For twenty years, Ballengee has studied and documented deformed amphibians. He creates portraits of the deceased animals using a biology-lab process that removes everything but the collagen and stains the bones and cartilage. Ballangee sees his portraits as a way to memorialize the animals. He states: “If we start to look at the environment as made up of individuals just as unique as each and every one of us, I think that has the potential to really reframe our approach towards our own actions every day.”1

See Ballengee’s website.

Brandon Ballengee

1 Annie Minoff, “SciArts Spotlight: Brandon Ballengee,” (Science Friday: April 4, 2014),


Cohen creates speculative design projects that engage with art, technology, and biology. The projects “draw attention to the social, cultural and ethical implications of new technologies. The resulting design proposals do not provide answers, but they make complex issues tangible, and therefore debatable.”1

Life Support, 2008
For this project, Cohen imagines augmented animals that assist human health. In one scenario, a genetically modified sheep acts as a living dialysis machine for a human with kidney failure. Every night blood passes between human and sheep; the sheep’s healthy kidneys filter the blood before its returned to the human. In another scenario, a mechanically modified greyhound assists the breathing of a human with respiratory problems.

Life Support diagram
Life Support

See Cohen’s website.

1 Regine Debatty, “Life Support — Could Animals be Transformed into Medical Devices?” We Make Money Not Art (July 1, 2008)


Augmented Animal, 2001
Auger and Loizeau imagine technologies that assist squirrels in finding food, protect rodents from predators, and help dogs adapt to the restrictions of domestic life. In one scenario, a dog’s tail communicates her emotional state with the help of LED text. Phrases like “I’d like my dinner” or “I really love you” appear when the dog wags her tail. In another scenario, a squirrel records the GPS location of a buried nut using a device attached to his wrist. When he needs to retrieve the nut, a red light flashes on the wrist device indicating the exact location of his stash. A third scenario gives night vision goggles to a rodent, helping her avoid predators who hunt in low light.1

Augmented Rodent

See Auger’s website.

1 Paola Antonelli, ed., Design and the Elastic Mind (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2008), 35.


Animal Superpowers, 2008
Animal Superpowers is a collection of wearables designed to help humans experience life from an ant’s, bird’s, or giraffe’s view. The ant wearable is best experienced by crawling on the ground. Two cameras attached to the hands send images to a display worn on your head. As you move around on all fours, you see the world from a low camera angle, close to the ground. The video image is also significantly scaled up, making small objects appear very large. Blades of grass become arboreal. The giraffe wearable adds height by mounting a periscope extension to the top of a your head. The device also lowers your voice’s pitch to match your increased size. And the bird wearable guides you along a path with feedback provided by a vibrating headband. Just as birds sense geomagnetic fields to help them migrate, your headband’s vibrations tell you which way to turn to find your way home.

Animal SuperPowers, Wearables
Animal SuperPowers, Ant Wearable

See Woebken’s website.


Hirst employs the bodies of animals in aestheticized, natural-history museum-esque installations. In the ’90s, he installations featured the carcasses of wild and domesticated animals in large tanks of formaldehyde. He also created paintings and sculptures with the remains of insects and arachnids.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths, 2006
The True Artists Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths

Judecca, 2012

See Hirst’s website.