is a five-year creative media project conducted between artists Jennifer Willet and Shawn Bailey.
BIOTEKNICA is a fictitious corporation, which explores notions of reproduction and self/other distinctions in relation to evolving biotechnologies. BIOTEKNICA projects its viewers into the future, where within our virtual laboratory designer organisms are generated on demand. However, the organisms produced by BIOTEKNICA do not adhere to the structures and functionality normally manifest in nature. Similar to mutations depicted in The Fly, Rosemary’s Baby, and Alien Resurrection, our specimens are irrational and grotesque. They are modeled on the Teratoma, an unusual cancerous growth containing multiple tissues like hair, skin, teeth, and vascular systems. Monstrous as this may seem, scientists today see the teratoma as an instance of spontaneous cloning in nature, and are conducting research on the Teratoma with the goal of developing future technologies. BIOTEKNICA both embraces and critiques biotechnology, considering the contradictions and deep underlying complexities that these technologies offer the future of humanity. BIOTEKNICA is a timely meditation on the ultimate fragility of the concept of a natural body.
In the past, BIOTEKNICA has manifest as a purely multimedia production/installation. However, now we are taking steps to bring our theoretical specimens out of their virtual environment and in to the laboratory. In Summer of 2004 we were invited to work as Research Fellows at the SymbioticA Art/Science Laboratories at The University of Western Australia, where we began preliminary investigations into growing organic prototypes that serve as new representations of our product line. Here we have been working with tissue culture protocols in the production of artwork as pioneered by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, of the internationally recognized Tissue Culture and Art Project (TC&A), and SymbioticA founders. In 2005/2006 we will return to Perth to complete the BIOTEKNICA: Organic Tissue Prototypes in collaboration with TC&A.
In conjunction with this line of research we have developed a new web work entitled BIOTEKNICA: Corporate Art for a Corporal Public with the assistance of artist/programmers David Jhave Johnston, and David Bouchard. This site mobilizes the construct of a corporate interface, in conjunction with critical art production in the development of a complex, unraveling experience for the viewer. The cool and clean design, combined with grotesque and clinical imagery culminates in the interactive Virtual Laboratory Software, now available on line.
BIOTEKNICA: Corporate Art for a Corporal Public is the logical web extension of the complex component driven art/research project BIOTEKNICA.