Polyphonic Futures — Mapping Bio–Digital Silk

My current research explores how to account for more complete, multi-voiced, and diverse technological trajectories at their grass roots, for scientific blunders, and for provisionality of science and biotechnology, as state of knowledge at a given time. The future is made by decisions in the present — Polyphonic Futures is thus a work in progress, attempting to visualise how a facilitated exchange between scientists and non- scientists can be made explicit and traceable over time.

The shift from a carbon-based to a biomaterial-induced economy holds profound paradigm shifting capacity for ecological, societal, and political change. Reverse engineered silk is a sustainable biomaterial with a global historical infrastructure and astounding immanent properties in the micro-scale: as programmable and tuneable material it can be fully absorbed by human tissue, and will soon allow for digital interfacing with bodies and other biological entities.

Such drastic potential not only affords the convergence of disciplines to tackle problems in the classical sense; it affords the development of a systemic understanding between material/ anthropocentric agency and societal impact, to consider and discover the full spectrum for alternative possibilities. Can design mediate and negotiate this emerging bio- digital sphere in its grass roots by humanising such enterprise?

[In ongoing collaboration with SilkLab at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA]

590 x 840 mm digital print


Veronica Ranner