Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 6: BioTech + Art
The reading titled Meanings of Participation focuses on explaining what's happening to public participation in the life sciences today by exploring outlaws, hackers and Victorian gentleman scientists. Outlaws are known to fall outside of the system, by smuggling resources and distributing them to people who are normally not able to have them. Hackers rearrange the system from within. The difference between a hacker and an outlaw is that outlaws live alone unlike hackers who live together. The Victorian gentleman scientist is neither outside nor within the system. He has learned wisdom of the well-born, and he reminds me of someone you would admire or strive to be like. It is important to take away that artists are more likely to be Victorian Gentleman, which shows how intellectually complex artists truly are.
Levy's article focuses on how some artists are challenging the classifications of life that scientists have accepted for so long. It is getting harder to classify organisms when biotechnology is allowing scientists to create new hybrids of species. A hybrid in itself can be looked at as a work of art, using creativity to mold something together. This class has continued to express how science and art can be combined, or specifically in this week's lesson, focusing on the combination of biotechnology and art. Chimeras and cyborgs are also species that are in between being considered natural and artificial. These practices of mutation are considered inhumane by some people, but it is considered an art by scientists. 

Essentially, this brings up the constant discussion of whether there should be limits to human creativity. With scientists increasingly experimenting with creating new forms of life, it makes the public question if this is even necessary. Everything was originally put on earth for a reason, and I am not sure if we need to mess with what we were given from the start. However, that is more of a biblical standpoint. Scientists will often times validate their experimenting with the theory of evolution.
The Super Weed is a species that is expanding and invading people's gardens. Due to climate change, the plant has stronger toxins. Some people believe that climate change is solely the fault of humans, and if this is true, then that would give another reason as to why scientists should stop their creativity. With science and technology continuing to innovate, there will continue to be implications that humans will have to face. Through those implications, we will continue to invent new things to deal with this, thus continuing the cycle of potential destruction. 

Levy, Ellen K. "Defining Life: Artists Challenge Conventional Classifications." (n.d.): 1-22. Web. 2 May 2016.
"Meanings of Participation: Outlaw Biology?" Outlaws, Hackers, Victorian Gentlemen (n.d.): 1-8. Web. 2 May 2016.
Munger, Dave. "Seed Magazine." Agriculture in the Wild. N.p., 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 02 May 2016.
Yeates, Ed. "'Super Weed' Taking Strong Hold in Utah |" N.p., 8 June 2009. Web. 02 May 2016.
Wenk, Gary. "Seed Magazine." This Is Your Brain on Food. N.p., 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 02 May 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Reyna! I enjoyed reading your perspective on the idea that everything was originally put on this Earth for a reason and you are not so sure if humanity should mess with that. I certainly can see where some of that concern comes from. I think that's where much of the controversy arises with Biotechnology + Art and I wonder what steps are being taken to alleviate that concern by the Artists/Scientists working in the field. I feel like they would want to reach a wider audience with their work and some may view it through this biblical standpoint. I feel like a bigger discussion certainly needs to happen in order to address these concerns.