Genecraft Biohack, April 29th, BOM

The Genecraft Biohack is a day of workshops and talks exploring art and genetics. It is an event for creatives, scientists, artists and the intrigued to come together and creatively explore what humanity might look like in the future.

The 2016 Space Biohack at Birmingham Open Media (BOM) was a sellout success drawing people from across the UK and overseas for a day of experiments, talks and DNA sonification. The Genecraft Biohack is the second edition of this annual event and will be focusing on genetics.

Synthetic biology, a relatively young discipline, operates with the task of redesigning the living world. The field holds immense promise, but also unprecedented risks, as we move from genetically editing food crops to engineering embryos. New technologies play with the very fabric of life in a quest towards optimizing and upgrading the body. In this context, the Biohack will offer hands-on workshops and discussions urging participants to consider the potential roles and implications of new developments in the field of genetics.

Contributors include:

  • Laurie Ramsell – Artist led workshop investigating the idea of the body being ‘infinitely plastic’ and re-designing the human body for the modern city using bacterial cellulose and 3D printing.
  • Gina Czarnecki (artist) – Gina will present a fascinating insight into her and Dr John Hunt’s artistic process, including the challenges and opportunities encountered in developing brand new processes, ethical issues and collaboration
  • Professor Simon Lee, Cambridge Fellow & Professor of Law at Open University – Author of Uneasy Ethics, Simon will discuss bioethics with a particular focus on art and science practices
  • Dr Simon Park, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology, University of Surrey – Simon will run a workshop isolating DNA from saliva and investigating ways in which to make it into ‘genetic ink’
  • Liz Rosenfeld, Artist – Liz is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist working with performance and film. She is one of the main members of the Berlin based moving image collective nowMomentnow, and in 2017 will be residing in London as The Goethe Institute Artist in Residence at The LUX. As part of Biohack, Liz will present a 20 minute guided visualization/ sound performance entitled “The Current State of the Future.” She will then lead an informal discussion regarding her current process and work, as well as talk about her interest in queer relationality, nature and epigenetics.
  • Ria Hartley, BOM Fellow – Ria is an interdisciplinary artist working across performance, devised theatre, video, installation and photography. Her practice focuses on memory, identity and human relationships but she also has a strong interest in epigenetics and exploring the ways in which trauma affects genetic activity. She will participate in a discussion with Liz.
  • Face Lab Liverpool – Face Lab is a research group from Liverpool John Moores University with a record of huge success in craniofacial analysis. They will be using their handheld Sense scanner to scan the faces of people in attendance as well as taking part in an informal discussion about the potential future uses of such technologies using Gina Czarnecki’s Heirloom as a starting point.
  • Lifepatch Indonesia – a group for citizen initiative in art, science and technology based in Yogyakarta. BOM and Lifepatch have a 5-year partnership supported by the British Council and as part of this exchange, a visiting writer, artist and a producer will be offering differing perspectives on the ethics of genecrafting.

Tickets are £16.52 (£15 with an Eventbrite admin fee of £1.52) and can be purchased here.

For more information please email

This event is held in several spaces at BOM, some of which are currently not accessible by wheelchair or if you have difficulty with stairs. Please get in contact with Patricia if this may affect you – thank you.