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      (R)EVOLUTION: Optogenetics and Interspecies Microperformance

      Proceedings of Politics of the Machines - Rogue Research 2021 (POM 2021)
      debate and devise concepts and practices that seek to critically question and unravel novel modes of science
      September 14-17, 2021
      Optogenetics, Microperformativity, Performance, Gameplay, Algae, BioArt, SciArt, Video Games, New Media


            Optogenetics is a set of biological techniques that proposes a future where many neurological diseases in humans could one day be treated with light. It also gives way to the idea that humans can control other organisms, such as light-responsive algae, through genetic modification techniques. These techniques have the potential to be utilized to alter the behaviors of light-responsive algae for the production of bio-fuel, food, and other biological materials and products. However, these techniques open the door for many bioethical issues and concerns about genetic modifications and the agency of both human and non-human cells. Inspired by the ecofeminist philosophy of Donna Haraway’s “making kin”, (R)EVOLUTION is an artistic attempt to rearticulate the relationship between algal visual perception and human technoscientific desires through performance-based approaches associated with dance and gameplay. Using the aesthetic framing of Dance Dance Revolution, (R)EVOLUTION seeks to provide a satirical exploration of human and non-human relationships using light-based choreography and gameplay while simultaneously reflecting on ethical dimensions of research in the growing field of Optogenetics and the ethical issues involved in artistic works that are created out of the bodies, lives, and liveliness of microscopic organisms. This paper explores these ethical dilemmas, the work’s uses of microperformativity, and the cultural connotations of (R)EVOLUTION while providing critical analysis as context for the transdisciplinary approaches undertaken by the artist in collaboration with Humboldt Universität zu Berlin’s Department of Experimental Biophysics.


            Author and article information

            September 2021
            September 2021
            : 226-231
            [0001]Institute of Biology, Experimental Biophysics

            Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

            Berlin, Germany
            © Walsh. Published by BCS Learning & Development Ltd. Proceedings of Politics of the Machines - Rogue Research 2021, Berlin, Germany

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Proceedings of Politics of the Machines - Rogue Research 2021
            POM 2021
            Berlin, Germany
            September 14-17, 2021
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            debate and devise concepts and practices that seek to critically question and unravel novel modes of science

            1477-9358 BCS Learning & Development

            Self URI (article page): https://www.scienceopen.com/hosted-document?doi=10.14236/ewic/POM2021.30
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing

            Applied computer science,Computer science,Security & Cryptology,Graphics & Multimedia design,General computer science,Human-computer-interaction
            New Media,Video Games,Algae,Gameplay,Microperformativity,SciArt,BioArt,Performance,Optogenetics


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