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synthetic biology

2010 || sonja bäumel in collaborations
with Uwe B. Sleytr and Camillo Meinhart

commission

Synthetic biology, a new way of evolution
film

Sculptures/Text: Uwe B. Sleytr

Realization/Constructions: Sonja Bäumel

Camera/Editing/Directing/Speaker: Camillo Meinhart

In the foreseeable future, synthetic biology will enable the 'engineers of biology' to design new species of living organisms. The ultimate step in synthetic biology would be the construction of a new animal species or a new 'creature' that could be seen as the next stage in human evolution. Thus, the result would be an extrapolation of our previous existence. Whereas fossil findings allow for a more precise reconstruction of the evolution of life forms -including that of mankind in its present manifestation- a serious prediction of future evolution is not in the least possible.

The acquisition of multiple sense organs, such as eyes, noses, as well as components of the skeleton or changes in the skull dimensions depicted in the sculptures, is symbolic of the non-predictable evolution of man.

The statics and morphological diversity of the sculptures represent only a snapshot of crucial stages of development created by synthetic biology towards a living environment. The result would be unimaginable and incomprehensible due to human intellectual limitations. Thus, synthetic biology alerts us of the time-limited existence of man.

see the film >>