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Eduardo Kac, "Transgenic Artist" and Alba his Glowing Rabbit

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posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 03:09 PM
Eduardo Kac is a contemporary artist who is recognized all over the world for his technologically based art. I was lucky enough to study under Mr. Kac while attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is a professor in the Art & Technology department (maybe the chair now?).

There is recent news out of Korea about transgenic cloned cats that have a protein in their skin that glows under Ultraviolet light.
Red Fluorescent Cat Cloned

This 'news' seems like science fiction to many, but I doubt that many of you are aware of Alba, Eduardo Kac's glowing rabbit, who was created in 2000!

Mr. Kac has produced several works that may be of interest to the ATS community. Alba or "GFP Bunny" was created in 2000, and at the time there was much debate in regard to the 'ownership' of the animal. Also "Move 36" is a genetically engineered plant, that has ASCII coded "information" inserted into a gene. "Move 36" refers to a dramatic chess move made by the computer DEEP BLUE in its match against Gary Kasparov in 1997.

I am introducing Mr. Kac's work to the ATS community because I feel he is often dealing with themes in his 'artwork' that are very much ahead of his time. In 1997, Mr. Kac was the first human to implanted with a microchip! Personally, I have many issues with Mr. Kac's work because I think it sometimes crosses over 'the line' to prove a point, but in doing so almost condones the 'acts' that he is commenting on.

I really recommend going to his website to learn more about his work:
He has a small Wikipedia page as well:

I really look forward to hearing your opinions about these works, and how they relate to where our Scientific Boundaries should be 'morally'. Hopefully, we can keep things civil and on topic, but any input is welcome. Insults and attacks are not, so please if you are offended by Genetically Modifying plants and animals, do not make this a personal attack on anyone, including the artist. I haven't seen or spoken to Mr. Kac in 10 years, but I doubt he would like to get slammed with a ton of hate mail because his site was linked on a 'kooky theory site'...

Also, here is a link to more info about GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) animals.
Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 03:20 PM
when talking about genetics, I believe in the study to do the sence of "healthcare".

I understand that it is absolutely necesary to perform "live" tests on subjects,even if I like it or not.

But that is as far as my moral goes.. when it comes to artists messing with genetics, for no other reason then to "show off" their socalled art with a message...I fell repelled to say the least...

But maybe we need to see theese things, to be aware of what altered genetics can lead too... sometimes we need to see the bad things to keep us on the right track?

[edit on 13-12-2007 by Bluess]

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 03:32 PM
reply to post by Bluess

I feel similar to you. However, I feel it wrong for us to be dabbling at the Genetic level at all.

Any interesting note about ALBA, the bunny. Once the lab that Mr. Kac hired to create her realized the implications (media scrutiny and possible backlash) they refused to release the Rabbit to Mr. Kac. He wanted to 'show' Alba in galleries but also keep her as a Pet.
The French lab claimed some intellectual property loophole, and even though they were contracted at the behest of someone else's ideas, they claimed it and kept it off the 'radar'

Now, almost 8 years later, Korea scientists are making house cats that glow....

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 03:35 PM


“GFP Bunny” has raised many ethical questions and sparked an international controversy about whether Alba should be considered art at all. “Transgenic art brings out a debate on important social issues surrounding genetics that are affecting and will affect everyone’s lives decades to come,” Kac is quoted as saying.

From: genomenewsnetwork


posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 03:44 PM
From an interview with Mr. Kac:

Q. You have said that through your work you hope to stimulate a dialogue among artists, scientists, philosophers, and members of the general public about the cultural and ethical implications resulting from the application of knowledge gained through genetic research. Can you give an example?

A. Humankind has always been fascinated by the ancient image of the chimera, a creature like the sphinx or the centaur, that combines body parts from at least two different species. Lab scientists have created chimeras by mixing cells from different species for research purposes. I conceived "GFP Bunny", an artwork that would begin with the creation of a chimerical animal, that does not exist in nature, and that would stimulate a series of complex social interactions. In this case I use the word "chimerical" in the sense of a cultural tradition of imaginary animals, not in the scientific connotation of an organism in which there is a mixture of cells in the body


I recommend checking out the front page at Genomicart for a lot more genetic artists, and their work.

