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Other [tiny] forms of life, other ways to comprehend and co-exist

Participante de los Grupos de Creación con su obra de petri-art
Participant of the Creation Groups with her petri-art work.

The encounter, research, and creation with the communities around some green public areas of the city was in turn the encounter of new/other ideas about the ecosystem we are and the biosphere we are part of. We encountered to explore the parks and wetlands, collect samples of soil, air, water, plants, among others, and grow the bacteria found in them. We took the soil samples to the lab to read the genetic codes present there and discover all those bacteria that do not grow in the Petri dishes. With this amazing information, that of bacteria's DNA, we experimented with creative artistic processes. Through a board game we turned the genetic code into poems, while exploring programming with code that would later become a game to create sculptures which in their structure present the genetic code of bacteria.

Other [tiny] forms of life is a robust proposal that articulates creative methodologies from the arts and the sciences, together with experimental pedagogical processes. The mobile microbiology laboratory travels around the city entering the everyday spaces of the inhabitants of Bogotá, inviting them to participate in a collaborative process of citizen science and artistic creation with the most surprising media. Discovering and creating together with others is for us the best way to rethink and reinvent our relationships with the environment we inhabit. Environment that through the four encounters of each of the groups, we comprehend as absolutely full of life. So alive, that it would not exist without the living that conforms it.

To open the space for experimental methodologies in the creation of other forms of understanding, of other forms of coexistence, is of the utmost relevance. For us at Mutante, the generation of spaces for dialogue and creation with diverse communities has been, for nearly 10 years now, the way to promote the local or situated co-creation of those other possible worlds that we want to inhabit. On the web page of the social memory of this project you can find all the experiences, resources, and the documentation of the creation groups that we developed and the ideas that emerged there.

The space of this project also reveals a huge network of collaborations that converge to develop a project of this level of complexity in terms of experimental practices and methodologies, the encounters with communities, and with the advanced contents and processes of both disciplines, both arts and sciences (with the permanent idea of eliminating this distinction). It is about the strong collaboration we have woven since 2017 with the CorpoGen laboratory, who, with a long history of research and development in microbiology and biotechnology, have always sought to bring these topics closer to the general public. It is also about the emerging collaboration with La Vox Populi, La Redada, and Oscar Molina, who co-created this project with us, while bringing us closer to their work with the communities they are part of. The development takes place, in turn, in an uncommon space in the grants organized by the district, in which with the first version of the "Grant Experimenting. Art, science, technology for civic culture" (Beca Experimentar. Arte, ciencia, tecnología para la cultura ciudadana) supports, as its name suggests, truly experimental processes of creation. Finally, we want also to celebrate the collaborative network that resulted in the formation of the group that from Mutante gathered to create and carry out this proposal, which origin is strongly connected to the context of what we are thinking and creating in the Suratómica Network, in the current cycle "At the Edge of Chaos" (En el Filo del Caos).

Thanks to all those who have been part of this project!

Laboratorio móvil de microbiología en el parque Entre Nubes
Manuel Orellana in the mobile microbiology laboratory. Entre Nubes Park

Margarita González y Dayana Calderón en la actividad de extracción de ADN en La Redada
Margarita González and Dayana Calderón in the DNA extraction activity at La Redada.

Christian Romero en el proceso de secuenciación de ADN en los laboratorios de CorpoGen
Christian Romero in the DNA sequencing process at the CorpoGen laboratories.

With the support of the "Grant Experimenting. Art, science, technology for civic culture" of the SCRD of Bogotá. 2022.


Originally published in Spanish the 10.07.22 For the Suratómica Network Newsletter

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