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Hackteria Swiss Curriculum

The HSC – Hackteria Swiss Curriculum, is a series of talks/presentations aiming to discuss openly the multitudes of bio art | sci | tec and related practices started as a cooperation of Hackteria and Corner College in Summer 2014 and has grown into a larger series of events with multiple partner venues across Switzerland.


Marc Dusseiller

Interests: Daphnia-Hacking, Euglena burgers, BioElectronics, low-cost diagnostics, building DIWO community bio-labs

Short Bio: Dr. Marc R. Dusseiller is a transdisciplinary scholar, lecturer for micro- and nanotechnology, cultural facilitator and artist. He works in an integral way to combine science, art and education. He performs DIY (do-it-yourself) workshops in lo-fi electronics, hardware hacking, microscopy, music and robotics. He was co-organizing Dock18, Room for Mediacultures, diy* festival (Zürich, Switzerland), KIBLIX 2011 (Maribor, Slovenia), workshops for artists, schools and children as the former president (2008-12) of the Swiss Mechatronic Art Society, SGMK. In collaboration with Kapelica Gallery, he has started the BioTehna Lab in Ljubljana (2012 - 2013), an open platform for interdisciplinary and artistic research on life sciences. Currently, he is developing means to perform bio- and nanotechnology research and dissemination, Hackteria | Open Source Biological Art, in a DIY / DIWO fashion in kitchens, ateliers and in developing countries.

Boris Magrini

Boris Magrini (*1975) is a Swiss art historian and curator. He earned a Master’s degree in art history and philosophy at the University of Geneva and is currently performing research for his PhD in the field of media arts at the University of Zurich, with a thesis on computer and generative art. He was curator at Duplex (Geneva), I Sotterranei dell’Arte (Monte Carasso) and assistant curator at Kunsthalle Fribourg and Kunsthalle Zürich. Among other projects, he has curated Mutamenti (Bellinzona, 2007), Anathema (Fri-Art, Fribourg, 2007-2008), Modifier (Dienstgebäude, Zurich, 2010) and co-curated Leise Rehe – Wilde Beeren (Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, 2011-2012). In 2013, he has organized at Kunsthalle Zürich the series of talks and encounters Reality Check. He is editor of the Italian pages of the Swiss art journal Kunst-Bulletin and he regularly publishes on contemporary art and media art in magazines, books and exhibition catalogues.

Pei-Wen Liu (on parental leave)

Interests: Nature vs Culture, and the soundings of them.

Short Bio: As a sound artist, I have been collecting field recordings with portable recorders over years in Australia, Taiwan, Europe, southern islands of Japan, northern-west of China and east Turkey, those soundings of nature phenomenons and human activities, or an emerging moment of small talk. Slowly I built a personal archive of sonic observations; with intensions or without. While most of artistic activity focus on listening and generative composition, as well, I am co-organising series of PlayAround workshop in Taiwan, an intensely parallel and collaborative workshop of mediating the creative use of fair software and DIY practices to an audience of young students and artists of diverse backgrounds, promoting sharism. It combines the knowledge creation and open distribution of new media technologies and contemporary art practices in a socially responsible and relevant context. MFA in Digital Media, Gothenburg University, Sweden.

Program Advisors

  • Stefan Wagner - Corner College
  • Jill Scott - ZHdK, Artists-in-Labs
  • Baggenstoss/Rudolf - http://www.baggenstos-rudolf.ch/
  • Sachiko Hirosue - EPFL, BioDESIGN.CC
  • Urs Gaudenz - HSLU, GaudiLabs

Partner Venues

Dock 18 - Room for Mediacultures

Dock18 Raum für Medienkulturen der Welt ist abwechselnd und von Zeit zu Zeit simultan unabhängiger Kunstraum, TV Studio, Medienlabor, Meeting Point, Bar, Club, Tanzboden und interaktiver Nährboden für verschiedene Medienkulturen der Welt.

Corner College

... ist ein offener Raum für un­regelmässig stattfindende, quasi-akademische Aktivitäten wie Workshops, Vor­träge, Lesungen, Filmvorführungen und kulinarische Versuche.

Das College wurde 2008 im Perla-Mode Zürich gegründet. Nach dem Umzug an die Kochstrasse 2011 wird es zurzeit von Irene Grillo, Sarah Infanger, Urs Lehni, Jeannette Polin, Philip Matesic und Stefan Wagner betrieben.

Address: Corner College, Kochstrasse 1, 8004 Zürich. Find map here.


Bio-Hacking meets Citizen Science Akademien der Wissenschaft, Bern

Date: Postponed to Jan 2016...

Speaker: various

Additional Guest: tba

more soon here: Bio-Hacking meets Citizen Science

Potential Speakers | 2015

Potential dates

HSC Series 2014

General Info about Hackteria

HSC#1: The case study and review of HackteriaLab 2014 – Yogyakarta


Researcher and artist Marc Dusseiller, formerly know as Pak Marcjono, will give a presentation of the most recent HackteriaLab taking place in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) from 13. – 25. April 2014, a collaboration of hackteria and their long term partner, lifepatch – citizen initiative in art, science and technology, together with diverse local partners. The two week collaborative and interdisciplinary practice of HLab14 was defined by three ongoing Ecological Research Nodes within the practice of the local Indonesian facilitators. The topics are tightly related to the daily life of Yogyakarta. They are: 1. Biorecovery of Volcanic Soil, 2. Environmental Monitoring of the Rivers, 3. Biodiversity conservation in Wonosadi Forest, together with the focus on Open Source Hardware and DIY & Low-Cost Laboratory Infrastructure.


