioart advising
Dr. Solon Morse, workshop protocol preparation
Felipe Shibuya and Dave Jadric, workshop documentation and facilitation

Workshop Description

"Transgressing Boundaries: Bacterial Transformation" with Bioartist-in-Residence Laura Splan

A Bioart workshop exploring the genetic manipulation of bacteria to produce pigments and fluorescence.

Get your hands dirty in our lab as you learn how BioArtists use DNA, microbes, and the tools of science to create living artworks that explore life itself. Brooklyn artist Laura Splan mines the materiality and metanarratives of biotechnology to reveal poetic subjectivities. Splan is experimenting with dyeing the shorn fiber of laboratory llamas with transformed Escherichia coli during her artist residency at Coalesce.

Residency Artist Talk