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Live forever thanks to CRISPR? The artist Emilia Tikka was a guest at the Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin and her work focused on the question: What if the CRISPR-Cas9 would make us immortal? See the result in the video and visit her exhibition at STATE Studio in Berlin. 

Genome editing tools such as CRISPR are beginning to reshape the physical world around us, one base pair at a time. As an Artist in Residence in the labs at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) the artist Emilia Tikka explored how this could affect society in the future. On November 1st, 2018, she presented the resulting artwork called “ÆON – Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR” at the science art gallery STATE Studio in Berlin. See her artwork by watching the video "Would you want to live forever?".

Emilia Tikka spent two months as the Artist in Residence at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) where she worked closely with the researchers at the MDC’s CRISPR lab. Her artistic concept is a speculative scenario about a possible future of genome editing technologies and the human obsession of youth. The residency project is concerned with the human desires and dreams driving current biotechnology from institutional laboratories to citizen science tinkerers.  

The project will inspire and contribute to the ORION public dialogue and is aiming to engage society in discussions of risks and opportunities presented by disruptive technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9. Emilia will draw on her experiences in the laboratory with the CRISPR-Cas9 research team to further develop her artwork engaging with the philosophical and societal dimensions of genetic engineering.

The residency was a cooperation between MDC and STATE, a Berlin-based Art and Open Science initiative, aiming at guiding an open dialogue around critical issues regarding the cultural impact of scientific research. The project was inspired and financed by ORION Open Science Project.

For more information please contact Luiza Bengtsson at MDC.