Open Source Estrogen

Open Source Estrogen


The goal of Open Source Estrogen is to explore the various ways that estrogen performs molecular colonization of human society, our bodies, and ecosystems.

Estrogen is the most ancient of sex hormones. Therefore the mutagenic effects of environmental estrogens disrupt species across all animal taxa, including humans. In response to the ongoing molecular colonization of xeno-estrogens, the project aims to demonstrate how our collective mutagenesis necessitates civil action through DIY/DIWO practice. Three possible approaches are: 1) SYNTHESIS - Are we able to circumvent governments and institutions to gain hormone access? What are the ethics behind self-administering self-synthesized hormones? 2) DETECTION - What are the ramifications of estrogen de-regulation? How can biosensors play a role in mobilizing citizen surveying of local water sources? 3) EXTRACTION - How can citizens remove the hormonal toxicity in the environment that is currently mutagenizing human and non-human bodies? Can the xenoestrogens be recycled back into our bodies?

We are looking for collaborators across ALL disciplines: biochemical knowledge for extraction, biotoxicology, cross-species endocrinology, ecological interactions, analysis of biological samples from local water sources, building of low-cost biosensors for detecting and mapping estrogenic waters -- these are a couple of examples. 

About the project leaders:

Mary Maggic is an artist-biologist practicing in civic biosciences, open source organisms and tools, and how to deploy them. Her most recent work involves gender-hacking, estrogen synthesis/mutagenesis, and promises of "significant otherness." Maggic has participated in a number of interdisciplinary residencies including HackteriaLab2014 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Transcontinental Hiking/Hack in the Panama rainforest, Ars Bioarctica Residency in Finland, Bio-Commons Lab @ Rural Hub Italy, and Sci|Art Nanolab Summer Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Art (BSA) in Biological Sciences and Art from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked as a lab assistant for the UCLA Art|Sci Center. She is currently pursuing her masters in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT Media Lab, Design Fiction research group. (

Byron Rich: Having grown up on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in western Canada, where a seemingly endless wild gives way to the rapidly expanding influence of human hubris, Byron was compelled to make things that ask unanswerable questions. He pursued a degree in art at The University of Calgary before wandering the islands of the South Pacific, finally finding himself in Buffalo, New York where he obtained an MFA in Emerging Practices at The University at Buffalo. He now teaches Electronic Art, Intermedia and Painting at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. (


  • Gaia Leandra
  • Paula Pin
  • Amanda Padilla
  • Carlos Gamez



27 colaborators






Project status
Joint valuation