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Week 26
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Design and biotechnology:an exploration of the possibilities of objectifying living organisms. Oron Catts

Design and Biotechnology: an Exploration of the Possibilities of Objectifying Living Organisms.

by Oron Catts



The Journal of the School of Design Issue number 4 , 1996 In this paper I will look at current artistic trends, as well as recent developments in biotechnology that in the future may transform living organisms into objects. The concept of technological progress as a part of a linear perception of history that may exceed its limits is analysed, and the need for re-evaluating the concept of progress is emphasised. The role of biotechnology in technological progress, as well as the potential of biotechnology to change our perception of progress by applying natural processes in most basic terms, is highlighted. The relationship between art and technology is examined and shows that in some cases art explores technological advances before they occur. The work and the views of body artists Stelarc and Orlan are discussed, as well as those of some other artists. Bioethics is introduced as a scholarly way to examine biotechnological development, and it’s revealed that not much has been done in respect to issues that are not directly connected to humans. This area seems to be where design can come in and explore the prospects of living objects and their manipulation. The need for a closer relationship between design and biotechnology, in order to produce a better future, concludes this paper. [read here]