Switch Critters are a re-imagining of light switches – the are switches we do not have full control over. Normal light switches obey our every command (on and off), whereas these critters require particular attention to be devoted to them for their tasks to be accomplished. This is infuriating and annoying, but over time one becomes accustomed to it and is actually satisfied with the interaction. This leads in general to a more mindful interaction of the rhythms of your environment. At the very least its a very interesting concept, perhaps one relevant to future consumer based (application driven) synthetic organisms?
Glow in the dark things are the quick becoming one of the most cliched products of the GMO world. This is probably because they are achievable and very easily recognised as alien and different. Humans love lights and glowing things in general – so glowing flowers seem like an obvious product. As of earlier this year they are finally commercially available. A small Australian company BIOCONST has produced its first range of commercial fluorescent flowers, which it calls Galassia Flowers. This first range is treated with a “fluorescent formulation” rather than being genetically modified – but the company has plans to create GMO products too. These flowers also need an illumination device, which presumably shines the UV light needed to see the glowing effect.
Check out their gallery of current products here. After the break also check out a fashion show they ran which showcases some of their flower fashion accessories.
Zachary Copfer is a bioartist. He currently works primarily in the new medium of bacteriogaphy: photographs produced by glowing genetically modified bacteria (which replace light sensitive photo paper). This work is effectively a new medium for artistic endeavour, one which captures the spirit of the genetic revolution – replacing large numbers of conventional technologies with biological ones.
The Wellcome Collection is an art venue which explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. It is located in London, and has recently been running an exhibition titled – “Brains : the mind as matter”.
‘Brains’ asks not what brains do to us, but what we have done to brains, focusing on the bodily presence of the organ rather than investigating the neuroscience of the mind.
Datoos, or DNA tattoos are an idea conceived by Frog Design. The idea is simple, a temporary printable tattoo which has an interactive display which can also monitor your health through various input. Essentially they are an idea for a more artistic way to replace and improve on current smartphones. Sadly frog design hasn’t moved forward with the idea, but there are still a number of articles on the design which are worth a read (Gizmag, bit rebels, technovelgy). The concept however is still a very good one and one which I think will definitely be pushed forward, in one way or another in the future.
The key idea I think behind this technology is the idea of internal health monitoring through devices. With more sophisticated nano-technology/synthetic biology we will be able to create more machines which can exist within the body and interact/control them externally. There is also a lot of potential for interfaces which can draw power from the body itself – saving on costly and bulky batteries.