Living Forms (of Art). Edoardo Kac's Transgenic Art between Ethics and Aesthetics

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The Twentieth Century produced a remarkable progress in physics and biology, thanks to the support of new technical instruments, generally enlarging the horizon of scientific research. The genetic alterations are tolerated in those fields, such as medicine, where they are beneficial to man, whereas they provoke perplexity and anxiety in the artistic field, where the intervention on living forms, since it is not justified by a principle of utility, seems to fall into futile hedonism. After a brief review of the main theories on the relationship between ethics and biotechnologies, started in the 70s, we will analyse some transgenic works by the Brazilian artist Edoardo Kac, in order to, on the one hand, emphasize the ethical, philosophical and social value of these living forms of art, and on the other, clarify how the arrival of new technologies has influenced the transformation of traditional aesthetic categories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolutions of Form
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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