I had a dream last night. I started the dream in a liquid state, hovering over the highlands at great speed, gliding into the rural areas of Iceland. In the distance I noticed a fog of steam being spewed into the air. As I got closer I realised that the steam was coming from an apparatus connected to some sort of habitat - a mixture of state of the art technology and material sourced from the local area. The foundation of the habitat was a half-sphere shaped turf house. A nest that had been dug into the landscape covered with yellow moss, green grass and black sand. Neon lights of various colours escaped the ad-hoc mixture of windows giving a strong impression of life inside. The outside of the turf house is series of equipment; solar panels, distillation machines and filtering systems, the sound from the machines is loud and they fill my eardrums. Towering over the area is a big windmill that spins, slowly generating electricity for the inhabitants. Next to the turf house is another even bigger half-sphere building entirely constructed out of metal and glass. A greenhouse filled with exotic and locally sourced plants, every plant brimful of fruits and vegetables filling the space with vibrant colours. In the middle of the greenhouse stands a man with long blond hair. He stands there alone in his underwear and old worn-down bathrobe surrounded by synthesisers that he is playing. His gestures imply that he is playing for thousands of people although the only viewer seems to be a lonely drone that hovers in front of him - documenting his performance. As I move closer I notice that he is wearing virtual reality glasses, the lights from the virtual reality reflect on his face. He screams loudly thank you to the air, waves his hands into the air and walks away from the drones sight. He sits down as he removes the glasses to catch his breath.
In a short while he regains his sense of time and place and as a calming ritual he pours himself a drink. No doubt a herbal gin mixture with water distilled from the habitats machines. As I slowly fade out from the dream a stillness falls on the scene. A colourful butterfly sits on the mans shoulder, first one, then another, and another, and another, and another...
Barbara hand / gif on a phone
I am 24 years old
"I am in bed, just waking up. Slowly, I open my eyes, accustoming to the light. It is high noon. I’m sure, because of the bright daylight streaming through the windows. I sit up straight and take my bearings, I glance through the window and recall that I am far away from home.
The city stretches beyond my horizon and if I listen closely I can hear the crowds outside. I want to go outdoors, I have been confined to this small apartment for three weeks and I’m dying to leave but I’m not ready to go just yet. I’ll wait a bit longer. I feel as if I’m hung over, I’ve felt this way for three weeks. This must be about to get better, the doctor told me both physical and mental recovery could take a few weeks.
The window of this small room is wide open and the cold hits my body. I feel goosebumps on my back and arms. I knead my body for heat, cross my hands, close my eyes, throw my arms around myself and quickly massage my arms up and down. I’m startled as my fingertips move down to my forearms, I pull my fingers away and open my eyes. My forearm is covered in densely growing hairs, three to four centimetre long. The texture is like a gosling’s down, the soft and light hairs move in the wind that is coming in through the window.
Quickly reassured, I remind myself what is going on. This will take some time to get used to, the hairs are growing ever faster and I can see considerable difference from one day to the next in how thick and long the hairs grow. I stand up from the bed and walk in front of the mirror by the bed.
I observe how the hairs seem to grow most quickly on my arms, legs, chest and back, but less around the genital area. I turn around and look over my shoulders, my buttocks are still hairless. I smile through a small moustache that any teenage boy could be proud of. My face is getting hairy, everywhere but around the eyes and the ears. I feel relatively self-content. This is all by the book, and according to what the doctor told me. Soon the body will adapt completely and I will have beautiful hair growing all over my body. Thick, healthy hair."
Gene edited comb, razor shrimp / Mirror Face / Robot arm stirring a liquid in a glass.
I am 22 years old
"...The billboard features a young woman in her thirties. We only see her youthful face, naked shoulders and chest. Her skin is monochrome and colourless, no signs of birthmarks or scars. Her facial expression is familiar but distant. A symbol for youth and future. Her eyes wide open, stiff and staring into the void. I don’t know who she is addressing, nor what she wants. It is obvious that the image has been digitally retouched, her smile is completely symmetrical and the two sides of the face mirror one another. In the bottom corner there is a clean and geometric logo: Temper Genetics and below it says: “Transformational Power of the Future”.
I think back to something my dad used to say: “The advertisement is the one true art form of today’s world, there are no other artworks that unconsciously reflect the zeitgeist as well as ads” he says and smirks...
True, in many respects. Moreover, this past decade has been shaped by relentless news reports on biotechnology. Public opinion is polarised, all debates are polemic and the moralists and the capitalists of the world take turns in screaming at one another on live television.
Once again, we humans have managed, by virtue of science, to excavate Pandoras box and pry it open. This time, it is genetic technology that allows us to design life itself, directly influencing all systems of the biological world. Recently, there have been breaking news almost every day, telling stories of scientists in far flung places announcing the emergence of new organisms, bacteria, plants and animals. This quest for the holy grail now entails the transformation of the human being itself, both physiologically and psychologically. There is a Wild West within the world of science, with scientists striving to find suitable excuses for genetically modifying new, transformed organisms. Most often, such decisions are made on moral grounds, such as the elimination of diseases, disorders and disabilities. It seems, that science is paving the way towards a better human world."