Byron Rich and Mary Tsang

Open Source Estrogen combines do-it-yourself science, body and gender politics, and ecological ramifications of the Anthropocene. It is a form of biotechnical civil disobedience, demonstrating the entrenched and invisible ways that estrogen performs a molecular colonization on our bodies, societies, and ecosystems. Both a form of artistic investigation and xenofeminist biohacking, the project has developed a system of DIY/DIWO protocols for the “emancipation” of the estrogen biomolecule. Through its detection and extraction from sources all around us, what becomes visible can be seen as a form of slow violence.

In addition to the production of lay-scientific protocols is a critical analysis into the institutional access of hormonal estrogen — who or what does its distribution prioritize or pathologize? The pharmaceutical industry has dictated the primary applications of estrogen biomolecule in birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and postmenopausal treatment – biopolitical applications that enforce hormonal control over female and trans bodies. But why should this control exist when our bodies and bodies of other species are already being mutated silently at the molecular level? Corporations and industry are the primary culprits of xenoestrogen pollution. Via biological intervention (biohacking) there exists the potential to liberate our societally-bound bodies by either collective civic action against institutions, and/or embracing the fact that we are all becoming alien – an alienness that exists outside the binary male-female, that challenges society’s traditional notions of normalcy.

Through our scientific methods, we are not seeking techno-solutionism. Instead, our DIY protocols deregulate institutional control over human bodies, while concurrently examining the effects of estrogenic and other hormonal compounds as they colonize environments. Open Source Estrogen delves into the potential of bio-scientific technologies in eradicating gender binaries while exploring the reproductive havoc of endocrine disrupting compounds. The project asks whether we can harness the potential to emancipate not only female, trans, and queer bodies from pharmaco capitalism and institutionalized hormones, but also the bodies of non-human species, extending feminist health care across species of our shared environment.


Bryon 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.


Mary Tsang
Artist-biologist, jungle-dweller, critical-learner, xeno-feminist, optimistic-fatalist, & proud-amateur, wavering between observer and doer, using documentary video to embed myself in the worlds I’m interested in exploring. If you are a biologist, artist, “bio-artist,” DIY-biologist, hobbyist, bio-hacker, bio-punk, xeno-punk, and/or citizen scientist, please contact me at I want to find more people like me.