A scientist-poet has produced a new work of poetry in collaboration with naturally replicating bacteria.
Dr. Christian Bök, a scientist/poet from the U.K., has successfully prompted a Deinococcus radiodurans strain of bacteria to produce a work of poetry. Where plenty of documented cases exist in which text is coded into DNA letter-by-letter, implanted into bacteria then reproduced through replication, Bök’s work is a new case in which the result derived from the replicated amino-acids has been decoded into a new poem.
Bök describes the results below:
It’s a very short poem; a very masculine assertion about the aesthetic creation of life. The organism reads the poem, and writes in response a very melancholy, feminine – almost surreal – poem about the aesthetic of the loss of life. They’re in dialogue with each other.