Ethics 2

2) A second type of ethics concern was raised by a number of arists involved in the exhibition “Transbiotics” and by scholars working at the intersection between art and research.

A problem that has been widely discussed (see the recent book Tactical Biopolitics 2008, MIT press ) but that won’t be solved any time soon is: how does the artist/researcher deal with the problem of exhibiting a work that engages with controversial and easily instrumentalized biomaterial and biotechnologies? How can the artist stir a critical discussion when her work is often seen as an embellishment, as an annoyance for the scientist she is working with (Kathy High), or her work is shut down by popular (and often wrong )assumptions  (Tagny Duff)? In addition, a lot of artists/researchers do most of their work in labs. However, most of this process will never be experienced by the audience, who will have to rely on documentation and pictures that simplifies the whole research  and gravely limits it to mere artifact, or gallery object. while attempts to transfer entire labs into the gallery have been successfully accomplished, they are still rare, as the artist is left to fight against health and safety and ethical committees.