Optogenetics are a series of experimental biological techniques that propose a future where many neurological diseases in humans could one day be treated with light.
On a conceptual level, Optogenetics also gives way to the idea that humans can eventually have control over light-responsive algae for the production of biofuel, food, and other biological materials and products. However, this field of techniques opens the door for many bio-ethical issues and concerns related to genetic modification and the control of cellular behaviors in both human and non-human organisms. Aligned with the ecofeminist philosophy of Donna Haraway’s “making kin”, (R)EVOLUTION is an artistic attempt to re-articulate the relationship between algae and humans’ visual perception using performance-based techniques involved in dance and gameplay.
(R)EVOLUTION has been inspired by the hit 90s arcade game Dance Dance Revolution, which turns game players into performing dancers through their responses to programmed choreography. (R)EVOLUTION adopts the premise of Dance Dance Revolution to question how other organisms can be controlled by stimulating their sensory perception systems and turning the algae species C.reinhardtii into dancing performers that respond to programmed light choreography.
The project probes the extent to which light can be harnessed as a biotechnology to direct behaviors and biological mechanisms and the cultural impact of this potential use of technology.
(R)EVOLUTION character design and video design have been done in collaboration with Alex Lu. Sound design has been created in collaboration with Bailey Keogh and Santiago Burelli.
(R)EVOLUTION has been funded and made in collaboration with Humboldt University of Berlin’s Department of Experimental Biophysics with scientific collaboration by Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann and Olga Baidukova, as well as the UniSysCat Cluster of Excellence.
(R)EVOLUTION has been featured at the POM 2021 Berlin conference in the track (Mirco)biocontrol and Ethics of Care. The research surrounding this project has been published in the Journal of the British Computer Society and can be found here.