Endless Forms Most Beautiful, 2006

In my piece, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, the setting is a laboratory and the nine forms represent enlarged seedpods in the process of genetically modification. In GMO science three main techniques are employed for implanting genes into the seed cell – developing tumors, electricity, or a gene gun. In this imagined lab my forms reference these processes through the shape of the seedpod (with growths on the form), the materials used (pierced by electrical capacitors) and scientific equipment (pipets injecting DNA).

Many of the seedpods are created from actual seeds.  In some cases the forms are seductive and beautiful. This represents the intellectual arguments used by the chemical companies to expand their research through the patenting of seeds (11 billion to date), gradually gaining corporate control of food production. There is also an element of the grotesque in other seedpods, suggesting a darker side to the shrinking of seed biodiversity. This hints at hidden dangers.  Some genetically altered seed contains a terminator gene that ensues its infertility and lack of ability to reproduce. Could this government - patented suicide gene pollutes all crops around the world?  What impact does this have on third world countries that no longer control the productivity of their own food?

The fictional laboratory created contains a small selection of heritage seeds (original, unaltered) that are set to one side. They exist as a miniaturized version of our past, something that is not available any more .The glass flasks and plastic tubing represent both an aspect of this genetic modification process and, more importantly, the interconnections we humans have with the plant world.  I wish, as co-inhabitants of this earth we might agree to negotiate more checks in how far we go in our manipulation of the planet


Endless Forms Most Beautiful, 2006             Approximate size: 6 feet x 30 feet x 10 feet (size variable)

Mixed Media Installation:
Seed pods: wire, foam paint, pink, blue, yellow and turquoise pipets, ceramic capacitors, dyed sponges, lemons, gourds, speaker wire, tea leaves, banksia leaves, corn flowers, horsetail, chicken bones, shotgun shells, acacia seeds, sedum seeds, ginseng, corn stalks, poppy heads, cap-tubes, dyed cotton wool, sand, tea bags, thread, gel, dracaena stalks, kelp, floats, seaweed, Mexican vine, Iris stalks, metal, plastic tubing, glass flasks, wood, Wolf Willow seeds, Chinese Blue Lantern, Speckled Horsehair Lichen and Eucalyptus seeds.

     
Detail
 
Detail Detail Detail
 
Endless Forms Most Beautiful,  2006 - 2011
 
Detail of Heritage Seeds,   2006 - 2011
   
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