Sunday, September 07, 2014

Synthetic Biology workshop with C-LAB // 5-7 September, 2014

Art Laboratory Berlin, in cooperation with Desiree Förster and Daniela Silvestrin, hosted a 3-day workshop in Synthetic Biology led by C-LAB from 5-7 September 2014

C-LAB is a London based collective founded by Laura Cinti and Howard Boland which critically deals with the contemporary overlapping of art, science and technology. The focus of Cinti and Boland's work is the investigation and exploration of the meaning and characteristics of all that relates to organic and synthetic life. Their concern here is to create a platform for both artistic and scientific reflection and discussion. In their current experimental art projects C-LAB have developed several genetic constructs that lead to novel behavior in E. coli bacteria; the artists explore the possibilities offered of synthetic biology and genetic engineering techniques in an art context (e.g. in artworks such kate, katEred, Stressostat and Banana Bacteria).

This workshop was organized for artists, designers, DIY biologists, and especially lay people who wish to gain practical experience with the processes and methods in the creation of new life forms, bio-materials and new forms of expression. During the workshop's three days C-LAB showed, within a complete cycle of operation, how new forms of expression can be integrated into bacteria by genetic engineering and standardized synthetic biology. The aim was not only to test how parts can be interchanged easily by means of standardized genetic engineering, but the participants also attempted the production of genetic biosensors.

The workshop will take place partly in a makeshift (DIY) laboratory (on the premises of Art Laboratory Berlin), and partly in a professional laboratory for molecular biology at the Technical University Berlin. The participants were encouraged "to get their hands dirty" during the workshop and work with professional equipment in both an artistic and scientific context. The results and experiences were then reflected and discussedon, and both the artistic and the specific scientific practices discussed from different points of view. The workshop was organized and realized by Desiree Förster and Daniela Silvestrin.Special thanks to the IGEM Berlin team from TU Berlin as well as Rüdiger Trojok. Thanks as well to Briony Kirby and Chiara Donelli as well as the participants.

Funded by the European Union and the Federal State of Berlin within the framework of the "Zukunftsinitiative Stadtteil" part of the program "Soziale Stadt."

Day 1

Introduction with Howard Boland from C-LAB

Learning about the equipment

Figuring out the experiment

Preparing for the PCR

IGEM Berlin team helps

PCR machine, from 1991!
 Day 2
Rüdiger Trojok explains Gel Electrophoresis

At the Technical University Berlin

An example of e.Coli with GFP
The results

Best of eight tries!

Berlin Bioart and Science Community  Science Café event for synthetic biology and art. Initiated by the Berlin iGEM team

All photos courtesy Art Laboratory Berlin

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