ArtScience Course - Royal Art Academy, The Hague (KABK)

Project Details

We developed and taught elective ArtDesign course called the SynBioArt that allowed young artists to explore their role in the field of synthetic biology.

To investigate this, artists and designers should become more aware of the possibilities of interdisciplinary field.

In this course a theoretical and practical introduction was covering the basic concepts of DNA technology and synthetic biology. The idea of this technology is to design codes of DNA that perform desired tasks and to insert these into living cells, thereby creating a living system that is not found in nature. Standardization of the DNA parts is a key element to make the genetic circuits interchangeable. During the course a virtual biological system was designed and the new possibilities of synthetic biology for art were investigated.

Because of the advances in the technology of DNA synthesis and standardization, synthetic biology becomes increasingly available for people other than scientists. Tinkering with nature raises numerous questions about safety, security and ethics. The controversies around this technology and its connections to ArtScience was discussed. The students developed a project idea in which the artistic values and the developments in synthetic biology meet.

Client Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK)
Credit points 2 ECT
Period October - November 2011
Location The Hague