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 03:51 PM

on November 11, 1997, at the cultural center Casa das Rosas, São Paulo, Brazil. On this day, the artist Eduardo Kac implanted in his ankle an identification microchip with nine digits and registered himself with a databank in the United States via the Internet. Replacing the traditional branding with hot iron, the microchip--a transponder tag-- is used to identify and recover lost or stolen animals. The microchip is connected to a coil and a capacitor, all hermetically sealed in biocompatible glass to prevent the organism from rejecting it. The number stored on the chip can be retrieved with a tracker, a portable scanner that generates a radio signal and energizes a microchip, making it transmit back its inalterable number. The microchip implant in the ankle has a precise symbolic meaning: it is an area of the body that has traditionally been chained or branded.

From:, Originally published in English on the Nettime list on February 22, 1998.

I can't find any more info right now, but it seems like Mr. Kac had one of the 'pet tracking' types implanted. This guy was trying to warn us almost 10 years ago about the potential threat that embedded chips might be. I think if more people knew about this work, we might be more concerned about the world around us and we might be way better off for it.

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 04:08 PM
Im not harping on you doc or your person of intrest of this topic. Just feel strongly about genetic maniplulation.

this is how super destructive things come into being, by metaling in matters that dont need any further improvment.

People die, we loose parts, we damage parts, But what WE DONT DO IS MANIPULATE OUR GENES maybe thru generations of evolution and adaptation but not in a lab over the course of x amount of years.

Cancer changes genes, are genetic scientists cancer? lol Im just saying now its a cloned bunny/cat with neon facial features. Next its hampsters with Mp5s attached to their thighs with meta-awarness.

Humans are clearly not going to function as they are for much longer, We most certainly are going to wipe away alot of this progress and nonsense with a careless mistake or a greedy eye.

Just wait I give us 4 years. we are about over due for a new way of thinking anyhow. Maybe its the cycle of things and humans just are the instrument.
whatever the case, we are gettin a lil too ballsy now in our "stuck up phase"

Anyhow back to the cat and rabbit, I think if he needs to do this as art, then hes trying too hard, Art is everywhere, but alot of art is natural. this art is extruded thru a narrowminded madscientist. We dont need neuroimplants or glow in the dark skin. Now not saying you cant learn anything from this, just saying what we learn may be good or bad.

so I guess it holds true,

The more resources you aquire, the more likely your Original vision of happiness declines and a new vision of greatness is replaced.

[edit on 13-12-2007 by Tranceopticalinclined]

[edit on 13-12-2007 by Tranceopticalinclined]

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 04:15 PM
Thaaaaaank You I had heard somethings but had no idea it was going like this. The best news I heard recently was the creation of stem cells from a skin cell dispensing with the need for embryos...I share your concern over the genetic tampering..on one hand we are told it will cure such and such..but I would like to see what the such and suches are before I jump on board. The photos are brilliant..and amazing..will they come back to haunt us..I sure dont have an answer..but like the killer bees..they are here to stay..

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 10:12 PM
reply to post by Tranceopticalinclined

No offense taken.

I am only bringing this up because I feel very similarly to you. I think that human beings should not alter the dna of plants or animals. We don't understand what dna 'means' but we are able to snip it here and there. In some ways I wonder if we are chopping whole 'thoughts' or 'phrases' out of the 'instructions'.

It is interesting to note that what humans perceive as race, has no specific gene. That it is the scope of the difference in all our dna that makes up 'race'. So in theory, screwing with a few genes so that you can put "Monanto Round-up" genes into a plant, may have far greater ramifications. What once was Corn or Soybeans, develops into a whole new species. Scientists are inserting mutations into the code, and possibly those mutations are advantageous, plants that once needed sun and water, can live off of leds and chemicals. I am being brash, but it can happen.


The Human Race Machine, 2000
From left to right: Asian, Hispanic, Black, Indian, White

My intention in building The Race Machine was to allow us to
move beyond difference and arrive at sameness. When I discovered,
while doing research on a project involving genetics, that there
is no gene for race, I felt it was one of the most important things
to understand about genetics. The DNA of any two humans is 99.97
percent identical. And then The Race Machine became The Human
Race Machine. We are all related, all connected, all one.
Nancy Burson

From another artist on genomic, it explains and illustrates how 'race' is not associated with any one gene. Too bad one of these examples doesn't glow!

