ProtoCells, an introduction. Biolaboratory with Brian Degger by Institutio media


“Protocells are “primordial molecular globules, situated in the environment through the laws of physics and connected through the language of chemistry.”*

Protocells are deeply intriguing. They exhibit life–like properties, with systems demonstrating cell division, cell fusion and chemo–taxis. Biologically, they represent a potential process by which life came about, as well as a process to investigate membrane–protein interactions. Commercially, they represent a platform technology, where advanced formulations may be used in solving real life problems, like CO2 fixing, or growing architectures. Philosophically, they problematise the question of what is life. An additional aspect is that they are an example of natural computing.

During this workshop we will cover what protocells are, their history and current uses, as well as the different cultural landscapes in which they are being used. We will then use DIY methods with easily available accessible chemicals to make simple protocells and document the results.

Brian Degger was introduced to art projects by working with Blast Theory’s (UK) project “I Like Frank in Adelaide” (2004). Prior to this, he completed his PhD in Molecular Biology, reflecting his life–long interest in science. Part of his work involves developing and conducting workshops from Octopus Dissections, to webcam hacking, and bioplastics. He uses and writes on scientific and open source methodologies. He explores subjects such as DIYBiology, bacterial cultivation, fermentation and planktons through the development and delivery of workshops.

*Spiller, N.; Armstrong, R (2011). It’s a brand new morning. Archit. Design 81:14–23

Biolaboratory will take place on the 1st of September 2017, between 11 am – 2 pm.

Location: project space “Sodų 4” (Sodų Str. 4, Vilnius)

Free entry. Please register by email by 31st of August.


This event is organized by Institutio Media in collaboration with Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association and is kindly supported by Vilnius City Municipality.