Wednesday, 8 December, Robbert Dijkgraaf presented the first Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award (DA4GA) to three winning projects in Naturalis, Leiden. DA4GA is an initiative of Waag Society, Netherlands Genomics Initiative and Centre for Society and Genomics. The jury feels that the three winning designs are sensational both artistically as well as scientifically and furthermore of great social relevance, because of the linking of scientists to designers. The winners received €25.000, to be spent on the realization of their proposal that will be on show from mid-June until the end of December 2011.
The 3 winners:Jalila Essaidi and the Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands with their project 2.6g 329m/s will make a bullet proof skin by embedding transgenic spidersilk in human skin. The project expressly asks the question if this technological innovation is socially desirable.
For their project System Synthetics, Maurizio Montalti and the Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation propose, as an alternative fuel, to make a publicly accessible transparent bioreactor in which one fungus breaks down plastic and the other fungus makes bio-ethanol out of it. In this manner, the audience can become acquainted with the research for alternatives to fossil fuels.
Microscopic Opera by Matthijs Munnik and the Netherlands Consortium for Systems Biology is an audiovisual installation in which mutated C. Elegans lab worms produce elegant and less elegant sounds and images, as if it were an opera.
The Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award (DA4GA) is the first Dutch competition in which art, design and life sciences are brought together. The goal of DA4GA is to stimulate Bio Art and to make the diversity of Genomics more visible. Bio Art is art in which living material and organisms are used as a medium. Genomics is the research into the genes of people, animals, plants and micro-organisms.
DA4GA now also has its own website!