HLab14 brought together a large group of international and regional participants, of makers, artists, scientists, hackers, educators to investigate and foster the concept of DIWO (do-it-with-others), bio art and citizen science. HLab 14 had a strong focus on workshopology, sharing and collaboration, field-trips and musical experimentation, and was additionally presented in an exhibition format at LAF, Yogyakarta from 25 April – 2. May.

HSC#2: Hybrid Ecology | The Finnish Society of Bioart


Date: 16.06.2014 – 20h

Hybrid Ecology

Speaker: Erich Berger (AT/FI)

In this second part of the series of talks/presentations aiming to discuss openly the multitudes of bio art | sci | tec and related practices we invited a very interesting guest from Finland, who’ll present their activities with the Finnish Society of Bioart, aswell as present their residency program in Kilpisjärvi in northern Lappland. Additionally, a special guest, Yashas Shetty (IN), Co-Founder of Hackteria, will also be present and give an overview of their activities in Bangalore, India.

We are living in a technologically informed world. Our life takes place in hybrid space merging the physical and virtual. As we continue to develop and use technologies which now also include the manipulation of the living we are challenged to rethink our concepts and relations to the environment we inhabit. He will introduce various activities hosted by the Finnish Society of Bioart, their ongoing residency program in Kilpisjärvi and their most recent publication ““Field_Notes – From Landscape to Laboratory – Maisemasta Laboratorioon”.

Download excepts from the book here.

Erich Berger is a visual artist and trained as a communication engineer and in philosophy. He has produced interactive art installations, artistic wearable interfaces, audiovisual performances and sound-art, which have been shown internationally since the mid 90ties. He also works as educator, curator, content developer and facilitator, focusing on the intersection of art, technology and science. Research interests include telerobotics and telematically mediated environments, interactive participatory spaces, sonification and visualisation of real-time processes with related questions in composition, semiotics and linguistics, generative processes, feedback situations and autopoietic systems. His research engages with hybrid space, deep time processes, biology and ecology and involves the facilitation of interdisciplinary environments for working and learning. His research also includes close cooperation with international partners within the arts and sciences.

HSC#2.1: special lecture Hackteria | Art/Sci Bangalore

Speaker:Yashas Shetty (IN)

Our special guest, Yashas Shetty (IN), Co-Founder of Hackteria and very active in the Art/Sci Bangalore and Srishti School for Art, Design Technology, will also be present and join the discussion reflecting on bioart/DIYbio practices in Bangalore and India in general. After his earlier work as a musician/composer working on environmental data and sonification as an artist-in-residence at NCBS, he co-founded CEMA, the Center for Experimental Media Arts, as part of Srishti School for Art, Design Technology, a very advantgarde art school in Bangalore. Since 2009, together with students from art & design, he started to investigate various artistic and educational approaches to work with synthetic biology, a radical form of genetic engineering. Students were introduced into hands-on laboratory work and the design of new functions to be engineering into living organisms, such as the e.coli bacteria. They published various books and brochures about these artistic explorations into one of the most critically discussion novel field of biology. Throughout the years, together with the students, their approach has shifted more and more away from the high-end collaboration with well equipped university biolabs and they digged into the Do-It-Yourself approach (related to the term Jugaad in Hindi), enabling general citizens to get included into biological research. Since then their focus primarily lies in Citizen Science, through co-design and active community engagement, they recently worked on projects of water quality monitoring, biodiversity, ecology and established global collaborative projects, such as BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD, with EPFL (Switzerland) and Lifepatch (Indonesia).

HSC#3: A critical perspective on bio-art between tactical media and artistic playground


Date: 16.07.2014 – 20h

Speaker: Boris Magrini (CH)

With the third part of the series of talks/presentations aiming to discuss openly the multitudes of bio art | sci | tec and related practices we will try to round up the topic before the summer break and have invited Boris Magrini, art historian and curator, to give an overview of the history and contexts of various works related to bioart.

Since many tools and wetware products to create bio-labs have become affordable, artists have experimented with bio-technologies. Hence, bio-art has established itself as the latest trend in the field of media art. However, this artistic production is extremely heterogeneous, encompassing the spectacular works of Eduardo Kac and SymbioticA, the thought-provoking ones of Paul Vanouse and the Critical Art Ensemble, or again the participative and performative activities of Hackteria, for instance. How have these practices been described and examined by critics and historians? How were they presented in institutions, museums and festivals? Furthermore, what are the future challenges for the artists engaging in biotechnologies? Through the discussion of a selection of works, exhibitions and essays, I will attempt to answer these questions and offer a possible, critical perspective on bio-art and its reception.

HSC#4: RealTechSupport presents: Postapocalyptic Water Design

Date: 18.08.2014 – 20h

Postapocalyptic Water Design

Speaker: Marc Böhlen (CH) – RealTechSupport

  • Additional Guest: Sachiko Hirosue (JP/CH) on BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD
  • Moderator: Boris Magrini (CH), curator and art historian

More info on http://hackteria.org/discourse/hsc4

This presentation will describe recent projects in experimental resource management that combine technical and urban interventions. In particular the care of ecreational and essential water resources will be addressed through a discussion of WaterBar, a system that creates mineralized water in response to bad water news and WaterBank, a water analysis and fresh water distribution system designed for the Terban district of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Artist-Engineer Marc Böhlen aka RealTechSupport offers the kind of support technology really needs. Böhlen designs and builds information processing systems that critically reflect on information as a cultural value. His projects derive qualitative potential from the realm of quantitative information and query the relationship between people and automation systems in fundamental ways. Böhlen is currently on faculty at the University at Buffalo, Department of Media Study and the School of Architecture.


