Adam Zaretsky, (RPI E-Arts PhD Candidate)

Adam Zaretsky, (RPI E-Arts PhD Candidate)

April 26, 2011 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This lecture is part of the PhD Program in Electronic Arts Spring Colloquia series.

Adam Zaretsky is an artist, or "bioartist," who has worked as a research affiliate in Arnold Demain's Laboratory for Industrial Microbiology and Fermentation in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Biology. He received a master of fine arts degree in 1999 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied and researched with "transgenic" artist Eduardo Kac. Since then, he has worked with such pioneers of bio-art as Joe Davis, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr.  He is currently a PhD Candidate in Electronic Arts at RPI.

While humour remains a mainstay in Zaretsky's artwork and scientific practice, his endeavours are grounded in a very serious and complex understanding of biologic and genetic issues that are very much a part of contemporary society.  Zaretsky's bio-artwork is motivated by his own set of ethical quandaries prompted by past history. Biology has been used for aesthetic purposes before, of course to horrifying consequence. "We slide into eugenics... We haven't always shown the best of taste. Not that artists have always shown better taste, but they have shown obscure taste. If we start engineering for enhanced humans, then somebody has to engineer for 'punk' humans, for plaid humans. What I'm realizing is that we are coming close to genetically altering human beings according to popular fads."

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