Expressing the Art Gene

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From the very beginning of its public life in the early 1970s, transgenic technology has been a controversial subject. Both 'high' and 'low' cultures have latched onto the image of genes and DNA as a new input into the decades old opposition between nature and nurture. Of course, as many scientists, and even artists, have pointed out, the matter is more complex, and the stakes are higher, than such terms can describe. What role is art playing in furthering our understanding of these technological and philosophical changes in how we view (and produce) life? A new colloquium on art and biotech, to be held at the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Montréal, will investigate some of the possibilities for answering such a question. From October 5-8, the numerous speakers and participants, including artists Suzanne Anker, Steve Kurtz and Eduardo Kac, will present their work and ideas on the themes of 'Intersections of Biology, Aesthetics and Ethics,' 'Artificial Life,' 'Genetic Art/Hybrids,' and 'Representations and Critical Strategies.' Registration can be completed on the website. - Ryan Griffis