Guest Speaker: Sachiko Hirosue (JP/CH)

BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD is an interdisciplinary and collaborative research project to define, build, and field-test prototypes that require the integration of wetware, hardware, and software to address real world water problems. The project is a partnership between (Art)ScienceBLR with design students from the Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, (Bangalore, India) the Lifepatch citizen initiative in art, science and technology (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), and students at the School of Life Sciences at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland).

Summary of the evening can be found on the biodesign.cc site.

HSC#5: The Bioart Lab Conspiracy

Montag 20.10.2014

18h Opening of Läb am Egge

20h #HSC-Talk-Runde: Bio art labs conspiracy

HSC#6: Redesigning Nature

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Date: 27.11.2014 – 20h

Speaker: Jill Scott (AUS/CH) – Professor for Art and Science Research, ZHDK

Additional Guest: Christoph Kueffer (CH) – Integrated Biology Department, ETHZ

moderated by Boris Magrini (CH)

Link to CC: http://www.corner-college.com/Veranstaltungen/1417042800/872

Re-designing Nature Klimawandel, Urbanisierung, invasive Arten, oder Eutrophierung verändern Ökosysteme fundamental. Zunehmend gehen Ökologen davon ausgehen, dass Ökosysteme durch gezielte Neu-Gestaltung an diese anthropogene Veränderungen angepasst werden müssen. Konzepte wie ‚ecological design’, ‚intervention ecology’, ‚re-wilding’, ‚resurrection ecology’, ‚assisted migration’ oder ‚reconciliation ecology’ propagieren verschiedene Formen des Re-designs der Natur zur Erhaltung von Biodiversität und Ökosystemdienstleistungen. Gemeinsam mit einer Professorin für interaktive Kunst und Wissenschaftskommunikation analysieren wir diese neuen Vorstellung der Beziehung vom Menschen zur Natur, vergleichen diese mit aktuellen Arbeiten von Künstlern zum Thema, und diskutieren Fragen wie: Welche Natur wollen wir in Zukunft? Welche Kommunikationsformen sind geeignet, um als Wissenschaftler gemeinsam mit der Bevölkerung Zukunftsvisionen der Naturgestaltung zu verhandeln?

Re-designing Nature Climate change, urbanization, invasive species, or ecosystems eutrophication are causing fundamental anthropogenic changes. Increasingly ecologists are assuming that ecosystems need to be adjusted through targeted new design concepts to deal with these changes. Concepts such as ecological design, intervention ecology, re-wilding, resurrection ecology or assisted migration, reconciliation ecology are new terms that propagate interests in various forms of re-designing nature. Artists main aim is still to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services but do other aims also exist?. How are artists and designers representing the changing relationships between humans and “nature” today? What is the definition of "nature" in the future and what do scientists need to know about design and communication to cause more post reflection or share definitions about the future of "nature" with the general public?

Location: To be confirmed, there is another exhibition planned in CC.

Dr. Christoph Kueffer

Christoph Kueffer`s interests at the Institute for Integrative Biology ETHZ, are based on the Ecology of the Anthropocene, Designer Ecosystems for Biodiversity Conservation, Ecological Risks such as Invasive Species, Ecology of Mountains and Oceanic Islands, Transdisciplinarity. He is Co-chair of the Swiss Environmental Humanities group, a new interdisciplinary research field that explores environmental issues through the methods and insights of the humanities from a historical, social, philosophical, and cultural perspective in order to offer fresh perspectives for addressing and understanding complex environmental problems. His own specialisation is about the complexities of rapidly changing ecosystems, the integration of field ecology, the construction of controlled experiments as well as the theoretical and meta-analysis of large datasets by conducting comparative research across multiple sites worldwide. He is particularly interested in invasive species, vegetation change in mountains, biodiversity conservation and novel ecosystems on oceanic islands, and coffee agroforestry.

Prof. Dr. Jill Scott

Jill Scott is Professor for Art and Science Research in the Institute Cultural Studies in the Arts, at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZhdK) in Zürich and Founder of the Artists-in-Labs Program, which places artists from all disciplines into physics, computer, engineering and life science labs to learn about scientific research and make creative interpretations. She is also Vice Director of the Z-Node PHD program on art and science at the University of Plymouth, UK-a program with a cluster of artists who are focused on issues in the natural sciences. Her artwork spans 38 years of production about the human body, behaviour and body politics, but in the last 10 years she has focused on the construction of interactive mediated sculptures based on studies she has conducted in collaboration with neuroscience labs at the University of Zurich. These include-artificial intelligent skin at the Artificial Intelligence Lab, human eye disease and cognitive interaction in Neurobiology, nerve damage in relation to UV radiation at the Dermatology Lab the development of neural networks in the pre-natal stage at The Institute of Molecular Life Sciences. Currently, she is working on a new project called Aural Roots about the neural system of hearing, inspired by a residency with neuroscientists at SymbioticA, University of Western Australia. Her recent publications include: Neuromedia: Art and Science Research together with Esther Stöckli (2012), The Transdiscourse book series: Volume 1: Mediated Environments, (2011), Artists-in-labs: Networking in the Margins,(2011) and Artists-in-labs: Processes of Inquiry (2006).

