Dr. Natalie H.M. JeremijenkoThe Wired News article Tweaking Genes in the Basement said
The [Biotech Hobbyist collective] has published a set of informal DIY articles, mimicking the form of the newsletters and magazines of the computer hobbyists many of which are archived online. Thacker walks readers through the steps of performing a basic computation using a DNA “computer” in his article “Personal Biocomputing”. The tools for the project include a $100 high school-science education kit and some used lab equipment.
Other how-to articles guide readers through cultivating skin cells and “Tree Cloning” making uniform copies of plant tissue…
The Collective is the inspiration of Natalie Jeremijenko, who began the Collective in 1997. An artist and professor of Visual Arts at the University of California at San Diego, Jeremijenko says the virtue of the hobbyist’s “hands-on, DIY mentality” lies in its power to engage a wider audience in the issues surrounding biotechnology.
“Messing with the stuff of the future allows you to have an opinion and to participate in the political process that determines our technological future”, she said. “It’s a little theoretical; it’s also fun.”
Natalie H.M. Jeremijenko is professor of Visual Arts at the
University of California at San Diego.
MIT Technology Review named her “one of the top one
hundred young innovators”.
She began her studies with a B.S. in
Neuroscience and Biochemistry at
Griffith University, Queensland,
Australia, and went on to receive a B.F.A. with Honors from the
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Her B.F.A. thesis was
Explorations in Scientific Representation Exploiting Surround Sensory
Reality). After pursuing graduate course work in Mechanical
(Design Division) at Stanford,
she returned to Australia to work towards
a Ph.D. in the
School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.
Natalie is a new media artist who works at the intersection of contemporary art, science, and engineering. Her work takes the form of large-scale public art works, tangible media installations, single channel tapes, and critical writing. She investigates the theme of the transformative potential of new technologies particularly information technologies. Specific issues addressed in her work include information politics, the examination and development of new modes of particulation in the production of knowledge, tangible media, and distributed (or ubiquitous) computing elements.
She has recently held positions of Lecturer Convertible in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Yale; Consultant to the Advanced Computer Graphics Center/Media Research Lab, Department of Computer Science, at NYU; and Distinguished Visiting Critic in the Department of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Natalie authored If Things Can Talk, What Do They Say? If We Can Talk to Things, What Do We Say?, and coauthored Collated Path: A One-Dimensional Interface Element to Promote User Orientation and Sense-Making Activities in the Semantic Web, Sound through bone conduction in public interfaces, SynThesis: Integrating Real World Product Design and Business Development with the Challenges of Innovative Instruction, and Public information: documents, spectacles and the politics of public participation.
She completed the innovative tangible media project titled Live Wire that she produced while working as a Consultant Research Scientist at the Computer Science Lab, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (1994–96). In recognition of her outstanding achievements, she has received prestigious awards and grants from agencies that include the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Academy of Science. In 2002, she received a Public Space Commission for a work Private Reveries from the Royal College of Art, London.
Listen to her presentation Social Robotics, Smocial Robotics at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2005. Read her interview by Emily Gertz with WorldChanging. Read the Salon article about her, The artist as mad scientist.