Bio art is a new art form that has emerged from the cultural
impact and increasing accessibility of contemporary biotechnology.
Signs of Life is the first book to focus exclusively on art that
uses biotechnology as its medium, defining and discussing the
theoretical and historical implications of bio art and offering
examples of work by prominent artists.Bio art manipulates the
processes of life; in its most radical form, it invents or
transforms living organisms. It is not representational; bio art is
in vivo. (A celebrated example is Eduardo Kac's own GFP Bunny,
centered on "Alba," the transgenic fluorescent green rabbit.) The
creations of bio art become a part of evolution and, provided they
are capable of reproduction, can last as long as life exists on
earth. Thus, bio art raises unprecedented questions about the
future of life, evolution, society, and art.The contributors to
Signs of Life articulate the critical theory of bio art and
document its fundamental works. The writers--who include such
prominent scholars as Barbara Stafford, Eugene Thacker, and Dorothy
Nelkin--consider the culture and aesthetics of biotechnology, the
ethical and philosophical aspects of bio art, and biology in art
history. The section devoted to artworks and artists includes
George Gessert's Why I Breed Plants, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr's
Semi-Living Art, Marc Quinn's Genomic Portrait, and Heather Ackroyd
and Dan Harvey's Chlorophyll.
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