Related Readings


HSC#7: Citizen Science - Science Hacking | Bio-Commons, Pangolins and GynePunks @ Dock 18 - Zürich

Date: 1.06.2015 – 20h (Door opening and Apéro starts at 19:30)

Venue: Dock 18 - Raum für Medienkulturen der Welt / Rote Fabrik - Zürich


Who is in charge of the contemporary scientific research topics? Who owns the data from publicly funded university research? Can anybody do biological experiments at home? Can YOU participate in monitoring environmental data, study biodiversity or test for various diseases at home?

We have invited a very interesting group of biohackers, citizen science activitists, bio artists and transhackfeminists to share their experiences and projects happening around the world. They will present their ongoing activities and invite you to join in for a discussion.

The evening will start with an apéro at 19:30, then 3 presenters from Italy, Singapore and Spain will present their projects, followed by a group discussion on new practices in citizen participation in research, open science and biomedical / gynecological autonomy.

To round up the evening we will screen the documentary "SENI GOTONG ROYONG: HackteriaLab 2014 - Yogyakarta" (50 min) to give you a glimpse into the activities that happened in Indonesia during the HackteriaLab 2014, a global making-oriented gathering of more than 70 researchers, artists, scientists, hackers and whatevers in Yogyakarta.


Speaker: Eugenio Battaglia - BioPeers (IT)

"I’m a student in molecular and system biotechnology with a specialization in integrative neuroscience. I experiment in the field of Life Sciences with emerging and low-cost technologies, solving global challenges and exploring novel forms of ethical deliberation. From the very beginning I’ve always hacked my education in order to understand the world around me. I learnt how to leverage the scientific method, digital technologies and service design thinking methodologies to define my personal track route, and the strategic development of business projects.

My mission is to build and nurture a collaborative society by connecting people, organisations and ideas around fairness, openness and trust. I produce knowledge on the peer-to-peer transformation, through research, publications, blogs and participatory events, in partnerships with academia, think tanks and a wide network of global experts.

I instigate and support meaningful projects and experimentation in social innovation, enabling fruitful collaborations with public institutions and progressive companies that want to build a resilient society. Connecting the dots and innovating are my passions."

Additional Guest:

  • Gaia Leandra (IT)
  • Alice Grassi (IT)
  • Damiano Avallone (IT)


Biodiversity Connections and DIYbio in Singapore and SE-Asia

Speaker: Adeline Seah (SG)

Interests: Conservation genetics, Wildlife trafficking, Forensic DNA barcoding, Art for science communication, Inquiry based learning, Pangolins!

Short Bio: Adeline Seah is a biologist who studied in California (B.S in Genetics & Plant Biology, PhD in Developmental Genetics with C. elegans) and moved back to Singapore a few years ago. She has recently finished a postdoc (2012-2014) on analyzing the genetic diversity of the highly endangered Southern River Terrapin in Cambodia and is now an active member of various citizen science and DIYbio groups across the globe.

In 2012, she founded Biodiversity Connections happy hour in Singapore to build relationships between researchers, NGOs and government agencies involved in biodiversity research and policy. She also recently started The Pangolin Story outreach project with a friend to use public art projects to create awareness in Singapore on pangolins and the threats they face in the region from poaching for consumption and Traditional Chinese Medicine.


GynePunk Mobile Labs and BioAutonomy

Speaker: Paula Pin - PechBlenda (ES)

Paula Pin is Transhackfeminist performer and researcher. Graduated in Fine Arts from Barcelona and Sao Paolo, Her work ranges from drawing to abstract video to circuit bending to investigations at the frontiers of biology, art and queer science. Her performance piece Medusa from 2010 mixes mythology, ecology and criticism of consumer culture while Udre from 2009, is an automatic drawing machine created from an old umbrella and an Arduino. In 2011 she was awarded a grant from Vida to develop her Photosinthetik Symphony – data from sensors attached to plants and her own body generate sound in a program created in Pure Data. In 2012 she was invited to a residence in Nuvem, a rural art centre in Brasil, to develop her work, focusing especially on photosynthesis. In parallel she creates home made synthesizers, gives workshops, and investigates the practice of noise. The work of Paula Pin blurs the distinctions between machine, animal and plant, and opens up new horizons in the performance of the lab. At present she setup, co-habitats and works with Klau and Julito in the transhackfeminsit hardlab of bio-electro-chemical experimentation, Pechblenda, where they continue generating knowledge and technological autonomy. Across disciplines they wish to enter fully into the matter of a multiple body, be it organic, artificial or fusion of both.


Screening: "SENI GOTONG ROYONG: HackteriaLab 2014 - Yogyakarta" - 50 min

5 years after the first edition of HackteriaLab, which happened in Dock 18 - Zürich, we are happy to show how this format of a collaborative DIWO (do-it-with-others) festival/lab/exhibtion has been continuously developed and spread over the globe via Romainmotier and Bangalore to Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

HackteriaLab 2014 – Yogyakakarta was a two-weeks making-oriented gathering of more than 70 researchers, artists, scientists, hackers and whatevers in Yogyakarta. It was hosted by LIFEPATCH - citizen initiative in art, science and technology and co-organized together with HACKTERIA | Open Source Biological Art in collaboration with various regional partners.

Produced and directed by X-Code films, this documentary was made during the two weeks of HackteriaLab 2014 – Yogyakarta. It offers you a glimpse of (almost) everything that happens and documents the participants wish list for future collaborations and works.

