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A few weeks after this piece was introduced ,  Craig Venter's and his synthetic biology researchers announced that they had actually succeeded in the creation of a living organism from chemical feedstock .   What timing !!!

In "Create Life", the famous Urey-Miller experiment is duplicated.    It is run under the control of the output from a  redesigned antique pinball machine mechanism.

See "CreateLife" in action, video on YouTube

During playtime, primitive earth conditions are simulated  as chemicals are introduced into the system .    The goal is to create the primordial soup that gave rise to the beginnings of life on earth.

Although success in this environment is a long shot, the results can often be amusing.  

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Press Review:
 Top-notch work in Newport Art Museum members’ show
01:00 AM EST on Thursday, February 25, 2010
Bill VanSiclin Review , Providence Journal  [Excerpt]

… "Let’s start with Kieronski’s piece, which grabbed first place in the show’s three-dimensional art category. Titled "Create Life," it consists of an antique pinball machine that Kieronski has outfitted with an array of more modern amenities, including the innards of at least one computer and enough laboratory equipment to satisfy the needs of most high school science classes.
When a ball is launched into the machine, the computer’s circuit board starts flashing and the test tubes and beakers start filling up with various foams and liquids. Keep the machine going long enough, and, as Kieronski explains in an accompanying statement, you, too, can experience the thrill of creating life (or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof) from a puddle of primal goo.
With its quirky mix of old and new, "Create Life" owes something to Steampunk, a movement that seeks to combine modern technology with older design styles. (A good example of Steampunk’s retro-chic aesthetic would be a modern computer monitor lodged inside a vintage TV console.)

But Kieronski, a Newport artist who clearly has more than a little mad scientist in his own DNA, also wants viewers to ponder some of the moral and philosophical issues posed by modern science. That we can ponder these issues while playing pinball — a game that depends on an appropriately Darwinian mix of chance and skill — only adds to the work’s offbeat charm. "
[…]

Visit  the Newport Art Museum at:         www.newportartmuseum.org.

bvansicl@projo.com The Providence Journal


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