Gene Pool: the origin of pieces

Blog: Gene Pool: the origin of pieces

Yes, go forth and expand the Gene Pool. Read the Gene Pool Call Out to learn more. And below guest blogger Natasha Mitchell, presenter & producer of All in the Mind, blogs about how the project came about:

"Gene Pool is launched!

If this is your first visit - Pool is a social media project developed by ABC Radio National. It's a place to share your creative work with the Pool community and ABC producers - upload music, photos, videos, documentaries, interviews, animations and more. It's a collaborative space where audiences become makers.

We originally conceived of the Gene Pool project to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. The idea was to create a space which brought together art, science and digital culture around the loose theme of evolution.

But it’s become about much more, and we’re falling over ourselves with excitement at the possibilities. We hope you will too.

You’ve got such delicious concepts to play with in Gene Pool – “evolution” and “mutation”.  Really, the world is your oyster with these. Think of the concepts in as broad or literal a way as you like.

I’m mainly a science and health journalist, so I spend my days mucking around with the idea of evolution from the perspective of mutating  genes, adapting species and evolutionary biology and psychology. 

But if you’re an artist, you might see the work on a canvas evolve. If you’re a novelist, at the tip of your fingertips is an evolving plot and cast of characters.  If you’re a farmer or a gardener, the landscape you till and turn is ever-evolving.

Relationships, religions, conversations, cultures, compositions, climate patterns, languages, technologies - they all evolve.

And then there’s the seductive idea of the cultural equivalent of a gene - often called a meme. It’s like a unit of culture – a word, a belief, a tune, a riddle, a recipe - ever mutating and evolving across the generations.

I think I’ll start by taking a photo of my worm farm at home and uploading it to Gene Pool. After the big heat wave over Summer, most of my worms died...all that remains are some strange mutant specimens with multiple heads on some of them. Urrgh! Mutation in action.

Evolution also goes to the heart of what Pool itself is all about. Uploading a digital piece to share, and seeing what it inspires in another person, who might even mutate and repurpose it as part of their own ‘remixed’ creation.

In a first for the ABC, Gene Pool also sees the release of audio and footage from the ABC Archives for your free use.  Now that is an exciting breakthrough!

I’d like to extend a special welcome to the 3rd year media students  at RMIT University who are using Gene Pool as the inspiration for their major media production this year. We’re thrilled to have them involved. 
We can’t wait to see how you contribute to, and mutate the Gene Pool.  Go for it!"

Thanks Natasha! And remember you can join the Gene Pool group here.

Gene Pool is a joint initiative of ABC Radio National, ANAT - Australian Network of Art and Technology, RMIT and Evolution: The Festival.

Image above by svayne licenced Creative Commons BY NC ND

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