I hope more of you express yourself in regards to Genetic Engineering here. I feel that if more people knew about Alba in 2000, and had gotten 'offended' enough about it, I don't think that these Korean scientists would have 'ethically' allowed to practice their experiments on house cats. Hopefully we can create a resource and dialogue here, so that the next time an artist like Mr. Kac creates a work like this, it can make the impact it deserves.

I am sure that more people in the world tonight are debating whether or not Britney Spears is knocked up again, than are debating the ethics of genetically engineering pets that glow under the lights at a nightclub. One has to remember that Mr. Kac produced this artwork in 2000, meaning that he way working on it pre-millennium. If the mainstream has now caught up 8 (but probably closer to 10) to the work of a mad scientist-artist, one has to wonder what people are working on right now....

Growing up, I was very interested in bio-tech, but once I realized the implications as a young adult, I was reeling. The extreme dangers of doing something, just because it is physically possible....


[edit on 13/12/2007 by DocMoreau]

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 03:47 PM
Wow, I was hoping for a bit more of a dialogue about stuff like this. I thought that somehow these 'artworks' might strike a nerve either pro or con...

Guess this might stuff be more "lead" than "helium" for you all.

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 04:22 PM
thats for not takening offense to my opinon thats a rare occurance here or anywhere for that matter.

its just that thru time and money and efforts mankind has soley focused on matters of entertainment, humans want to do more and so forth but are further encouraged to sit at home and order food and watch a movie of ever repeatative vaLUE. Our world wont last that long enuff for these freaktastic mad scientists to go too much further,

Im serious look around people who read these threads and ones like it are far and few, its like we are the last of a understanding that we need to progress and grow not stand still and wollow.

Nature for one is not going to let us do so. We will be shaken off like fleas.

Genetics should be left to the things that controll them best, Nature.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:53 PM
reply to post by Tranceopticalinclined

I agree, we should let Nature do the work. Although I do feel that types of 'husbandry', especially in the agricultural world is important. Its the reason that farmers used to save their seeds, the traits that help the crop best survive in that mini eco system get passed to future generations, and the traits that are not needed get breed out.

I foresee a terrible blight of all GMO foods in the future. Either manmade as population control, or accidental and misinformed like the Irish Potato Famine, which occurred because only two strains of potato were grown in Ireland. The dependency on a crop that had only been grown at that point for no more than 300 years, is similar to the worlds forced dependency on GMO foods. Although the dependency in our case has been much faster and the egos involved dooms the nature of our food supply. Heirloom seed keepers are forced to destroy their seeds because of possible 'contamination' from GMO genetics and therefore 'illegal use of their patents and copyrights'.

My question, what happens if somehow this 'copy-written genetic material' gets into the code of a human being, do these corporations have the legal right to 'destroy' that human because of infringement?

The whole thing is horrendous. Our nature seems to be the pornographic lust of new technology without any care for its possible consequences. I could name countless cases from the past.

It makes me often wonder what the point of all this is. Perhaps I am one of the few that sees where this is going, and nothing about it looks good, unless we can break free of corporate controllers dictating to us, and stop lusting after the 'next big thing'


posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 09:15 AM
I think you're all missing the point here, we are as nature intended us to be, intelligent. We are indeed a product of nature, are we not? We definitely came from the earth, did we not? All this crap about we should leave it to nature is all bullocks. We are the ultimate being, we are greater than anything that has lived on the earth as far as we know. We are god, we are supreme, accept it. If nature was truly right for the task of creating life to remain in equilibrium with other life, it wouldn't have created us, am I right?

posted on Mar, 20 2008 @ 08:44 PM
reply to post by WiseIsAwoken

Actually, I think you might be wrong, if I could figure out exactly what you are trying to say.

I think you are trying to say it is good that mankind is screwing with dna, because he is 'all powerful' over all other animals. I disagree.

Mankind has no idea what the long term effects of manipulating the dna of our foodstuffs will be. Nor do we know exactly what we are doing when we recombine dna, and whether or not we are actually creating new flaws in are attempts to fool with 1000s of years worth of selective breeding in a natural environment.

Its okay to disagree.

Eidt to Add" We are not as 'intelligent' as you would like to believe...

[edit on 20/3/2008 by DocMoreau]

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