[-empyre-] Redistributing the material world¹s diverse accents

Coney Island vastalschool at gmail.com
Mon Sep 16 01:31:33 EST 2013

This is a response to Chris Robbins:

I am answering a request for Œmore definitive notion of "art goals."¹ Beyond
what I had said about bioart offering a "reading of science and art in the
difficult land of luxurious, useless, process based, conceptual, secular
catechism." This former listing of Œart goals¹ is naïve modernismŠ
described. I think we are still there in the arts and the sciences,
perpetuating the myth of the Avant Garde or as Laibach and NSK calls it: the
Retro Garde. 


Is the goal Tactical bioMedia?

The showcasing or making public of techniques for scientific control over
organismic development has a tactical design. This is a more popular way of
explaining why we do public labs. To bring a hands-on experience to the
untrained crowd-sources demystification and takes relational knowledge to
the sites of contention. It sounds benevolent.

Accused of lowering the bar on a slippery slope.

The other half of Chris¹ question asks for delineation of what I mean by
cruel and unusual arts. Examples:

Tissue Culture

Synthetic Biology


Mutant Environmental testing

Human Germline Alteration

Firstly, do these Bioart exposures merely normalize our novel ways of toying
with life? Wet-lab bioart has recently been read as a form of DIY Fukushima.
(Loose quote from a rescent public debate about a GMO permit filed with the
Ministry in the Hague to exhibit modified organisms (Solar Zeebrafish and
Bipolar Flower) in the Errorarium at the Ja Natuurlijk exhibition with
representatives: Rob Zwijnenberg, Per Staugaard, Lucas Evers De Waag,,
 Herman Bekken Greenpeace, Dirk de Jong Ministery of Economic Affairs and
Miep Bos Gentechvrij  {GMO Free EU}).

It is keen to ask, is citizen science merely a practice of assuaging the
public¹s reactive disgust to new life science? This would be advertising,
the use of Œfine¹ art as propaganda for the biotechnical bubble we fund.
Actually, many DIY-BIO centres have no problem with the idea that these
hands-on labs would be staged to promote acceptance of the inherent safety
and casual usury that research entails.  In fact, often being science led,
they fear the good name of science being help in dissonant hands.

Lust for lifeŠ

So art can pose prettily for public relations propping up science in a
redundant campaign and art can also chide the public for not being more
active in contestational debate:

If we uncover the root desire to inflict change, to breed or grow
imagination in lineage form, this is the culturing of lust, the incubating
of desire. Want is inbred and an excess of greed is more than likely a
genetic aberration (potentially curable with gene therapy), but lust for
life just is. What kind of transcendence leaves it¹s chthonic mark in the
brains and germcells of the ones it has come to know? What is life without
lust? Biotech is muddy parasitism.

³The urge to scope and poke, force evolution and morphologically sculpt is a
bridge that joins the Arts and the Sciences. But, I will say this once
because it is quite clear and concise, I think this process is cruel.
Physical Manipulation DevBio Arts as a way towards knowing or sculpting
Development is non-intuitive, intriguing, curious and lovely but there is no
doubt that the process is meddlesome, violent, surgical and often
gratuitously so.² 


More on lust in Bioart:

Viva Vivo! Living Art Is Dead


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