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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathTransgenic Bodies
GFP K-9 (Kac, Eduardo), 1998Genesis (Kac, Eduardo), 1998

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discourse in art and biotechnology, but it constantly eludes the audience's control and posits the autopoietic regulation of the systems. The influence exercised by the users, however, can be seen on four screen projections, if only in the form of abstract, incomprehensible signs and codes—metaphors that visualize the abstraction, the modellike quality and complexes of the DNA discourse. These projections symbolically represent societies, and because the projections vacillate back and forth between the genetic and the societal discourse, it may well happen that the audience unintentionally manipulates societies instead of genes. In addition, after a certain point in the process the users are blocked from access to the interface until the system has swung in again.

»[ACTG]enome« makes explicit that manipulation in the laboratory does not take place outside of society, but rather in the midst of society, and that it is not as harmless as many of the artists and institutions who work with genes would like to have us think. Whereas artists, such as Franziska Kempf and Christina von Rotz address in their work the representations of scientific models of molecular biology and the act of


transforming objects that were formerly in the science domain into vehicles of meaning in quite different areas of knowledge, other artists, such as Eduardo Kac and Joe Davis, take an entirely different direction in their engagement with art and science. Their works use real transgenic organisms to address the perpetuation of evolution by humans through creating novel organisms according to aesthetic criteria, which the advent of recombinant DNA technology has now made possible.

Transgenic Art - Eduardo Kac

The Brazilian media artist and theorist, Eduardo Kac, assistant professor of art and technology at the Art and Technology Department of the Art Institute of Chicago, operates at the interface of art and genetic engineering in his projects «GFP K-9» (1998), a bioluminescent dog, «GFP Bunny» (2000), a green-glowing rabbit, the installation «Genesis» (1998–1999), and the transgenic Netinstallation «The Eighth Day.» With these works, Kac puts up a new art form for debate: the concept of Transgenic Art. [31] Kac’s early work focussed primarily on telecommunication and telepresence and, specifically,

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