“Gratitude Offering for the Organisms”

Dr. Jennifer Willet
Written by: Ashley Hemmings

INCUBATOR Art Lab is thrilled to say that this past weekend, our founder and director Dr. Jennifer Willet gave the keynote presentation at Bio Summit 4.0 hosted by the MIT Media Lab.

Founded in 1985, the MIT Media Lab is one of the world’s leading research and academic organizations. They promote an interdisciplinary approach to research, bringing together diverse areas of interest and inquiry. The Media Lab celebrates the intersection of art, science, design, and technology, emphasizing cross-discipline collaboration. This year, the MIT Media Lab hosted its fourth annual Global Community Bio Summit. The Bio Summit brings together a global group of DIY biologists, citizen scientists, biohackers, educators, bioartists, and other bio-enthusiasts with the goal of creating connections, building community, and exploring the cultural impact of biotechnology.

 
 
 
 

On October 10, 2020, Dr. Willet presented her keynote talk “Gratitude Offering for the Organisms”. During this presentation, she returned to the physical site of INCUBATOR Art Lab, which has sat empty since the start of the pandemic, and presented a bedtime story for the organisms both inside and outside of the lab. This narrative spoke to the loneliness everyone has been feeling due to COVID-19, but also the gratitude and love that every organism, including COVID-19, deserves. Dr. Willet emphasized biotechnology as a technology of love, acknowledging the time, care, and intimacy that goes in to sustaining life within a laboratory, and that this love can be a radical political act in these times of uncertainty.

 
 
 
 

INCUBATOR Art Lab would like to extend our gratitude to the MIT Media Lab and Bio Summit 4.0 for including us in their fourth annual conference, and for inviting Dr. Willet to perform the keynote presentation. We would also like to deeply thank everyone who attended the talk, and the summit. Thank you.

To learn more about Global Community Bio Summit events visit
https://www.biosummit.org/

To learn more about MIT Media Lab visit
https://www.media.mit.edu/about/overview/

 
 

Image Credit:
1) Bio Summit 4.0, 2020. Screenshot: Global Community Bio Summit 4.0, 2020.
2) Jennifer Willet, “Gratitude Offering for the Organisms”, 2020. Screenshot: Global Community Bio Summit 4.0, 2020.