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Frenay, Robert 1946-

FRENAY, Robert 1946-


Born 1946.


HomeNew York, NY.


Has worked as an architectural draftsman, a commercial photographer, a fine art photographer, a music festival producer, a researcher for magazines and periodicals, and as a graphics designer; publisher, New York Jazz (entertainment guide). Coproducer and creator, Greenwich Village Jazz Festival.


Pulse: The Coming Age of Systems and Machines Inspired by Living Things, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.

Researcher and contributor for periodicals, including Sports Illustrated, New York Times, Fortune, and Vanity Fair. Editor and contributing writer, Audubon.


A freelance writer and environmentalist, Robert Frenay offers a futurist's vision of radical changes in biology and mechanics in Pulse: The Coming Age of Systems and Machines Inspired by Living Things. In his book, Frenay describes what he sees as an ongoing gradual shift to a point where new machines will be enhanced by and integrated with biological systems, and where they will manifest a variety of biological characteristics, not the least of which will be emotions. This mingling of human systems with machines, where biology is enhanced by computers, forms an entirely new biology, with numerous distinct possibilities. These new concepts and ideas can be used to overcome the deleterious effects that have accumulated over the years from heavy industrialization and overpopulation, Frenay believes. He describes the potential of new manufacturing processes undergirded by these new biological machines, processes in which the waste materials from one type of manufacturing technique will become the raw materials for another kind in a self-perpetuating, nonwasteful cycle. Food production will become streamlined and prodigiously productive in a carefully choreographed cycle of use and recycling. Frenay looks at how the biological machines will gain a measure of independence through accelerated evolution and environmental adaptations they control. In Frenay's vision of the future, mechanical processes on a large scale, such as transportation, become a living process, in which ships learn to swim like fish.

"Frenay's mind works feverishly overtime in this beautifully written book, as he fires off one idea after another," commented a reviewer on Science A Go Go. Frenay's work describes a "moving and deeply optimistic program for man's survival on the planet," noted reviewer Peter Pettus in the New York Sun. "With a fair amount of utopian rhetoric, this account suggests that the new biology may well have legs," observed a Kirkus Reviews contributor. "Frenay's reportage is sustaining fare for environmentalists," commented Gilbert Taylor in Booklist. "We know there must be a better way, and this book—this new bible of the church of ecology—tells us that the right pathway is to be found in the spirit of the New Biology," Pettus concluded.



Booklist, April 1, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of Pulse: The Coming Age of Systems and Machines Inspired by Living Things, p. 11.

California Bookwatch, June, 2006, review of Pulse.

Futurist, May-June, 2006, review of Pulse, p. 59.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2006, review of Pulse, p. 70.

New York Sun, May 3, 2006, Peter Pettus, "The Coming Paradigm Shift," review of Pulse.

Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2006, review of Pulse, p. 47.


Pulse Web site, (September 23, 2006).

Science A Go Go, (May 4, 2006), review of Pulse. *

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