Eduardo Kac: GFP Bunny

Interests in storytelling impact the media and the field of science journalism, as well. Throughout the 20th century, eye-catching images effectively focused public attention on, for example, on NASA’s extraordinary achievements. When the sequencing of genomes and debates about genetic modification made news at the cusp of 21st century, those stories proved harder to picture as dramatically. But soon after Eduardo Kac’s images of Alba, a transgenic bunny, appeared in 2000 the world took notice. Kac had collaborated with a French geneticist to insert a jellyfish gene–which produces a protein that fluoresces green when exposed to blue light—into a white rabbit egg. The straightforward photographs Kac subsequently took of Alba proved to be provocative themselves. Kac wanted his art project, GFP Bunny, to turn into “a complex social event” and it did. Photographs of Alba on the front pages of newspapers fueled dialogs about the economic, ethical, and cultural implications of genetic engineering that continue today. ”It’s easy to fear what we don’t know, that the transgenic is monstrous” Kac said. ”But when the transgenic is sitting in your lap, looking into your eyes, then the meaning changes.”

www.ekac.org/

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