We no longer ask about life, but only: What use is it to us?
Instead of encountering other lives in biotechnological settings and taking advantage of the opportunity to learn from one another, organisms and their cells are increasingly being reduced to “factories” and producers, since their biochemical paths are “cheaper” than traditional synthetic processes in industry. This view of life as a mechanism that we can “use” for our purposes is a deeply life-devaluing, capitalist one, fed by the erroneous thought of human superiority that further alienates us from life, thus from ourselves. Coupled with rampant greed for profit, this perspective can destroy us and possibly all life. That is why I advocate an artistic research-based biotechnology that enables organisms to meet in experimental settings, beyond industry and production constraints.
The aim of this philosophy is to overcome an obsolete, intrinsically wrong picture of ‚Äč‚Äčorganisms that have the ability to produce important metabolites for human bodies. This picture obscures our view of the true nature of life.
This philosophy turns away from the opportunistic, capitalist view as well as from an esoteric, pseudoscientific one. Rather, it should unite visual art and natural science at eye level and, through experiment and observation, through practice and theory, bring about new insights that are free of prejudices, false projections and capitalist interests. It will create spaces of encounter in which traditional hierarchies, no longer apply.
Artistic biotechnology is reclaiming cultural techniques and cultures which the capitalist, exploiting industry has engrossed and brings them into the consciousness of people.
In this way, it returns the important decisions that come with dealing with life back into society, where they have to be negotiated, not in the laboratories of multinational companies, where profit removes all scruples.