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Kat Austen, Letters Community editor
Would you like to live in a world where every newborn baby is offered a piglet that acts as a living organ farm should the child eventually requires a transplant? Or one by which we consider ourselves a coevolved conglomeration of bacteria, microbes and parasites? How does one feel if everyone in the world could read your mind? These questions plus much more have already been explored in the What If. exhibition at the Science Gallery in Dublin.
Many of the exhibits are heavily dystopian, and address queries about scientific or medical ethics that must be asked in our biotechnological age. Both installation that posits using pigs and other animals as life support machines and Future Farms where people use their own bodies growing stem cells for surgical procedure evoke the type of discomfort you feel whenever you watch a report about an impoverished parent resorting to selling their own kidney in order to put their child through school.
And possibly it's only me, however wince thinking of my tissue being utilized in biojewellery. Worse may be the Artificial Biological Clock a clock that synchronises information from your woman's doctor, bank manager and therapist to inform her when is the best time to have a baby. This is an uncomfortable reminder that lots of us have forfeit the opportunity to really hear our own bodies.
Image: Artificial Biological Clock, Revital Cohen
The exhibition predicts technology, it also embraces current ones: the Science Gallery has set up twitter hashtags for each exhibit, which link from its how do people a twitter search although my mission to find my favourite installations came up blank. The exhibition continues to be running for just two months, which is on account of close on 13 December, if you need to find out how much effort it will take to generate a toaster from scratch or what probably have happened had Jimmy Carter been reelected, you have a few more days to have in that area and see yourself. Folks who wants make it to Dublin, you can enjoy images and video with the pieces on exhibit online.