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BioMess, 2019

It is dated 2019. Its medium is specimins, hybridoma cells, display cases. It is a part of the department.

Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr probe the fetishization of technological approaches to life. BioMess is composed of 2 parts, presented in luxury display cases. The first consists of natural history specimens, illustrating adaptations that evolve in response to the environment and demonstrating that life is context dependent. The second presents a semi-living organism, designed by humans and dependent on technology—the bioreactor—for its survival. As humans engineer living systems, life forms are isolated and reduced to their component parts, in essence privileging information over context. As Catts asserts, “it is DNA chauvinism.”

It is credited Courtesy of The Tissue Culture and Art Project.

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  • Museum purchase through gift of Elsie De Wolfe.
  • 1950-90-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318798876/ |title=BioMess, 2019 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=1 October 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>