David Gerns:: Projects and Ideas

  Department: Physiological Science







Design by Sequence

"Color Blind"
More about this project

  Genetic Art Proposal
More about this project



Five of my favorite links on the topic of genetic arts:

Preface: The web sites below provide basis to other people1s ideas and interpretations of their creations. Though some are strange and misguided, what I would like to emphasize are the creative thoughts and arguments brought out from their original concepts, and how one could view them as art. As our ability to manipulate biology and chemistry increases, we take giant leaps in making some of these futuristic ideas a reality.)

In no particular order:

NanoArt. Different examples of art on the nanoscale, each produced under different fragile environments: from an abacus using atoms as beads,to the world's smallest guitar. Cool site.

Intelligent Evolution – World as a canvas. Argues that there is a needfor the human race to create populations of more and more intelligent peoplebecause civilization is only advanced through key intelligent humans.Interesting idea, but what I think is cool is the way people are trying toinfluence the future of human civilization. Wielding evolution to a set ofstandards or goals is one of the most creative, long-term forms of art I canthink of. What if you wanted to color the planet in different shades ofplant colors to be able to look at from the moon, for example? Extreme???

Hedonistic Imparitive – through genetic technology and nanotechnology,we will be able to alter our mental states just like manipulating diseasedgenes. Imagine ending depression and predispositions in people for "mentalpain" receptors."Over the next thousand years or so, the biological substrates of suffering will be eradicated completely. "Physical" and "mental" pain alikeare destined to disappear into evolutionary history. The biochemistry ofeveryday discontents will be genetically phased out too. Instead, matter andenergy will be sculpted into perpetually life-loving super-beings. Their states of mind are likely to be incomprehensibly diverse by comparison withtoday. Yet all will share at least one common feature: a sublime andall-pervasive happiness.""States of "dopamine-overdrive" can actually enhance exploratory and goal-directed activity. Hyper-dopaminergic states can also increase therange and diversity of actions an organism finds rewarding. So our descendants may live in a civilization of well-motivated "high-achievers", animated by gradients of bliss. Their productivity may far eclipse our own." Make everyone happy, all the time. Art through emotions.

Genetic Supermarkets: The theme of this website is the different ways we make it easy to design our perfect babies. It is an excerpt from a sperm bank's male screening process. Though our true genetic make-up has not been completely mapped, we have developed many methods of determining the heritability of certain diseases and illnesses. By recording these traits and eliminating the chances of inheriting them, we are able to design more flawless children. As easy as we can select for eye color and height, we will be able to find and correct the errors in each of our genome. Imagine taking one of your germ cells, cleaning all errors, and through in vitro fertilization, creating perfect children with your spouse.

Psyche Genes: imagine if we could map all of our emotions, and specific mental characteristics of our beings. Everyone is a little different in some way, and soon we might be able to explain why. Evidence that there may be a way to map our personalities (to an extent) are displayed through the fact that we know psychiatric disorders are genetic; parent passes faulty genes to child. Much of the interesting things I have been researching are related to mapping psychiatric disorder genes. By understanding them, doors into our individual personalities may open. The art is created when we can manipulate the future of our children1s personalities.