The Ethics of Transgenic Art
Jennifer Hood The Ethics of Transgenic Art Final 2.pdf (1.717Mb)
Hood, Jennifer L
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Is biotechnology an appropriate and ethical medium for contemporary art? In the past decade, the line between science and art has become increasingly blurred as artists have begun to harness the accelerating developments of the life-sciences to produce new breeds of living 'artworks'. Such endeavours likewise present new ethical complexities not previously encountered through traditional applications of biotechnology, thus requiring the development of a new normative approach to tackle this collision of aesthetics and ethics. Utilising the analytical and theoretical discourses of art theory, animal ethics, bioethics and the philosophy of art this dissertation considers the ethics, and value of, artistic practice, specifically transgenic art, which utilises contentious forms of animal biotechnology for aesthetic purposes. Although demonstrably socially and cognitively valuable in instigating debate concerning our relationships with non-human life, through this analysis, particularly through the discourses of animal and bioethics, transgenic art emerges as a methodologically deeply unethical practice due to its manipulative instrumentalisation of animal life. In determining this, it is then possible, through the lens of the philosophy of art to consider more holistically the role which ethics should, or should not, play in regulating artistic practice, and the possibility of developing more ethical, and optimistic, approaches to the aesthetics of animal representation.