Photosynthetic Me is a bioart, interactive and Immersive installation that emerges from a process-based experiment around the topic of becoming plant-like.
In the project, a biotechnologist activates a photosynthetic system in a situation of altered evolution that can make Vanessa V self-sufficient for food and energy requirements and, eventually, a producer of energy.
The idea was born from Vanessa’s personal path started a few years ago when she tested positive for the risk of two genetic mutations in light of which she decided to inquire into the debate around genetics.
Photosynthetic me acts in two directions: to make people aware of new genetic techniques, their limits and their pervasive effect in our daily life; to push the research to find innovative renewable energy techniques related to biotechnologies.
The installation consists of 3 environments that share the same area where algae grow. The visitor jumps from being an observer to being a protagonist through an embodied narrative process.
A. A documentary based on specific studies of the photosynthetic qualities of the Elysia chloroticaslug and on CRISPR associated transposase. Through research focused on genome editing, synthetic biology, and in-vivo gene
therapy, an innovative topical cream will be realized. This fake cream will transform Vanessa V into algae.
B. Genetically modified algae capable of increasing the efficiency of solar panels allow Vanessa to generate energy.
C. The visitor can lie down in an immersive VR experience becoming-plant like.
Photosynthetic Me received the prestogious S+T-Arts Prize For Social Good in 2021 and it was presented at Ars Electronica 2020.
Concept, design, interactive and VR system: Vanessa Vozzo
Scientific design: Vincenzo Guarnieri
Images: Andrea Macchia
Production: Alessia Gervasone
In collaboration with
Molecular Biotechnology Center of Turin (IT)
Ars Electronica 2020 (AT)
Interface Culture Master Program (AT)