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Richard Pell: That was then. This is now. (2015)

GLOBALE: Exo-Evolution – Artist Talks

Category
Lecture/Talk
Date
31.10.2015
Description

The Center for PostNatural History is a museum based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dedicated to the collection and exhibition of life forms intentionally and consistently altered by human culture through processes such as domestication, selective breeding, and genetic engineering. The idea of the post-natural includes familiar organisms such as farm animals, pets, decorative flowers, and laboratory organisms. By breeding plants and animals for traits that we desire, humans also influence their evolutionary path. In doing so, we alter the form and function of the living world in ways that are often surprising.
That was then. This is now. is a selection of specimens representing points of interest in a chronology of guided evolution over the last 10,000 years. Beginning with the first domesticated animal, the dog, and the agricultural innovation of corn, the chronology covers a more recent genetic modification, a goat which produces spider silk in her milk, and ends in the present, examining the ongoing real-time evolution of bacteria in the Heurisko evolution machine. Each of these specimens has a rich evolutionary history, but unlike specimens on display in a natural history museum, post-natural organisms may also be viewed as artifacts of culture. They are living embodiments of human desire, hunger,
power, and fear.

Video Documentary:

ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

Camera: Rabea Rahmig, Jonas Pickel
Editing: Jonas Pickel

Participants
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