More info: Seni Gotong Royong*: HackteriaLab 2014 - Yogyakarta

Related Readings

Hackteria: An example of neomodern activism. Leonardo Online 2013, Boris Magrini

ScreenShot Magrini.png



As a platform for knowledge sharing and artistic exploration, Hackteria constitutes a network of artists and researchers that merge the use of biotechnologies with hacking and do-it-yourself strategies. Its process-oriented and performative approaches, opposing to the materialistic imperatives of the art market, lean to the tradition of political art. In the present paper, I am arguing that Hackteria embodies what could be considered a neomodern activism, other recent examples of which are emerging within the new media art field. Instead of rejecting new controversial technologies, they propose a vision of a society that is moved forward by a more democratic use and discussion of these technologies. The activities of Hackteria are examined through the presentation of a bio-lab created in Ljubljana.

The roots of Hackteria: from performative art to tactical media.

The events organized by Hackteria are rooted in a long tradition of media art, as well as process-oriented and performative approaches. Performative art is not equivalent to process-oriented art; as Andreas Broeckmann correctly pointed out, “it only makes sense to speak of process-orientation in cases where the evolving process itself is a main factor of the aesthetic experience of the work.” [4] Nonetheless, neither performative nor process-oriented art focus on the creation of a finite product, a distinctive trait of the activities run by Hackteria. Furthermore, the BioTehna project, for example, share both performative, interactive and process-oriented qualities, for it is not the lab as such that is meaningful to the artistic intent of the group but rather the process involved in building and running it.

Biotechnology for All / DIY in bioanalytics: doing and grasping it yourself. SATW publication 2015

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SATW Info 2/15 – Biotechnology for all / DIY in bioanalytics: doing and grasping it yourself. More info here.

«Do it yourself» in der Bioanalytik – für Deutsch siehe hier, français ici.

The article from SATW Info 2/15 – Biotechnology for all / DIY in bioanalytics: doing and grasping it yourself is available for download in German, English and French. The pedagogic conecpt and educational kits were developed during a project funded by the Swiss Academy for Engineering Sciences (SATW), together with hackteria, M. Dusseiller and U. Gaudenz, and FHNW School for Lifesciences, Dr. D. Gygax, during a workshop with an interdisciplinary group of participants.

"Biotechnological research is no longer limited to specialist laboratories: a growing community of biologists, amateur enthusiasts and technophiles is experimenting in kitchens, workshops and DIY laboratories. Some people view the democratisation of biotechnology as a threat, others as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of complex scientific interrelationships within society."

"Biotechnologische Forschung findet heute nicht mehr nur in spezialisierten Labors statt. Eine wachsende Gemeinschaft von Biologen, Bastlern und Technikbegeisterten experimentiert in Küchen, Werkstätten und Eigenbau-Labors. Einige sehen in der Demokratisierung der Biotechnologie eine Gefahr; andere die Chance für ein besseres Verständnis von komplexen wissenschaftlichen Zusammenhängen in der Gesellschaft."

"Aujourd’hui, la recherche biotechnologique n’est plus l’apanage des laboratoires spécialisés. Une communauté croissante de biologistes, de bricoleurs et de passionnés de technique s’adonne à des expériences dans des cuisines, des ateliers et des laboratoires individuels. Certains considèrent cette démocratisation de la biotechnologie comme un danger, d’autres comme une chance d’améliorer la compréhension des relations scientifiques complexes au sein de la société."

Makery: Marc Dusseiller, Biohack Pioneer & Coconut Researcher 2016

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Long and two part interview by Ewen Chardronnet for Makery done during Interactivos?16, June 2016, published in French and English in July 2016

Part 1 Marc Dusseiller, biohack pioneer: This summer, we’re traveling with Swiss globetrotter Marc Dusseiller, who cofounded Hackteria, the international open source network of biohackers and bioartists. In this first part, the ex-researcher in nanotechnology talks about how the DIYbio movement came to Europe and founding Hackteria in India in 2009.

Marc Dusseiller, biohack pioneer (1/2)

Part 2 How to (not) innovate with a coconut: Marc Dusseiller, co-founder of the DIYbio network Hackteria, is a passionate promoter of open hardware. This is all the more evident in part 2 of our interview, where the activist scientist talks about the DIY microscope and the propaganda of innovation, which led him to create the Center for Alternative Coconut Research.

How to (not) innovate with a coconut (2/2)

”Prototype pour science ouverte” by D. Kera in MCD#79, 2015

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The recent edition of MCD#79 – Nouveaux récits du climat, invited editors Ewen Chardronnet and Julien Bellanger, has now been published in French, stay tuned for the English version. It showcase a collection of articles on topics of climate and art, the anthroposcene and activism by invited authors such as Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Donna Haraway, Marko Peljhan amongst many others.

“Anthropocene as the Age of the Tinkerers: Hackteria Open Science Prototypes”

Denisa Kera, in discussion with Marc Dusseiller, Urs Gaudenz and Paula Pin, wrote a nice article about the most recent developments and activities in the global hackteria network.

Hackteria’s response to the anthropocene are open science prototypes, which support inclusion and democratization of knowledge. Instead of a TED talk grand narratives of the homo faber, who will save the world with the next technological intervention, Hackteria homo ludens builds playful prototypes to explore alternative cosmologies, empower niche communities, and resist military misuses of technologies.


Zu Besuch bei den Biohackern , Schweiz am Sonntag, Nr. 18, 5. Mai 2013 , R. Schuppisser

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„... Bakterien kultivieren und mit Gentechnik experimentieren: Das geht auch im Heimlabor, nennt sich Amateur-Biologen bauen selber Laborinstrumente und träumen von leuchtenden Pflanzen. Einige auch vom grossen Geld.

