Winter 2009: v.05 n.03: AGRIART: COMPANION PLANTING FOR SOCIAL AND BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
This edition of Media-N, “agriART: Companion Planting for Social and Biological Systems” evolves out of an exhibition at the Fine Arts Gallery, George Mason University, Virginia in spring 2009. These artists and researchers investigate “agri-Art”, a field emerging out of bio-art, and a term coined for artwork that: “critically engages with cultures of food production and consumption as a specific site of biopolitics” (Mark Cooley and Ryan Griffis).
GUEST EDITOR’S STATEMENT
In the beginning “…God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’ (Gen. 1:26).”
Much has been made in the last 10 years of contemporary art practices that treat life forms as the raw materials for aesthetic practice. These works, generally corralled together under the term bio art, have largely become known for introducing previously unexplored tools of science and industry (e.g. biotechnology and transgenics) into the mix of new media art practice and discourse. Recent books and exhibitions have seemingly solidified bio-art’s place within the new media field – Eduardo Kac’s two surveys come to mind,Telepresence & Bio Art (2005) and Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond (2009), as well as the exhibition “Paradise Now” (2000). (For a critical review of “Paradise Now”, see Stevens, Jackie, “The Industry Behind the Curtain”, http://www.rtmark.com/paradise.html, accessed October 27, 2009) Bio art adds living material to new media’s focus on the transformation of experiences into transferrable information.