“There is a strange pleasure in the performance of DNA extraction, live in an art museum. To take materials from human volunteers who do so without the fear of identification, policing, or a potentially devastating medical diagnosis. It turns out that genetics are fun when we all do it together, sipping, swirling, and spitting into a weird and beautiful hybrid object. Through the America Project, the purpose of DNA extraction is suborned both by the intentional act of ‘promiscuous’ fluid mixing and the recontextualization of machine and scientific process into artistic expression.”
—Helen J. Burgess, associate professor of English at North Carolina State University
Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology: Shaping Our Genetic Futures, organized by the NC State University Libraries, the Genetic Engineering and Society Center, and the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, elicited discussion about genetics in society through the lens of contemporary art and offered viewers new ways to think about their role in the genetic revolution.
[Left] Diana Eusebio, Erin Kirchner, Grace Kwon, Rachel Rusk, Sydney Sieh-Takata, "Kerasynth" (2018)
[Right] Richard Pell, "The Mermaid De-Extinction Project" (2019)
"Kerasynth": BioDesign Challenge animal-free wool, synthetic fiber garment prototype. "The Mermaid De-Extinction Project": DNA sequence, taxidermy, software. Photograph by Molly Renda.
Joe Davis, "Lucky Mice" (2017–2019)
Cage, enrichment wheel, dice-casting device, documentation. Photograph by Charles Samuels.
Maria McKinney, "Longevity/Apoptosome, Black Water Lad (HE2067)," from the series "Sire" (2016)
Archival pigment print. Made possible with support from Culture Ireland / Cultúr Éireann. Photograph by Molly Renda.
Emily Tikka, "Eudaimonia—Biotechnologization of the Soul?" (2018)
Film. In vitrine, object from "Eudaimonia—Biotechnologization of the Soul?" Glass blowing by Wiebke Matthes, Technische Universität Berlin. 3-D printing by Pauli Hyvöen. Photograph by Charles Samuels.
Molly Renda and William H. Dodge, "From Teosinte to Tomorrow," 2019
Corn maze. Drone footage by Luke Mehaffie, North Carolina Museum of Art.
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