DER ERSTE VERSUCH des Experiments ist fehlgeschlagen. Marc, Tuuli und Urs hatten verschiedene Fische gekauft, in Salzwasser eingelegt und einige Tage liegen gelassen. Nun sollten sich eigentlich die biolumineszierenden Bakterien auf dem Fisch vermehren, sodass man ihr Leuchten im Dunkeln erkennt. Die Bakterien sollten dann in einer Nährlösung aus Salzwasser, Pepton und Agar kultivieren. Doch nun muss erst einmal neuer Fisch her. Experimentieren im Heimlabor braucht Geduld. Marc, Urs und Tuuli sind Biohacker und damit Teil einer Bewegung, die die Welt ähnlich verändern könnte, wie in den 70er-Jahren die Computer-Tüftler mit der Entwicklung des PC in der Garage. Das zumindest glauben euphorische Journalisten und Technik-enthusiastische Wissenschafter. So meinte etwa der Physiker und Freidenker Freeman Dyson 2007 in einem Essay, «dass die domestizierte Biotechnologie unser Leben in den nächsten 50 Jahren mindestens so stark prägen werde, wie die Domestizierung des Computers in den letzten 50 Jahren». - ...„

«Ich will, dass Wissen und Technik der ganzen Welt zugänglich ist.» MARC DUSSEILLER, BIOHACKER

“Gott im Hobbyraum” – NZZ am Sonntag, 19. Okt 2014, by Dominik Imseng

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Auch in der Schweiz wächst die Szeneder Freizeit-Forscher, die in der Küche oder in der Garage an künstlichem Leben basteln. Ist das die Demokratisierung der Wissenschaft oder eine Gefahr für die Allgemeinheit? Und was ist mit Biowaffen?

Urs Gaudenz, Teil des internationalen Biohacker-Netzwerks Hackteria, will in seinen Luzerner Gaudi-Labs möglichst viele für die Welt der Bakterien und Gene begeistern. «Es geht darum, einen Blick hinter den Vorhang zu werfen, an der Zukunft teilzuhaben, eine transformative Erfahrung zu machen», sagt der studierte Mikrotechniker, der ein Bio-Labor in Koffergrösse entwickelt hat, das sich überallhin mitnehmen lässt. Wer sich mit Gaudenz unterhält, führt ein rasch hochphilosophisches Gespräch entlang den Schnittstellen Mensch/Technik, Code/Zelle, Bit/Atom und nicht zuletzt Wissenschaft/Kunst. So gehört denn auch das Schweizer Künstlerduo Heidy Baggenstos und Andreas Rudolf, das leuchtende Pilze und Bakterien züchtet, zu Gaudenz’ Biohacker-Freundeskreis. «Gerade solche Bio-Art-Projekte zeigen, wie breit die Biohacker-Bewegung ist», sagt Gaudenz. «Technologieaktivismus, Bürgerwissenschaft, Kunst – alles ist Biohacking. Permanent gärt und brodelt es in der Szene. Man trifft sich irgendwo, packt sein Zeug aus, experimentiert. So entsteht ein befruchtender Dialog über alle Kontinente hinweg.»

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"Die Entdeckung der Amateure" - NZZ, 04. Dez 2015, by Angelika Jacobs

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Elfenbeinturm war gestern: Die Wissenschaft öffnet sich zunehmend der Bevölkerung und lädt Interessierte zum Mitforschen ein. Ein Statusverlust für Berufsforscher – oder eine Chance auf eine demokratischere Wissenschaft?

«Da liegt ein generelles Problem, was man unter dem Begriff Wissenschafter versteht», sagt Muki Haklay, der CoLeiter der Gruppe «Extreme Citizen Science» am University College London. Zum Beispiel gebe es in biologischen Laboren meist ein hierarchisches Denken, das zwischen Laboranten und den «echten» Forschern unterscheide. Obwohl die Forscher manchmal die Experimente ohne die Laboranten gar nicht bewerkstelligen könnten.

Auch Marc Dusseiller benutzt nicht gern den Begriff «Bürgerwissenschaft». «Auch jeder, der an einer Hochschule arbeitet, ist ein Bürger.» Lieber spricht er von «unabhängiger Forschung». Der ausgebildete Nanotechnologe lehrt zwar noch an Hochschulen, forscht aber nur noch – eben: unabhängig. Für das Netzwerk Hackteria reist er um die Welt und bietet Do-it-yourself Wissenschafts-Workshops an, in denen er mit den Teilnehmern Laborgeräte mit einfachsten Mitteln baut. Einer seiner Klassiker: ein Mikroskop aus einer Webcam basteln. Durch solche Tüfteleien wolle er die Wissenschaft und ihre Geräte entmystifizieren, sagt Dusseiller. «Es herrscht dieses generelle Denken, Wissenschaft sei etwas, das nicht jeder könne.» Dieses Denken sei auch in den letzten Jahrzehnten von den Hochschulen und Medien gefördert worden. In seinen Workshops möchte er es durchbrechen und Amateuren einen Einstieg in die Forschung ermöglichen.

Woher kommt das Geld?

Was «Bürgerwissenschaft» aber genauso braucht wie die Forschung an Hochschulen, sind Gelder. In den USA und Grossbritannien gibt es Organisationen, die «Citizen Science»-Projekte finanzieren. Haklays Forschungsgruppe versucht derzeit per Crowd-Funding die Mittel für ein Projekt zur Luftqualität zusammenzutragen – mit mässigem Erfolg. In der Schweiz unterstützt der Nationalfonds solche Projekte.

