Monday, February 11, 2013

Bio-Art: Lagoglyphs.

A while back, this blog did an entry on a piece called GFP Bunny. For those of you unfamiliar, an artist named Eduardo Kac commissioned a bunny with GFP running through her veins. The rabbit was never allowed to leave the lab, and supposedly died. Kac was mad, starting a "free Alba!" campaign and everything. As per the rest of the art project, the bunny was supposed to integrate with a human household. In protest, Kac made a rather sweet flag with a green bunny on it and put it outside his home. Cute.

This week's entry is not art of the actual rabbit. This is a spin-off that shows just how crazy things got over Alba. Kac, we know you loved your bunny, but a rabbit-based writing system is pushing it.

From Kac's site - more here.

Lagoglyphs are just that - pictograms (I think?) of rabbits printed on silkscreen. Each black drawing is overlayed with a green marking to allude to Alba's GFP-ness.  There are twelve bunnies per sheet, and 12 sheets total, making for a grand count of 144 rabbits. That's a lot of bunnies.

Just to clarify: No, Kac did not create a language based around rabbits. There is no spoken word to accompany these glyphs. There is no cipher to these rabbits. Each rabbit does not equal a phoneme. A writing system is not a language. Kac's a little off for drawing a dozen's dozen of bunnies, but he's not crazy enough to make rabbit-ese.

So, why did Kac do this? It is supposed to "allude to meaning but resist interpretation." Specifically, this piece is the counter to the hubbub generated around Alba. If I'm reading this right, it's basically an attempt to block out the noise- artistically. La la la la, these bunny rants mean nothing!

In a sense, however, Eduardo Kac's dream of having a genetically-engineered organism integrated with a household is slowly becoming a reality. GloFish spring immediately to mind; although not as interactive as a bunny, they're still pets.Glowing rodents are also a thing, and have supposedly been marketed as pets as well. (I saw a site that was supposedly selling glowing mice. It has since ceased to exist.)  How long will it be before Kac is finally reunited with his beloved Alba? Who knows. Just know that it'll happen with the way things are going.

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