Monday, January 28, 2013

Bio-Art: Pigs Might Fly.

The phrase "when pigs fly" means that something will never happen. For example: "Sure, I'll vote Republican...when pigs fly." (No offense to any Republicans out there; I was merely using political views as an example of usually-unchangeable things.)  Flying pigs are not expected to exist, ever, but that is not the way science works. "Impossible" is one of those words that science wishes did not exist.

The kicker? Flying pigs could exist if someone really wanted them to. Ever so slowly, the impossible is becoming quite possible. Soon, pigs will be able to fly; conveniently,  a certain bio-artist has made the idea come to life. Well, sort of.

"Pigs Might Fly" is another taxidermy piece by British artist Damien Hirst. It sold in the September of 2008 in an art auction that totaled 198 million dollars - a record for a one-artist auction. For those of you unfamiliar with Hirst's work, this blog has plenty of it. Among his more memorable pieces are a fully-soaked shark, a mother and her calf bisected, and a cow with gold-plated hooves.A flying pig is just another drop in the bucket.

Like many of Hirst's works, this flying piglet is hovering in a bath of formaldehyde. The piglet has pure white dove wings attached, ready to take flight - if only there wasn't a glass wall in the way. The pose of the piglet is stunning, and definitely merits this being art. That is one realistic flying pig; no wonder it sold for so much.

Photo by CBS.

Think that this is something only a taxidermist would dream up? Hardly. There are viruses that rewrite DNA called "retroviruses." Gene splicing is already a thing. Give it time before they make a live flying pig. Hirst has already made the blueprints.

So, pigs can fly. What are we going to say is impossible now?


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