Absence of Existence
In “Absence of Existence” I research the idea of immortality. Can humanity become immortal, and if so, what kind of ethical problems will we encounter and how should we deal with them? In this audiovisual presentation, individuals who pursue an immortal existence will talk about their motives, their perspective on aging and death and the future.
In the last decades scientific breakthroughs in medical science and biological engineering have influenced our life expectancy. Synthetic biologists have been manipulating cells in order to fight disease with great success. Chris Voigt, a synthetic biologist from MIT used biological engineering techniques to shuttle genes from photosynthesizing blue-green algae into the cell membrane of an Escherichia coli. This genetic modification made the cell sensitive to light and can now be used as photographic material.
‘In the future we can program bacteria in order to be able to implement therapeutic effects for just about any disease you can imagine. We can create programmable biological robots that can keep our body’s healthy forever’ - Chris Voigt
These living portraits of Tim, Garret, David and Mike where made in the biological lab of the University of Wageningen in 2014 and 2015. The bacterial portraits aren’t allowed to leave the save environment of the laboratory for safety reasons and are now stored in a cooling cell at location.