Ever wondered how to turn a simple webcam into a microscope, safely cultivate GFP bacteria, hack DVD burners to make your own nano and bio experiments, or how to use other cheap, easy to come by material in order to build an hydrometer (instrument to measure the relative density of a liquid), an incubator or even a bat detector? Then you should check out the DIY pages on Hackteria‘s wiki or enroll into one of their workshops.
Hackteria is a collection of Open Source Biological Art Projects started in 2009 by Andy Gracie, Marc Dusseiller and Yashas Shetty. They have since been joined by Anthony Hall, Urs Gaudenz, and a growing community of people keen on making experiments and developing their own projects in the field of biological art and science.
The wiki is an online resource for scientists, garage scientists, hackers and artists alike. It is also offers them the opportunity to combine their expertise, write critical and theoretical reflections and share simple instructions on how to work with life science technologies following an open source collaborative model.
I discovered the project in June at the Making Future Work conference in Nottingham where Andy Gracie was presenting his work. Because I made it my duty to interview Andy almost every single year since I started the blog, he’s the one I contacted in order to get more information about Hackteria. It’s not only getting embarrassing, but it also means that I’ll have to wait till 2012 to interview him about his robots that send him on dangerous missions to collect samples for them to analyze.
Continue reading here.
Régine Debatty is an art curator and the creator of the blog We Make Money Not Art. She has also spoken at several conferences and festivals about the way artists, hackers and interaction designers (mis)use technology.