Pigeon d'Or proposes
the use of feral pigeons as a platform and interface for synthetic
biology in an urban environment by attempting to make a pigeon defecate
Tuur Van Balen uses design to explore the political
implications of emerging technologies by constructing thought-provoking
new realities. Pigeon d’Or proposes the use of feral pigeons as a
platform and interface for synthetic biology in urban environments by
attempting to make pigeons defecate soap. Through the modification of
pigeons’ metabolism, synthetic biology allows us to add new
functionality to these animals that are commonly seen as 'flying rats'. A
special bacteria has been designed and created that is as harmless to
pigeons as yoghurt is to humans and, when fed to them, turns their feces
into detergent. Through the manipulation of pigeon excrement and the
design of appropriate architectural interfaces, the project explores the
ethical, political, practical and aesthetic consequences of designing
biology. The city can be seen as a vast, incredibly complex metabolism
of which the human species is only the tiniest fraction, tiny and yet
inextricably linked into an organic embroidery beyond our understanding.
Future biotechnologies will end up as part of this complex fabric.
Pigeon d'Or from Tuur Van Balen on Vimeo.