When skimming through the countless essays that constitute the given reading we were given to select an essay from, one distinctly stood out to me. It started of with the title, “The Ethics of Experiential Engagement with the Manipulation of Life.” Studying biology and years of humane and inhumane research, one really begins to wonder when ethics falls in line to what is right and what is wrong in research. There are many perspectives to this. There is of course the biological perspective of life as well the cultural beliefs we created as a society.
Who has a right to science? What is biotechnology? How does art play into biotechnology? For this week’s blog post, I read “Outfitting the Laboratory of the Symbolic: Toward a Critical Inventory of Bioart” by Claire Pentecost, which seeked to address some of those questions.
During last week’s class, we got to hear about the fascinating ideas from the class about the ways that they can integrate art and biotechnology. The projects ranged from a communicative plant, to a breathing tracker, to applications involving the brain, DNA, and our responses to music. The wide range of projects was amazing to see, because I had never been able to fully grasp the range of possibilities in the world of the integration of biotechnology and art, even though we had many, many examples.
With regard to hand sanitizer's slogan, "Imagine a touchable world," and many other company slogans at that, the Critical Art Ensemble dissects the common practice of using apocalyptic phrasing to tap into innate responses of people.
Whenever something goes wrong on a mass scale in a large population (e.g. school shootings, terrorist attacks, unqualified presidential candidates), there seems to be at least one person that asks the question "What is wrong with our society?" We're forced to look at ourselves critically as a species and as an individual and ultimately ask ourselves "Are we bad people?" which leads to more questions along the line "Are we inherently bad or were we just taught by society to be bad?"
Feelings of irritability, moodiness, forgetfulness, and isolation – what do they all have in common? Chronic stress. It seems like stress has become such a common trait of our human lives. NPR conducted a national poll with the help from associates at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health and found that “more than 1 in every 4 Americans say they had a great deal of stress in the previous month. And half of all adults say they experienced a major stressful event in the past year.
Last week I proposed an open source digital archive of human remains for my midterm project and my peers in class opened up a discussion about the ethics of such an archive. What my peers expressed were concerns about religion and spirituality regarding the handling of human remains.
My idea for the midterm project is a mind drawing device which is capable of projecting the user’s mind into images and movies that basically reconstruct the scenes in his head. Mind-reading is not new. For many years, neuroscientists have tried to invent ways to decipher brain waves and translate the human thoughts into words. In early stages of mind-reading project development, scientists are just able to interpret a few brain cell firing signals into a few words. Lately, a huge improvement of the brain wave translation has been made.
Food waste is a pressing issue globally. Annually, one-third of the world’s food supply is never consumed, and domestically, up to 40% of the crops grown in America is being thrown away due to consumption patterns. Consumers overbuy, throw away food prematurely due to confusing food labels, or do not finish the meal. During the holiday seasons, 30% of the grocery stores are being thrown away.