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NATURE Lab Workshop with Byron Rich: Hormone Hacking- Harvesting Endocrine Disruptors

October 10, 2018 @ 3:00 pm 7:00 pm EDT

An image of a lab, with several beakers and such in frame, with two gloved hands working on it.

Working with simple DIY tools and protocols, participants will learn to extract and identify estrogenic compounds in liquids ranging from waterways to common foods. We will construct our own scientific tools using readily available components that we will use to collect estrogenic compounds from the water and liquids around us.

Through this workshop, participants will learn about the complex interrelationships between industrial agriculture and production, food systems, ecosystems, human bodies and the bodies of organisms that live in affected regions. The workshop will illuminate how our bodies are not our own, and whether there is emancipatory potential in subversively using industrial waste products. Funded by Vollmer Fries/HASS/RPI.

Now we see a jar of pickled corn on a lab desk, with some kind of syringe extracting the juice being held by two gloved hands.


An action shot of Byron Rich, who is giving a presentation and wearing a grey button up, smiling at the camera.

Byron Rich is an artist, professor, and lecturer born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His work exploring speculative design, biology futures, and tactical media ecology has been widely shown and spoken about internationally. He was the recent recipient of an Honorary Mention from Ars Electronica (2017), and runner-up at the Bio-Art & Design Awards in 2016. He pursued a BFA in New-Media from The University of Calgary before finding himself in Buffalo, New York where he received an MFA in Emerging Practices at The University at Buffalo. He now teaches Electronic Art & Intermedia at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

A shot of Professor Kathy High, who is wearing glasses and a white lab coat, smiling at the camera. She is working with petri dishes and doing research.

Special thanks to prof. Kathy High, from RPI’s Humanities Arts and Social Science department, for her collaboration with the Sanctuary for Independent Media on this workshop though her Biopunk class which is part of the NEA funded Bioart Futures and (Forgotten) Urban Ecologies: a series of artist Residencies/workshops presenting contemporary art working with living systems, sustainable practices, and using biological techniques and materials. Biopunk is an upper level art and science seminar combining lectures, critical readings, hands-on workshops and diy methodologies that teaches the language, aesthetics and techniques of working with biological materials. Emphasis will be on acquisition of a working knowledge of the history and contemporary investigations of the microbiome and how to culturally explore these scenarios of living amongst multiple diverse communities and species. Influenced by the “punk” era and the beginnings of punk resistance, as well as the biohacker community, emphasis will also be placed on developing critical and transgressive thought around ethical issues and cross-disciplinary experimentation in art – such as art/science collaborations, art as research.

3361 6th Ave
Troy, 12180 United States
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We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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