Report from OFF PICNIC: PostNatural Organisms
What can we learn from a red canary, albino frog and an alcoholic rat? Bio-artist Rich Pell brings the story of human-altered organisms to Waag Society.
In the exhibition ‘PostNatural Organisms of the European Union’ bio-art artist Rich Pell tells the story of the growing pace at which man is altering the organisms around him. The exhibit features 11 preserved specimens of life forms that were intentionally altered by humans using the processes of domestication, selective breeding and genetic engineering.
Did you know that Aztecs were the first to breed the ancestor of the modern Chihuahua? Or that we owe a big thanks to frogs because they played a major role in the development of the birth control pill? The exhibit also looks at the underground vault in the Norwegian Arctic Circle storing millions of the world’s most important seeds to preserve our organic heritage.
The exhibition takes place in The Theatrum Anatomicum at the Waag, which was once the home of a cabinet of curiosities by famous Dutch anatomist and pioneer in techniques of presvation, Frederik Ruysch.
The exhibition is hosted by Waag Society, a Dutch institute for art, science and technology that develops creative technology for social innovation. The foundation researches, develops concepts, pilots and prototypes and acts as an intermediate between the arts, science and the media. Waag Society cooperates with cultural, public and private parties.
Contributed by Aram Balian; photo credit Rich Pell