D N Eduardo

by John Sand

As technology continues toward its ever-expanding realm of understanding, scientists are questioning the biological definition of species. Eduardo Kac’s new exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum asks to bring those questions to the forefront of the art community.

Kac is well-known for his performance art which could be likened to science project. When he last showed at the Weisman, he was displaying a rabbit who had been infused with the fluorescent gene from a deep sea jellyfish, resulting in a hare that looked like it had been dipped in that radioactive goo from Alex Mac.

This year’s exhibition features a collaboration with University of Minnesota plant biologist Neil Olszewski. The main exhibit of the show is a petunia that has been infused Kac’s own DNA and produces entirely human protein in the veins of the flower, which Kac has cleverly dubbed an “Edunia.”

The plants asks what can possibly limit our creation if we are able to fuse two species in such a way to create an entirely new organism. What is possible next: the creation of mythical creatures in real time biology? Could we soon breed animals able to produce three fully-functioning human livers ready for transplant? The exhibition is possibly an enormous step in the way of reality becoming some Margaret Atwood science fiction novel.

The show runs from April 17th to June 21st, with an opening reception on April 17th featuring free food and beverages.