Patabotany #3: Growth Assembly
Monday, 30 May 2011
Growth Assembly – Sasha Pohflepp and Daisy Ginsberg.
‘After the cost of energy had made global shipping of raw materials and packaged goods unimaginable, only the rich could afford traditional, mass-produced commodities.
Synthetic biology enabled us to harness our natural environment for the production of things. Coded into the DNA of a plant, product parts grow within the supporting system of the plant’s structure. When fully developed, they are stripped like a walnut from its shell or corn from its husk, ready for assembly.’
Growth Assembly, which was illustrated by Sion Ap Tomos is a pictorial investigation in synthetic biology and DNA manipulation. The illustrations have been created in a similar style to those found in traditional illustrated pharmacopoeia and botanical codices of the last few centuries. These botanical codices, particularly in the 19th century, were produced as an aid to cultivation and hybridization of plants. Creating plant hybrids can be considered an early form of non-invasive genetic engineering. In this sense Growth Assembly continues the lineage of study in plant manipulation and botanical engineering – albeit extending it into a domain of pataphysical science-fiction speculation.