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Real and Imaginary Mutants


Kratz, S, Real and Imaginary Mutants, Unhallowed Arts Festival, Old Customs House, Freemantle, Western Australia (2018) [Published Creative Work]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 the creator

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Real and Imaginary Mutants forms part of the artist’s ongoing engagement in art and science practice. The work was initially researched and developed during a bioart residency at Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University in the Netherlands in 2013 funded by The 2012 QLD Premier’s New Media Scholarship from QAG/GOMA.

The work consists of a series of drawings composed of ink and coloured protein pigment created from the membrane vesicles of genetically engineered archaebacteria developed by researchers from the Leiden University Biophysical Organic Chemistry/SSNMR group. Rendered in a style reminiscent of 19th century scientific illustration, the drawings reference concepts of the monstrous in the popular imaginary of Western culture, as well as imagined contemporary biotechnological mutants. By melding fictional representations with ‘real’ mutant elements (the coloured pigment), the work comments on the difference between imagined constructs of the ‘mutant’ as a monstrous chimera of multiple species and the realities of contemporary biotechnologies that are often invisible to the naked eye and involve subtle changes to single amino acids. The expanded series also includes drawings that comment on the impact of the media on public perceptions of biotechnologies and the fear and fascination that boundary transgressions and challenges to established systems of power inspire. The works contribute to the field of bioart by bridging the divide between fine and biological art by combining drawing with advances in bioengineering.

Item Details

Item Type:Published Creative Work
Keywords:Bioart, Drawing, Mutants, Mutagenesis, Archeorhodopsin, Bacteriarhodopsin, Biongineering
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Visual arts not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies
UTAS Author:Kratz, S (Dr Svenja Kratz)
ID Code:135899
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Art
Deposited On:2019-11-20
Last Modified:2020-02-24

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