Welcome to GERMLINE: Do It Yourself Intentional Genetic Modification of the Human Genome Arts



Dr. Adam Zaretsky

Thu 12.30 PM – 3.00 PM

Tisch ITP

721B 4FL, 721 Broadway

NYU, Spring 2013

GERMLINE DIY IGM ARTs encourages students to begin to practice re-design of human heredity through transgenic methods. Intentional Genetically Modified Human Genome Arts questions style and innovation in our genepool through a critical hands-on examination.


IGM is intentional genetic modification of the human germline. In everyday language this is the making of transgenic humans. The germline is the river of heredity (i.e. sperm, ova, zygote) that you as a human are a part of. A gene from a non-human would need to be inserted into the river of humanity to make that person and their descendants transgenic. DIY stands for Do-it-yourself. So, the class is based on imagining a way to redesign humans using genetic engineering independently at home or in an art studio. We will probably not make transgenic humans for our final. Instead this class is about art and life in terms of future human design. In particular we use art to get an understanding of the biotechnologies of new reproduction and the ethical problems that arise from the practices of genetic enhancement in the human genepool. The class begins by redefining where and how we interface with life, through some of the following hands-on wet laboratories —

1: Bioinformatics :: Literary Studies

2: Embryology: Transgenic Sculpting

3: Ethology :: Art for All Phyla

4: Body Art :: Developmental Biology

5: Food Science :: Gastronomic Arts

6: Ecology :: Ecoart

In combination, the bioart labs will approximate a Do-It-yourself (DIY) protocol towards artistic Intentional Genetic Modification of the Human Genome (IGM.)