Natalie Jeremijenko & Eugene Thacker, Creative Biotechnology: a user's manual, 2004

Natalie Jeremijenko & Eugene Thacker
Creative Biotechnology: a user's manual 

15.09.04 Artists Space, New York
22.09.04 Henry Wellcome Building for Neuroecology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. 

What is a biotech hobbyist and what exactly is biotechnology?

Biotechnology promises to impact upon virtually every aspect of our lives, and yet the methods, techniques, and practices of biotech often remain closed off from the public, making it hard to understand exactly what it is and how it will impact our broader understanding of biology, politics, and culture. Biotech Hobbyism seeks to counteract this sense of alienation and fuel this curiosity through promoting an understanding of the means, what’s and where for’s of biotech.

The Biotech Hobbyist collective includes a multi-disciplinary group of [media] artists, scientists, engineers, activists, and cultural theorists that is dedicated to working with biotechnology in a creative and critical way. Exploring the idea of 'garage biotechnology' - a hybrid based upon the 'garage computing' movements of the 1970s, the Biotech Hobbyist project aims to encourage an ethical engagement with biotechnology in the non-specialist public.

Biotech Hobbyist activities often centre around developing 'kits' for thinking critically about biotech: How do you extract your own DNA? How do you clone plants? How do you sequence DNA? How do you culture tissue? How do you use computers to study DNA and proteins?

Having worked with Locus+ to develop a series of prototype kits, the Biotech Hobbyist kits have been transformed into a publication in the form of a 'users manual'. In keeping with the open ethos of Biotech Hobbyist, these manuals will also exist in the format of an e-book that can be freely accessed via the Web as downloadable PDFs

Locus+ recognises the support of The Wellcome Trust in the production of this project.

Related Information

Natalie Jeremijenko & Eugene Thacker
Project Title:
Creative Biotechnology: a user's manual