• Paradise Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution
  • Aziz+Cucher, Eduardo Kac, Heather Acroyd and Dan Harvey, George Gessert, Alexis Rockman, Laura Stein, The Tissue Culture Project
  • Paradise Now: Video screening
  • Genome Project : online and video
  • Generating ideas: guest speakers: Steven Lam,AAP; Judith Hersschman, Arts Librarian; Alan Michelson, Architecture and Design Librarian
  • Discussion of our collective surfing/research/reading
  • Working definitions: culture, art, science, memes
  • Projects: Design by Sequence and individual project/paper (see assignments)
Reading/Surfing   Assignment

Generating ideas:
Using the Ideas Journal format:

  • Find 10 references/links of interest to you about genomic art, genetics, science as culture, or a related topic.
  • Record the exact search terms you used.
  • Cite each reference in MLA citation format.
  • Annotate each reference: Write a brief list of key ideas from each reference and your thoughts about them in your ideas journal.
  • Send by e-mail to instructor.
    Due Wednesday, April 16, 2003 by 12 NOON.

Reading response:
Complete the reading/surfing and write a one page Reading Response. (Typed, double spaced, 1 inch margins)
Due week 3 in class, April 17, 2003.

Design by Sequence: Assigned today.
This project is due/ you will present your work, Week 7 in class.

  • Be prepared to present your project proposal week 4 in class to the group.

Be prepared to discuss these ideas, links and the readings in class.


Paradise Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution

paradise now exhibit  

Exhibition: Exit Art, New York,NY, September - October 2000.

Curators Marvin Heiferman and Carole Kismaric included the work of thirty-nine artists, from the United States and Europe, which dealt with human genetics, the genome project, gene therapy, cloning, race, privacy and genetic identity.

In their afterword for the exhibition, the curators state that their "challenge was to survey how artists, at the beginning of what is clearly an evolving exploration of genetics, were revisiting one of the oldest, grandest, most basic subjects of art - what it feels like and what it means to be human. "[1]

From the Exit Art webpage statement about Paradise Now:

"Paradise Now is the first major exhibition to identify key work by artists who are examining the meaning and urgent implications of dramatic breakthroughs in genetic research, and is the centerpiece of a city wide program. The artworks on view in Paradise Now are of the moment-that is, innovative in content or rendering--and include both seminal works that have become benchmarks in the field as well as new work being exhibited for the first time. Media encompasses installation and mixed-media works, interactive and on-line projects, photographs, painting and sculpture. Works address a number of major issues, including:

  • Race - The implications of genetic research confirming that humans of all races are 99.9 percent genetically the same.
  • Economics - Ownership of genes and whether they should be patented and sold to the highest bidder
  • Reproduction - Germ-line gene therapy and how it could be used to design babies and/or improve the health of human beings before they are born.
  • Privacy - DNA identification and who has access to the information
  • Health - How gene therapy and new technologies will be used to prevent and treat disease
  • Food Safety - Risks and benefits of genetically engineered food crops and animals Featured Works From the Exhibition

Paradise Now is divided into two sections:

  • Works addressing research into the nature of the human genome.
  • Works exploring the implications of biotechnology on animal and plant life."

The artworks in Paradise Now:

  • reflect on the process, meaning, and ramifications of genetic research and attempt to embody complex, abstract concepts
  • raise questions about the social, ecological, economic, and ethical implications of scientific breakthroughs and genetics, such as the modification of human cells, nature, and food
  • draw our attention to the science and the intersections between science and human creativity and imagination
  • explore the meaning of identity and the options that can alter our understanding of individuality
  • make us revisit our notions of race, the inevitability of disease and death, and our need to control our bodies, our lives, and our fate
  • address the relationship of imagery and genetics - nature and aesthetic


  George Gessert
  Eduardo Kac
  Alexis Rockman
  Ackroyd and Harvey
  Laura Stein

Working Definitions

Working definitions: art and science
The art of looking




  Paradise Now:
  Exit Art:
  Images: Exit art,,
  The Ephemeral in Focus: an Artistic and Scientific Exploration into the Futitive Nature of Green, Focusing on Chlorophyll in the Leaves of Grass:
  The Ephermeral in Focus
  Additional photographic photosynthesis works:
  Hyperspectral Imaging Leads to New Art Form, Greener Lawns
  Leonardo Electronic Directory:
[34] (Guyana)
[36] (mud drawings)