Astrobiological Horticulture with Joe Davis

Artist talk + Screening

25 aug 2016

Astrobiological Horticulture, by bio-art pioneer Joe Davis, explores the possibilities for creating organisms that can survive in the cold deposits below the Martian surface. This "garden" for discovery and the growth of astrobiologicals, aims to skitch together the perfect suite of genes for survival in extraterrestrial environments. And by doing so revived ancient microorganisms, up to 400 million years old!

The talk was followed by the screening of Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis (Peter Sasowsky). On Friday Joe Davis will also give a Workshop: The alchemy of Silk.

Tickets €5,- / Facebook

This program is a collaboration between Baltan Laboratories and Mediamatic.


Illustration of Astrobiological Hydroculture - Is it possible to create organisms that can survive in widespread deposits of cold Martian Brines now known to exist just below the Martian surface?


The dream of control over life.

Human history details our transition from groups of hunter-gatherers to communities centered on organized agriculture. This allowed early civilizations to foster art, religion and literature replete with myths and legends about special powers of transformation allowing one kind of living material to become another or of transformations of inanimate into animate materials.


Astrobiologic imagery - As part of the project Astrobiological Horticulture, by Joe Davis. An effort to generate an organism that can survive the hars environments on mars. Joe Davis

Astrobiological Horticulture - Joe Davis

Astrobiological Horticulture encompasses a multifaceted efforts to create an unusual "garden" for discovery and growth of astrobiologicals. These efforts include experiments in regenerative biology and transcriptomics, paleogeomicrobiology and metagenomic investigations of the MIT Nuclear Reactor Primary Coolant Microbiome.

Even thought these experiments center on creating organisms that can survive on Mars, this should not be interpreted as advocacy for arbitrary seeding of other planetary environments with terrestrial organisms. While production of experimental model organisms for basic terraforming operations may help to prepare for prudent implementation in the future, these organisms may be more immediately useful for modelling activities of presumptive extraterrestrial life.


Joe Davis talking about salt - Joe Davis with his presentation on the background: Organisms pictured in microphotographs that were recovered from ~435-419.2 million-year-old primary halites, the mineral name for the substance that everyone knows as "salt Anisa Xhomaqi

Met: Joe Davis


Ancient Salt - Organisms pictured in microphotographs that were recovered from ~435-419.2 million-year-old primary halites, the mineral name for the substance that everyone knows as "salt Joe Davis

Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis - Peter Sasowsky

Award winning documentary about the godfather of bioart who sends vaginal contractions into deep-space to communicate with aliens; encodes Greek poetry into transgenic organisms and travels the world exploring the inextricable connections between art, science and the physical world. Joe Davis enlists the collaboration of some of the great minds of MIT and Harvard to help us find our place in the universe. The renowned art critic James Elkins has said of him: "to my mind the most interesting living artist...". Enjoy a wild ride from laboratory to bar room and back again in this film that reminds us that anything is possible. Featuring the music of Do.Make.Say.Think.


Screening in the restaurant - People watching the screening of the documentary "Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis" (Peter Sasowsky) in Mediamatic Eten in front of the kitchen. Anisa Xhomaqi

Met: Joe Davis

Talk: Astrobiological Horticulture, by Joe Davis
Screening: Between Haeven and Earth, by Peter Swarovski
Thursday Aug. 25, 20:30
Tickets: €5,- **

(**Free access for tickets holders of the Workshop The Alchemy of Silk)

Mediamatic Biotoop
Dijkspark 6, Amsterdam