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Nothing is More or Less Alive: A Conversation with Eduardo Kac
by Carrie Paterson


Since the early 1980s, Eduardo Kac (pronounced “Katz”) has created challenging combinations of the biological, the technological, and the linguistic, raising important questions about the cultural impact and ethical implications of biotechnologies. An innovator and pioneer of forms, he began experimenting in the pre-Web ’80s with works that used telerobotics—systems of remote communication linking software, invented hardware bodies, and live creatures with humans. Telerobotics and “telepresence”—his term for the human embodied experience of these works —emerged in wider view in the 1990s, preceding even more radical work in bioart. In addition to transgenics, bioart also includes the biotechnological, in which biology and human networked systems cooperate in synergy toward new modes of expression in living beings.

Genesis, 1999.
Transgenic work with artist-created bacteria, ultraviolet light, Internet, and video, installation view.

Photo: Otto Saxinger

 


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