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 Greetings from afar. 
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:29 pm
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Post Greetings from afar.
Greetings Biopunks, I am Mandavel the Conqueror.

I come to you with a question of your opinion on the Biopunk culture.

I am a musician specializing mostly in the electronic arts. I have a slight interest and possible pending project focused on the idea of a very "biotic" soundscape. I suppose I wanted to hear a quick summary of what the "Biopunk" movement means to each of you, be it fictionally, realistically, idealistically, creatively, visually, politically, ANYTHING. I'd like to know what you see/hear/feel when you think of "Biopunk."

I already have an idea of what Biopunk means to me, however I'd definitely like to know what it means to veterans of this movement, since I have recently found that my idea is drastically different.

Perhaps I'll enlighten you of mine after I hear yours, however I'd like to know your views first.

Thanks for the time, and hopefully I can learn quite a bit from each of you to further influence my project!

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Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:06 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Greetings from afar.
Hi. Sorry about the delay, just saw you now.

You ask about the biopunk subculture.

There are a few different views on this. To some it's solely a literary genre, to others it's 'cyberpunk but with biology instead of computers', the name has also been used by at least 3 musicians, one clothes designer and so on.

There is a group who feel biopunk is synonymous with DIYbio, because that's sometimes the first place they hear about it. Meredith Patterson wrote a manifesto where she defines it as a particular brand of citizen science. Marcus Wohlsen wrote a book where he as I understand it made it a part of DIYbio and the maker culture.

I have always seen it as a hacker culture first and foremost. I think Drew Endy explained it well on 24c3. I associate DIY/maker with old ladies knitting sweaters.

Having talked to people about this for a while I've come to realize that biopunk won't be a single fixed set of ideas.

There is forming a 'Scene' of individuals with different ideas on what biopunk is. Everyone within the 'Scene' doesn't agree with everyone else and everyone in the community doesn't agree with everyone on the Scene. This is the way subcultures usually work I think(the alternative would be a cult)

There is an irc channel associated with this forum on FreeNode called #biopunk which is a kind of scratchpad for ideas on biopunk. It's often easier to discuss and try out new ideas on a channel than on a forum. You are welcome to join it if you can and want.


/Splicer

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Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:00 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Greetings from afar.
Well, thus far you've at least given me some insight.

I don't believe joining the IRC will be best for me, since I have limited time recently and won't be able to actively participate in a conversation for some time. I'd rather see a few views written here, that I may analyze what I will with ample soak time.

You have to understand, I'm rather new to the more widely accepted view of Biopunk, so I'm trying to expand my understanding for ideas.

I also don't have time to watch the video now, but it is now on my list of things to do.

So from what I understand, part of the Biopunk movement can be about the understanding and cultivation of simple life forms such as bacteria and other single-cells by amateurs?

And in a more advanced, possibly fictional essence, the blending of life and technology to create things like biocomputers and processors, and even into the realm of designer life forms and DNA?

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Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:27 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Post Re: Greetings from afar.
Mandavel wrote:
So from what I understand, part of the Biopunk movement can be about the understanding and cultivation of simple life forms such as bacteria and other single-cells by amateurs?

And in a more advanced, possibly fictional essence, the blending of life and technology to create things like biocomputers and processors, and even into the realm of designer life forms and DNA?

Yes. Biopunk is a subculture for biohackers. It's hacker culture applied to synthetic biology.

Biopunk is not synonymous with the act of personal biohacking; It provides a context in which the biohacking takes place.

Others subcultures which provide alternative contexts include the diy/makers, the transhumanists and the grinders. All of which have different goals and reasons to hack.

/Splicer

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Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:26 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Greetings from afar.
Transhumanism, that's the word I was looking for. Very interesting, it's all much different than I had previously presumed.

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Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:56 am
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Greetings from afar.
What are the goals of the grinders?


Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:07 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Greetings from afar.
Begging your pardon, I'm not certain I know what you mean.

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Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:10 pm
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Post Re: Greetings from afar.
biotiny wrote:
What are the goals of the grinders?

I'm not a grinder but the way I have understood it the grinders are looking for a closer connection between tissue and electronics/mechanics.

It's not enough to wear a device, you want it to be an implant, an extension of your body.

A common theme is sensory enhancement and extra senses.

They are a kind of transhumanist punks in this respect, they identify with the transhumanists but that community is trying to build an image of respectability so they don't know what to make of them.

Warren Ellis said "Where the fuck is my jetpack?" to explain the general feeling. They feel the technology to electromechanically enhance us is already here but no one is using/experimenting with it. Only talking about it. They see themselves as the hardcore wing of transhumanism.

And Lepht/Sapiens Anonym is their androgynous queen.

-Splicer

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:13 pm
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