Until 19th January, 2014, the Science Gallery of Trinity College in Dublin is presenting the exhibition Grow Your Own, which explores the implications and potential applications of synthetic biology through the work of engineers, scientists, designers, artists and biohackers. Curated by a team comprising the artist and designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (an award winner in VIDA 12.0), the researchers Anthony Dunne (Royal College of Art) and Paul Freemont (Imperial College), the biohacker Cathal Garvey and the curator of the Science Gallery Michael John Gorman, this show offers a reflection on how human beings now have the ability to “design life”.
As Ginsberg said: “For the first time we can potentially design from the DNA up, and things that we want. Obviously, the question is: what do we want?” The exhibition therefore questions where the border lies between what we are and what we consume, the products that surround us and our own bodies. The pieces on show include both living organisms and speculative objects, which present possibilities that have not yet been resolved but that stimulate reflection and dialogue. The Community Biolab invites the public to become involved in the processes of “redesigning life” with the help of synthetic biology experts and biohackers. Banana-scented bacteria, mice cloned with Elvis Presley’s DNA, giant mushrooms that grow in the Mumbai suburbs, cheeses grown from human microbe cultures or the possibility of giving birth to a protected species are some of the projects that make up Grow Your Own, among which we should mention The Great Work of the Metal Lover by Adam W. Brown and Kazem Kashefi (Honourable Mention in VIDA 14.0), the work of Sascha Pohflepp (an award winner in VIDA 12.0) and Stranger Visions, the work of Heather Dewey-Hagborg who received an Honourable Mention in this year’s VIDA 15.0.