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Dazed & Confused: BIOART NOW: August 2013, S. Fortune

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„... On the global stage biohacking collective Hackteria has lead the way on demystifing bioart and providing people with easy practical ways to engage with it. Formed in 2009 and featuring chapters in Europe, India and Indonesia the Hackteria Wikipedia has become the de-facto resource for all budding biohackers. The interplay between biohacking and bioart is particularly fluid among Hackteria affiliated practitioners. “Hackteria is not, generally speaking, about finished products or finished works. The bioart just happens, but is not the primary goal” said Hackteria co-founder Marc Dusseiller. Some of that 'incidental bioart' has been quite sublime. -....“

„...The Hackteria flavour of bioart and biotech education is particularly visible in Indonesia, where sister organisation Lifepatch complements the bioart residencies hosted by media-art lab the House of Natural Fiber (HONF), helping underfunded school students with such ingenious hacks as converting a webcam into a functioning microscope. At HONF in 2010, Julian Abraham and others initiated a project aimed at creating a safe form of fermentation based on tropical fruit, after the Indonesian government raised prohibitively high duties on alcohol. After leaving HONF, Abraham continued the theme, creating sound-based bioart pieces under the name Kapitän Biopunk. He provided workshops in homebrewing alcohol to accompany his Fermentation Madness, a sound-art piece that converts the processes of fermentation into an interactive soundscape. -....“

European do-it-yourself (DIY) biology: Beyond the hope, hype and horror, Günter Seyfried et. al. BioEssays, Volume 36, Issue 6, June 2014

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The encounter of amateur science with synthetic biology has led to the formation of several amateur/do-it-yourself biology (DIYBio) groups worldwide. Although media outlets covered DIYBio events, most seemed only to highlight the hope, hype, and horror of what DIYBio would do in the future. Here, we analyze the European amateur biology movement to find out who they are, what they aim for and how they differ from US groups. We found that all groups are driven by a core leadership of (semi-)professional people who struggle with finding lab space and equipment. Regulations on genetic modification limit what groups can do. Differences between Europe and the US are found in the distinct regulatory environments and the European emphasis on bio-art. We conclude that DIYBio Europe has so far been a responsible and transparent citizen science movement with a solid user base that will continue to grow irrespective of media attention.

Comparison between European and North American groups

The DIYBio movements in the US and Europe have a lot in common. Beliefs in the democratization of science and the enabling of citizens to do biotechnology are shared by all groups on both sides of the Atlantic. In general, they have more in common than what sets them apart. However, there also seems to be aspects where the groups in the US and Europe differ from one another.

In contrast to the USA (minding different state legislations), the groups in Europe need to obtain a license in order to carry out genetic engineering experiments. So far, the European groups have not done these types of experiments, but some of them plan to go through the licensing procedure and obtain a license. As an exception, the UK-Netherlands based C-LAB art collective did obtain a license to exhibit a bioart work with living genetically modified organisms in London, UK (http://c-lab.co.uk/projects.html). The work itself, however, was done in collaboration with a university research lab.

A rather surprising finding, compared to the US, is a stronger collaboration of amateur biologists with artists and designers in Europe. It remains to be seen whether this observation is only due to the small sample size of groups, or if the art-science interaction is a real European characteristic.

Field_Notes – From Landscape to Laboratory – Maisemasta Laboratorioon, Finnish Society of Bioart, 2013

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Every second year the Finnish Society of Bioart invites a significant group of artists and scientists to the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Lapland/Finland to work for one week on topics related to art, biology and the environment. “Field_Notes – From Landscape to Laboratory” is the first in a series of publications originating from this field laboratory. It emphasizes the process of interaction between fieldwork, locality and the laboratory. Oron Catts, Antero Kare, Laura Beloff, Tarja Knuuttila amongst others explore the field and laboratory as sites for art&science practices.


How to define the evolving field of art&science, including bioart, and where can the historical trajectory of this area within the arts be found? In very general terms one could divide currently existing artistic interests in the field into two very broad subject categories: artists that are concerned with the environment, and artists whose work focuses on the human as subject matter. The previous group deals with environment, landscape, natural phenomena, plants, and animals typically in their natural habitat. The latter group is interested in the human as such and within his technologically augmented environment. This includes work with human enhancement and organs, with devices and manipulation of human and animal cells. The work is carried out either under laboratory conditions or with technologically mediated social structures including human and non-human actors. Shared aspects across the field are e.g. politics, ethical debates and projections of the possible futures. This publication is specifically focusing on work that is concerned with the environment and ecology. However, the human is strongly present in all the arguments, statements and accounts. It is very apparent that we live in the era of the anthropocene, where viewpoints and actions are unavoidably developed with and projected from a human perspective.

The publication is edited by Laura Beloff, Erich Berger and Terike Haapoja. It is bilingual in Finnish and English and contains 17 articles and additional material of Finnish and international contributors. You can buy the book now from our website: http://bioartsociety.fi/books

Free .pdf for download

The democratization of knowledge and curiosity through gotong-royong art, by Grace Samboh, 2014

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Selected Chapter from the HackteriaLab 2014 - Yogyakarta Book

Gotong-royong art is not a genre. It is a method, an approach, or even a series of processes that do not need to end immediately. It has no single objective, much less tangible and measurable ones. Gotong-royong art can be executed using any kind of medium and has at least three criteria. First, the emphasis on the idea rather than the roles of those who are involved. Say, for example, residents in a neighbourhood decide that they need a better road. They set a target to finish fixing the road in a month. Rather than hiring men to install paving blocks, they decide to chip in to procure the materials and to do the work as a part of the neighbourhood watch. After calculating and considering the resources they have, the residents agree on installing a set minimum of paving blocks per day.

Download here.

