Morality Calculus and Tasting Event

Sunday, 31st Mar to Monday, 20th May 2024
War Memorial Library, Summerhall
11am – 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday
1, Summerhall, Newington, Edinburgh EH9 1PL


About the Exhibition

Morality Calculus is a bioart installation by artist Yuning Chen that recounts the endeavour of creating bread fermented with yeast-human cell hybrids in a synthetic biology lab in collaboration with biologist Dr.Elise Cachat. The installation aims to provoke a discussion on the moral dimension of the part-based analogy prevalent in synthetic biology: if living organisms are seen as mechanical vessels containing functional genetic legos, how do we ‘calculate’ the moral status of a yeast-human cell hybrid? Will it be a mere concatenation of the source organisms, defined by the ones that have a higher moral status or affected by the resulting traits they exhibit?

Alongside the display of the real lab-baked hybrid bread, an event will be held by Yuning Chen to provide a theatrical tasting experience for the participants to explore their personal morality calculus. The experience will involve eating food fermented by fictional hybrid organisms analogous to the ones involved in the bread making experiments. Through ordering, tasting and thinking through food with fellow participants, the audience is invited to calculate the incalculable – the morality of genetic parts from different living beings, and to reflect on the choices they’ve made during the process.

Saturday,13th to Sunday, 14th April, and Wednesday,17th to Sunday, 21st April 2024
War Memorial Library, Summerhall
1 – 2pm
1, Summerhall, Newington, Edinburgh EH9 1PL

Registration is required, the booking link will be available soon. 

War Memorial Library, Summerhall, Newington, Edinburgh