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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathTransgenic Bodies

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separating the strands nor where the energy comes from that triggers this process. Shortly after Watson and Crick published their model, it was criticised by prominent scientists. The British geneticist Rosalind Franklin was among the first to raise objections. Since 1947, Franklin had been working on the structure of DNA and her continual refinement of x-ray crystallography led in 1951 to the first revealing technical images of the structure of DNA. In the 1970s, the development of alternative models of the structure of DNA was pursued at the periphery of the scientific discourse; however, these efforts received scant attention. [25] When Watson and Crick formulated their DNA model in the form of a double helix, they were not driven by a striving for «scientific exactitude» alone. [26] They were perfectly aware of the fact that the credibility of a scientific model does not depend exclusively on its scientific exactness but also on its power to convince and its usefulness, both for research and the discourse of the discipline within which it is formulated. Its power to convince is produced within a social and historical context and depends in part on aesthetic features of the model, [27]


which, in turn, are subject to differing criteria according to discipline and epoch. [28] However, these are often no longer in evidence after a model has been formulated so that its social and historical construction and conditionality are not obvious. [29]

Art and genetics

Here, art’s field of action ranges from the virtual images of the Human Genome Project, [30] computer-generated visualizations of models in molecular biology and bioinformatics, to real applications of advanced genetics, and attempts by artists to simulate evolutionary processes. The interactive network installation «[ACTG]enome» by the Swiss artists Franziska Kempf and Christina von Rotz, for instance, is directed against the reductionism of life as a pure code, which biotechnology as well as the artists, who conduct themselves as biotechnologists, drive forward. Visitors to »[ACTG]enome« can manipulate genes on a terminal. They are representations of DNA and their scientific discourses out of the Internet. Thus the installation repeats the tinkerer and manipulator gesture, which dominates the

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