Jalila Essaïdi (NL, º1980)

2.6g 239m/s
Bio-Art project, 2011-2013
Courtesy of the artist

Jalila Essaidi and the Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands  won the Designers and Artists 4 Genomics Award with their project 2.6g 329m/s.

2.6g 329m/s is the maximum weight and velocity of a .22 caliber Long Rifle bullet as well as the performance standard for bulletproof vests. In cooperation with Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands, Jalila Essaïdi managed to implant DNA sequence of a sturdy transgenic spider silk (which is relatively much stronger than steel) into the human skin. As a result, bulletproof skin was created. However, what leads to reflection on relativity of the concept of safety is the fact that the bullets were not stopped when on full speed. With a “bulletproof skin” pierced by bullets the experiment prompts discussion on what forms of safety society would benefit from. As Jalila Essaïdi put it:

I wanted to inspire a sense of awe for how nature produced all these ingenious constructs that have been fine-tuned and enhanced over millions of years.

Jalila Essaïdi worked on the project at the Verbeke Foundation in 2011.