HKU Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht
An Absence of Existence
‘An Absence of Existence’ All the people portrayed for this project are Cryonisists. They want to live long, maybe even forever, but have struggled to overcome the notion that immortality does not hold anything supernatural when trying to explain its scientific foundations to others. Individuals press and other media have labeled the Cryonisists crazy or delusional. But are they really that crazy? Why can’t we become immortal or extend life for at least a few decades? In the last 150 years, scientific breakthroughs have doubled our life expectancy and it continues to do so. All the slides of the people portrayed were projected on light sensitive modified E. coli bacteria in the laboratory of the University of Wageningen (WUR). These modified bacteria are the first step towards full programmable cells that can be used to help us in all kinds of ways. As the developer, Chris Voigt of this modified bacteria stated in an interview once ‘In the future we can program bacteria in order to be able to implement therapeutic effects for just about any decease you can imagine. We can create programmable biological robots that can keep our bodies healthy forever.’ The technique behind these living portraits can be the first step to a longer and healthier life.