Here is one for the niche of poppy-science-synthetic-biology-candy lovers.
For the Aussie pop band Architecture In Helsinki artists Lucy McRae and Rachel Wingfield made a edible DIY bio fab–lab called the Biological Bakery. Using familiar baking processes that merge the mass production of food with the representation of the body, a production line of miniaturized band members are transformed into edible, cloned body parts that are dipped and rotated on mass in huge vats of bacterial skin. Now try this at home folks!
Forget passing around those black and white low definition ultrasounds of your unborn baby at dinner parties. You can now pass around a physical model of your child.
Imagine the excitement of holding your baby in your hands before he or she is born! Thanks to 3D Babies and a mere $600,- you can now experience that excitement. Or disgust, depending on the fact if you like 3D printed unborn children. Perhaps the next step will be ordering an animatronic baby which moves like your unborn child, in real time?
The world is polluted, overcrowded, and in economic trouble. Why bring a baby into this mess? If your mothering instinct is still too strong to resist the lure of pregnancy, artist Ai Hase-Gawa has a solution: give birth to an endangered species. Rather than creating another human in a world that already has 7 billion of them, Hase-Gawa suggests that aspiring mothers get pregnant with a shark, salmon, bluefin tuna or a conveniently baby-sized Maui’s dolphin. Would you be less likely to crave a plate of sushi if it were made with your own offspring?
This mesmerizing drone ballet was brought to you by Kmel Robotics and Lexus. Although, if you are living in Afghanistan or in some other gloomy future, the idea of drones entering your living environment while you sleep might feel less poetic and the waking face of the car at the end may evoke anthropomorphobic shivers.
Thanks Liam Young.
A Japanese biologist, Katsuhiko Hayashi, has managed to create both sperm and egg cells from stem cells in mice. Not only that, but Hayashi was even able to produce a viable baby mouse using these same stem cells. His research may have far-reaching consequences for human fertility, one of which would be that two men or two women could make a biological baby together.
The next guest in our interview series is Arne Hendriks, Dutch artist, exhibition maker, researcher and historian. He teaches at the Next Nature Lab of the Technical University in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Hendriks’s activity explores the positive transformative power of creative impulses and the importance of fundamental free scientific research. In his speculative design research, the strange and the familiar continuously swap places to provoke conflicting perspectives.
His investigation The Incredible Shrinking Man, that proposes to reduce the human species to a height of 50 cm, where individuals would only need about 2% of what is consumed today, is nominated for the Dutch Design Award, in the category Future Concept – competing with the NANO Supermarket, among others.
Waiting for the winners announce, in late October, we talked with Arne Hendriks about the possible benefits of shrinking, technology, trust and a thorny issues for which he asked for our readers advice.
In South Korea, the global epicenter of plastic surgery, a newly popular form of augmentation is the “liptail”. Originally invented to help middle-aged folks reverse the downturned lips brought on by aging, this surgery is reportedly being adopted by the younger set to permanently create a cute, cheerful smile. While most opt for a more subtle lift, some girls go for the full-on duckface. Unlike other surgeries that merely change the body’s form, this one permanently alters its expression – perhaps an effort to be more happy by looking more happy.
Greek and Roman writings are filled with accounts of people doing the dirty with statues – a sexual fetish so common that it had its own term, agalmatophilia. The scholars Alex Scobie and Tony Taylor argued in 1975 that these sculptures were
… representational in appearance, coloring and size. The statues were placed on street level rather than high up on pedestals. Hence the statues were life-size, life-like and so conveniently accessible as to enable the populace to form personal relationships with them.
Despite its prevalence in ancient times, agalmatophilia is all but unknown today. Over at Scientific American, author Jesse Bering theorizes that the disappearance of this sexual paraphilia is due to changing technology. People who might have been statute-lovers now own RealDolls and robots. According to Bering, “advances in technology mean that we’ve since gained everything from latex fetishism to mechanophilic arousal by automobiles to the electrophile’s sexual dependence on electric currents.” Our sexual natures change along with us.