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Eduardo Kac on Transgenic Animals as Art

Genetic Crossroads
January 7th, 2001

Eduardo Kac will give a lecture titled "From Telepresence to Transgenic
Art" on January 29, 7:30 pm, at 160 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley. Kac is
a Chicago Art Institute professor who persuaded French geneticists to
produce a rabbit that glows in the dark by injecting rabbit zygotes with
a fluorescent protein gene derived from jellyfish. Kac says he intended
the fluorescing rabbit to start a public dialogue on biotechnology.

Kac's plan to create transgenic animals has generated controversy since
he first announced it at an Ars Electronica gathering in 1999. "It's one
thing for an artist to experiment on a canvas, but it's entirely
different to experiment on a living creature," said Ellen Ullman, author
of "Close to the Machine." Ullman pointed out that the harm isn't limited
to the modified creature. "What does it do to a society to casually create
fluorescent dogs?" she asked. (See Tom Abate, "Artist Proposes Using
Jellyfish Genes to Create Glow-in-the-Dark Dogs," SF Chronicle, 10/18/99.)

Info on the lecture: <http://www.ieor.berkeley.edu/~goldberg/lecs/>, or
contact Ken Goldberg, <[email protected]> or 510-643-9670.
See also Kac's website: <http://www.ekac.org/chitrib.html>.


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