BioAssemblage #1, 2016
Thought translated into DNA and assembled in a plasmid DNA vector, Eppendorf Tube, Synthetic Plasmid Documentation
Supported by Professor Volker Straub and Dr Ana Topf of the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University and by Northumbria University
BioAssemblage #1 is the first in a series of BioAssemblages that challenge our approach to making with living material. It exists as an assemblage object: segments of synthetic plasmid DNA, designed by Mackenzie and constructed in the laboratory. The assemblage is inert DNA, meaningless when read as DNA, yet when deciphered, it holds a question posed to the organism intended as its host. The BioAssemblage is part of a wider project where it has been stored within the laboratory workhorse, Escherichia coli (E. coli). The act of inserting this assemblage within the host organism renders the host genetically modified.
Both the assemblage and the resulting organism have no capital value, only naturecultural1 value. They exist purely to test the boundaries of our biotechnological desires.
1The concept of natureculture was introduced by Donna Haraway in The Companion Species Manifesto (2003)