Extra Ears are the New Black

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It has often been the case that the advanced amateur/hobbyist has made culture-changing discoveries, and not the official or industrial scientist or researcher (think Shawn Fanning). In the spirit of innovation and friendly exploration, legendary net.artist Heath Bunting has organized 'Do It Yourself Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid Day (DIY DNA DAY),' happening 10 April, 2004 in Bristol, UK. Among the possible participants for this afternoon of 'display, exchange and information,' are Australians Anne Munster (who could show her video 'Let's Pretend to be Scientists') and Niki Sperou (of 'GMO Cook Up' fame). Bunting, persistently interested in creating open, democratic contexts, has assembled a web site with a number of tutorials and links for those considering attendance or wanting to get involved. Though the materials can seem tongue-in-cheek (a manual on how to extract your own DNA or a downloadable 'Copyright Yourself' form), a scan of news headlines about biotechnology suggests that the only thing tongue-in-cheek about biotech discourse is that one can now graft a tongue or cheek onto another living organism. Seriously. -- Rachel Greene