Ew. In September Critical Art Ensemble are coming from New York to Stavanger’s iolab to lead a workshop in wetware. Wetware, yes, that means making art from organic materials. I’m a wimp, but there’s something about the word wetware that makes me imagine my hands deep inside a freshly killed deer, pulling out its still almost beating heart. Actually, I think they’re more the white labcoats kind of artists than the hunter in Snow White. One of them, Steve Kurtz, very uncomfortably had FBI agents remove the e.coli. bacteria from his house after his wife died and the police thought the biomaterials looked suspicious. (The e.coli. bit is from memory since the newspaper linked from there has removed the story.) I’m no wetware art expert, so couldn’t tell you whether genetic art like Eduardo Kac’s fluorescent green bunny rabbit (neither art nor new, say some) fall within the wetware paradigm. My aesthetic reactions are primal: it’s frightening, horrible, like that hot bloody heart pulled from the deer’s docile body and my analytical abilities are bypassed completely. Some might say that’s a sign of the artists’ success.
3 thoughts on “wetware”
We have an artist-in-residence/teacher here who likes to make his art out of found things. One of the more startling and visceral was a sculpture made from the mechanical innards of a clock and liberally encrusted with Japanese beetle corpses.
That’s creepy. The whole deer thing. Creepy.
I heard Eduardo Kac talk a few months back. Although the projects he does are interesting and “new” in a sense that most art is not, I sort of had (and have) the feeling that most biotech art is a sort of extended joke about the nature of art. Concept art about the word made flesh.
More info on the current situation for Steve Kurtz & Crital Art Ensemble