Faces of BioArt: Eduardo Kac and His Transgenic Organisms

15/01/2016 - 2 minutes

Last week I talked about my experience meeting Susanna Hertrich at the Art Laboratory Berlin, and now I move to Eduardo Kac, who actually coined the term ‘BioArt’. As a US-Brazilian from Rio, Eduardo has developed a global reputation as a ‘Transgenic Artist‘.

One of Eduardo Kac‘s most famous pieces, ‘Genesis‘ (1999), was a transgenic showpiece of Synthetic biology. After obtaining genes from a custom gene sequencing biotech, he inserted the genes into E. coli, which he then cultured. This petri dish was placed in a box under a UV light which could be activated by online viewers, who could see Genesis by webcam.

Then there was the glow in the dark transgenic rabbit, ‘Alba the GFP Bunny’ (2000). Kac collaborated with a French laboratory to insert the green fluorescent protein gene (GFP) from the jelly fish Aequoria victoria into a white rabbit egg, which he planned to adopt after the exhibition (but the laboratory revoked the right to do so).

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