Schaugarten Üpplingen, Ausleben, Sachsen/Anhalt, Germany, 2011

Anna Atkins (1799-1871) published two illustrated books (British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions and Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flowering: Plants and Ferns) between 1843-54. She produced images of plants using the cyanotype process developed by John Herschel (1792-1871). The group of works Cyanophycin takes up this photographic imaging process as well as the context of the plant encyclopaedia in order to photographically document genetically modified crops. The title Cyanocyphin refers to a gene of the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus incorporated into the potato.

The work was done in summer and autumn 2011 on a trial site near Ausleben in Saxony/Anhalt (Üplingen show garden). In 2011, various release trials of genetically modified plants approved by the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety took place there.

Analogous to Anna Atkins’ method, the subject-specific name of the plant species and additionally the scientific name of the genetic modification on the respective organism are shown on each of the individual papers. In addition, the extended title of the individual papers contains more detailed information such as area codes, cultivation area and identification markers, which are deposited with the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection and Food Safety and are accessible to the public via the Ministry’s website.

Field trials, genetically modified crops in Germany, cyanotypes,
studio view, 2014