UP Open University (UPOU) Associate Professor, Dr. Diego Silang S. Maranan, contributes to a multi-level art project about Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) repair and immortality that will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS).
With the continuing quest to increase life expectancy and the current explorations to settle and thrive outside the Earth, Dr. Maranan and his team at Space Ecologies Art and Design (SEADS) is working with the Rotifers In Space (RISE) project of the laboratory of Prof. Karine Van Doninck at the University of Namur. They are working with Rotifera, microscopic aquatic animals with the unique capacity for endless self-repair and cloning.
The SEADS Project, dubbed “Ēngines of Ēternity” is a multi-level art project envisioned as a series of mixed media art installations that takes the biological phenomena of DNA repair and cloning. Ēngines of Ēternity, focuses on how Rotifera can provoke audiences to reflect on themes of cultural diversity and immortality.
Ēngines of Ēternity:ISS is a subproject under Ēngines of Ēternity. This subproject takes interest in treating outer space as a dynamic environment that can actively shape the evolution of the work. The Ēngines of Ēternity team sent an artistic ‘seed’ to the ISS in the form a specially designed visual code instead of sending a finalized photograph or painting to space. This code is the seed for a series of 3D-printed sculptures that will be exhibited on Earth. The 3D sculptures demonstrate the physical changes that the space-flown rotifers experienced. The code and the sculptures will gradually develop into the final artwork over several missions based on the changes in the rotifers.
The project is currently a work-in-progress. A first exhibition is scheduled beginning 2022.
SEADS is a transdisciplinary and cross-cultural collective of artists, scientists, engineers and activists. SEADS is actively engaged in deconstructing dominant paradigms about the future and develops alternative models through a combination of critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. Dr. Maranan co-initiated and is a core member of SEADS.. He has a Doctor of Philosophy in Art and Media as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Plymouth University, United Kingdom, under CogNovo.eu, an interdisciplinary project on creativity in cognition. Dr. Maranan is currently the Program Chair of the UPOU Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies (BAMS). He also co-founded Curiosity, a Manila-based design strategy firm that helps businesses, NGOs, and government design meaningful services.
For more information about Ēngines of Ēternity:ISS, visit https://seads.network/project/ēngines-of-ēternityiss.