CUT/PASTE/GROW. Brooklyn, The Observatory


Andy Gracie

The Observatory


Tuur van Balen, Nurit Bar-Shai, Heather Barnett, BCL: Shiho Fukuhara/Georg Tremmel Bruce Bryan, Revital Cohen, Tom Deerinck, Andy Gracie, Karen Ingram, Eduardo Kac, Edgar Lissel, Julia Lohmann, Simon Park, Nikki Romanello, SXSW Create 2013, Liam Young

March 23 - May 11, 2013

Life is restless. Bioartists - the emerging group of practitioners who manipulate living tissues, DNA, and bacteria - must embrace this restlessness. Working in the lab, the artist can’t contain his medium. Even in the Petri dish, fungal spores invade the colonies, or the slime mold overruns maze. Precision gives way to open-ended experiment. The lab is a garden, and the bioartist is the gardener for the new millennium, where breeding advances naturally into gene splicing. 
CUT/PASTE/GROW provides a space to ask fundamental new questions about aesthetics and our assumptions about life and death. What, for example, makes a beautiful blueprint for a beautiful form - what makes a beautiful gene?
By cutting and pasting DNA into a being, the organism itself - both in function and behavior - becomes a chimera, a hybrid natural/engineered being stitched from disparate parts, a result of both Darwinian evolution and the will of the artist. Since antiquity, hybrids were considered abominations. Today, we can view them in any number of ways: Are these chimerae quasi-artworks or quasi-organisms? Is bioart a new approach to society and ecology, a partnership with the microbial life all around us?

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