Sunday, May 8, 2016

Week 6: BioTech and Art

I found this week’s topic of discussion interesting, but I just cannot decide how exactly I feel about it. Using the first of the Ruth West questions, “If life a valid expressive medium,?” I feel like in some instances, in more than not, it is not valid to use life as an expressive form. Using live animals, like a mouse, to experiment on just for the sake of art seems a little morbid, and even so in most scientific research as well. For example, the mouse that was genetically modified to have a human ear growing out of its back does not seem to be morally right. The work shown in the lecture video by Zaretsky is really not appealing, as most art is, at least to me. I do not think that there should be limits on creativity per say, but when it comes to what is moral or not, I believe that should be considered. When it comes to manipulating organisms, primarily humans and animals, there should be different standards and restrictions that artists and scientists have. Living organisms should not be manipulated for the sake of art, if it causes and harm, especially pain, unless the artist is inflicting it upon themselves, (like the case of the man who put and ear on his arm).
On the other hand, Natalie Jeremijenko, uses plants as her form of experimentation on life forms.  Her experiment “One Tree,” uses cloned walnut trees that are planted in pairs in different areas of San Fransisco to see how they react to their environment. This form of life manipulation poses to be morally okay in my opinion; plant life can already be considered art (i.e. landscape design).

Jeremijenko also used plants to transform fire hydrant areas, creating street are with plant life. There are other types of plant modification like genetically modified seeds, as well as weeds that have gotten just out of control because of the environmental effects on the modified plant life.

Jeremijenko, Natalie. "The Art of the Eco-mindshift." Natalie Jeremijenko:, Oct. 2009. Web. 07 May 2016. <>.

"Natalie Jeremijenko." Natalie Jeremijenko. Web. 07 May 2016. <>.

Stutz, Bruce. "Wanted: GM Seeds for Study." Seed Magazine. 1 July 2010. Web. 07 May 2016. <>.

Vesna, Victoria. “Unit 6 View”. UC Online. Web. 07 May 2016. <>.

Yeates, Ed. "'Super Weed' Taking Strong Hold in Utah." 08 June 2009. Web. 07 May 2016. <>.

"Natalie Jeremijenko's Assorted Prescriptions, including OneTrees." PopTech. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2016. <> 

"Natalie Jeremijenko || Wave Hill - New York Public Garden and Cultural Center." Wave Hill Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2016. <>.

Sardar, Zahid, and Lea Suzuki. "Society's Signposts / Natalie Jeremijenko's Trees Aren't Simply Decorative -- They Can Be Read like a Social Register." SFGate. N.p., 23 Oct. 2004. Web. 08 May 2016.

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