ISSN: 1477965X
First published in 2003
3 issues per volume
Volume 15 Issue 2
Cover Date: June 2017
Transgenic art: Creativity in the era of genetic engineering
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Authors:  Mario Savini 
DOI: 10.1386/tear.15.2.163_1

contemporary art,transgenic art,biotechnology,genetic engineering,hybridization,new nature,posthuman

The spread of biotechnology and genetic engineering has led to a new creative thinking in the context of contemporary visual culture where art, science and life evolve into a network of interdependence. Starting from this premise, this article analyses the works of important artists who, from the late 1990s, have modelled genetic material to create artistic works. These transgenic representations become a metaphor for cultural hybridization. They are places of transaction that contradict their documentary size, losing the concept of memory, narration and storage. Artistic objects are replaced by the evanescence of aesthetics, reconsidering the relationship between image and information. This study goes beyond the boundaries of art, attempting to understand the reasons for the crisis of its representation. Focusing attention on transgenic art means to say that the artist as a scientist is not only able to change life, but to reinvent it completely. Attention is also focused on mixtures of the various ontological categories where bodies are connected to machines in an intimate or a hidden way, questioning the idea of nature and the concept of life. This article will attempt to answer the following questions: how has molecular biology influenced the development of contemporary art? Who is the artist today and what are the new areas of enquiry?
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