Art as a Life Form


Victimless Leather by TC&A

A couple of years ago, I remember toying with the idea of using living organisms to create art. I had a few different ideas that did not materialize. Specially after having a very tough time trying to define for my self what the moral/ethical limit of art.


~Guillermo Varga

After researching projects such as Guillermo Habacuc’s “Exposición N° 1” (above) I had a more clear understanding of my stance on the matter of using animals as art.


~Damien Hirst


~Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is also an artist that has made a large body of work with organisms including sharks, sheep and cattle to name a few. Both of these artist used animals as their subjects even-though their message was very different.

The digital age has brought us different concepts relating to art. New points of view regarding esthetics and the meaning of visual information has take a new direction. In the mid 1990s artists pioneered into the new world of digital information. http://wwwwwwwww.jodi.org/, http://graffitiresearchlab.com/ and 60X1.com/ are groups that broke way from traditional art creation into the digital realm. Current art trends and our increase in technology and understanding of our world has lead many artist to branch out into various fields that where previously reserved for institutional research only, one of them being Biology.

Recent pioneers of this art include Eduardo Kac and his GFP BUNNY
Where the bunny’s genes where modified so that it adopted the gene found in jellyfish to make the bunny glow in the dark.


GFP BUNNY, Eduardo Kac

The Tissue Culture & Art (TC&A) Project is a group of people using Biology to create art. Victimless Leather is a project where leather is grown into a fully designed Garment. This project was shown at the Design and the Elastic Mind show at MoMA New York, USA

Victimless Leather, TC&A

MeArt is a semi-living artist which is part robot part neural tissue matter.


MEART, SymbioticA Research Group

MEART, SymbioticA Research Group

Earlier this year there was a iGEM competition at MIT, where collaborators from the University of Texas and UCSF unveiled their modified E. coli which acts like photographic film.

Engineered E. coli bacteria, UCSF and the University of Texas

Engineered E. coli bacteria, UCSF and the University of Texas

Latent Figure Protocol by Paul Vanouse, 2007 is a project that used the dna of organisms to create art. The DNA is processed with gel electrophoresis and shown via projection, live.

Video File


Latent Figure Protocol, Paul Vanouse, 2007

Latent Figure Protocol, Paul Vanouse, 2007

There are a variety of artists that have taken a path that some may consider a little extreme other may think its just, the moral discussion behind these works continues and artists keep pushing the limits of their craft. As progression of technology brings new understanding of life it also brings new methods and inspiration to create art.