Kelindan Seni dan Sains Terapan, Majalah Tempo, May 2014, Hendro Wiyanto

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Para seniman Yogya berkolaborasi dengan sejumlah peneliti berbasis laboratorium menghasilkan karya tak lazim SUASANA Galeri 2, Langgeng Art Foundation (LAF), Jaan Suryodiningratan 37, Yogyakarta, petang itu sudah mirip kapal pecah. Ember plastik, meja bambu, botol dan tabung-tabung ramping, sampai akuarium berbaur dengan juluran kabel, layar televisi LCD, dan laptop di mana-mana. Di lantai, ada silang-silang jalur yang meruapkan bau tanah, menghubungkan penonton dengan centang-perenang obyek dan pelaku eksperimen. Sejumlah peserta pameran sibuk mengutak-atik karya. Inilah pameran ”#HLab 14 (HackteriaLab 2014)”, proyek kerja sama antara para peretas, ilmuwan, peneliti, dan seniman, yang berlangsung sejak 25 April sampai 2 Mei ini.

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Google translates this to:

Yogya artists collaborating with a number of laboratory-based researchers to produce works of unusual ATMOSPHERE Gallery 2, Lasting Art Foundation (LAF), Jaan Suryodiningratan 37, Yogyakarta, evening it was like a broken vessel. Plastic bucket, bamboo tables, bottles and tubes slender, up aquarium overhung mingle with cable, LCD television screens, and laptops everywhere. On the floor, here is a criss-cross paths bore the smell of land, connecting the audience with the check-swimmer object and experimenters. A number of exhibitors was busy fiddling with the work. This is the exhibition "#HLab 14 (HackteriaLab 2014)", a cooperation project between the hackers, scientists, researchers, and artists, which took place from 25 April to 2 May.

Home Made Bio Electronic Arts Do-it-yourself: Microscopes, Sensors, Sonifications - Christoph Merian Verlag / Migros-Kulturprozent: Dominik Landwehr, Verena Kuni (Ed.), 2013

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After 2 years of discussions with various people in the field of DIYbio, hackteria and BioArt, Dominik Landwehr and Verena Kuni published a new book in their HomeMade series. This time with the title “Home Made Bio Electronic Arts” they go some steps closer to interfacing the living world with DIY tinkering and electronics, easy accessible instructions for everybody. Additionally some editorial essays and an interview with Gerfried Stocker. A production by Migros-Kulturprozent with the Christoph Merian Verlag.

  • Six easy do-it-yourself experimental projects
  • For biotechnology and electronics do-it-yourself enthusiasts

“Science for all” is the motto of a new movement which deals with biology and electronics. It applies the do-it-yourself approach, well established in the electronic and computer scene, to natural sciences. Here the boundaries between the arts and sciences are fluid. The artists and scientists who work together in an interdisciplinary manner call themselves “bio-hackers” or “bio-punks” and deliberately continue in the creative tradition of those two movements. Their research is designed to communicate scientific insights which are otherwise reserved for scientists. Home Made Bio Electronic Arts introduces leading exponents and presents six easy do-it-yourself experimental projects.

The Chapter about the DIY microscope can be downloaded here. And available now with Chinese translation included! Thanks to I-Chern Lai and Dimension+! Download it here

See other selected chapters of the Book: Homemade Biological Art for download.

The Art of Open and Free Science, MCD #68, 2012, Ed. A. Delfanti, Interview S. Tocchetti



Download the extracted pages from the Open Science section here.

Could you explain what is Open Source Biological Art and how it relates to DIY biology?

Whether it is a wiki or a workshop or both doesn’t really matter, what is essential is to enable people to collaborate and shaer knowle edge and instructions. Open Source Biological Art enables people to perform complex scientific protocols without the support of an official institution. We believe that it is important to enable more people to feel confident in working with living systems in order for creative and new ideas to emerge. When applied to science and art, it can create a new type of public participation and understanding of both domains.

What is your view on the future of citizen science?

My hope is that if more people are making things with their hands and have this direct and everyday experience with scientific protocols, we can demystify science and open the whole decision making process to more people and opinions. I think this is the future society, where I want to live, a place where tinkerers and lay people find new and unexpected uses and functions of technologies and scientific knowledge, where they hack it and adapt it to their dreams and lives and don’t wait for some big corporation or government to decide what is good or safe for them.

Der Aufstand der Bastler, November 2012, ABSTRAKT N°8 “Machen ist Macht”

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Gespräch mit Marc Dusseiller. Von Max Celko.

In Garagenlaboren macht sich analog zu den Computernerds der späten Siebzigerjahre eine junge Generation von Amateurbiologen ans Werk: die Biohacker. Marc Dusseiller ist Gründer des Hacker-Netzwerks Hackteria. Dass in der Szene der Bill Gates der Do-it-yourself-Forschung zu finden ist, glaubt er aber trotzdem nicht.

... Worin liegt denn der gesellschaftliche Mehrwert des Selberforschens?

Ein zentraler gesellschaftlicher Nutzen ist es, dass die DIYBioszene auch Laien den Zugang zur wissenschaftlichen Diskussion ermöglicht. Damit wird die Biotechnologie zumindest ein Stück weit demokratisiert. Ich halte dies für sehr wichtig, denn wir stehen heute an einem Punkt, an dem die Biotechnologie rasante Fortschritte macht und völlig neue Möglichkeiten eröffnet, lebende Materie zu manipulieren. Es liegt jetzt an uns allen, gemeinsam als Gesellschaft zu definieren, welche Forschung wir möchten und welche gesetzlichen Schranken wir der Biotechnologie auferlegen. Als Folge des grösseren Wissens