P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
July 20, 2000
Artist Jeremijenko to Speak on New Works and Discuss Tree Logic
(July 20, 2000 -- North Adams, MA) On Friday, August 18, Natalie Jeremijenko, MASS MoCA artist-in-residence, will present the results of her weeklong residency at MASS MoCA. During the residency, Jeremijenko, the artist behind MASS MoCA's trademark Tree Logic, will be refining her "kits" for bioengineering in the home (offered to the public through her online magazine Biotech Hobbyist) as well as working on a project involving 10,000 ladybugs.
In creating her bioengineering kits, Jeremijenko's goal is to demystify the promise of genetic engineering -- she believes ordinary citizens should understand genetic engineering to such a degree that they can do it at home. Currently, genetic engineering is generally viewed with great hope or great fear; Jeremijenko's "kits" allow the general public to replace these extreme views with more tempered and better-informed ones. Her online publication Biotech Hobbyist Magazine ö www.irational.org/bioteck - describes itself as "the place on the Web for biotech tinkerers, builders, experimenters, students, and others who love the intellectual challenge and stimulation of hobby biotech!" Her first bio-kit is for human skin cultivation. As she writes in Biotech Hobbyist, growing skin is "at least as good as having a pet hamster, or a virtual kitten screen saver." She then proceeds to explain how to grow your own skin (using living skin cells, a nutrient, and an environment with a controlled temperature).
Jeremijenko's other residency project requires a freezer, a camera stand, 10,000 ladybugs, a digital-video camera with microscope lenses, a computer with a lot of memory (120 megs of ram), and two interns. She will use these tools to document the wide diversity of dot patterns on ladybugs, demonstrating that while they are genetically identical, there is actually a great deal of variation in the pattern of spots. As a rule, geneticists seek to find genetic causes for patterns and to exclude things that deviate from norm. For this project, Jeremijenko is using the language and tools of genetics to point out differences rather than similarities.
Jeremijenko will also discuss her now-famous work Tree Logic and invite questions and opinions from the audience as she explains the art behind the six upside down trees which have been hanging in MASS MoCA's Courtyard B for the past 18 months. "We've had a lot of reaction to Tree Logic from the community and we're pleased to be able to offer a forum for people to talk with the artist about the project," commented Laura Heon, MASS MoCA's Associate Curator.
This Australian born technoartist and director of the Yale University Engineering Design Lab uses science, technology and data to expose commonly known, but overlooked facts. Her Tree Logic which was installed last year at MASS MoCA and sponsored by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will, over time, vividly demonstrate the obvious fact that plants grow toward the sun. Other previous works include: Despondency Index, a motion-detection video system that recorded vertical motion from the Golden Gate Bridge for 100 days recording suicides, and graphing the relation of suicides to the stock market and other data; and Bang-Bang, a set of automated video cameras which are triggered by ammunition fire and record a few seconds of video after any explosive event installed in East Timor, Kosovo, and Los Angeles.
Tickets to Natalie Jeremijenko's talk are $5 and are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 10 am until 6 pm daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.
For Immediate Release