In “Nature?” I have created live butterflies where their wing patterns were modified for artistic purposes. Such changes were achieved by interfering with the normal development of the wing, inducing the development of a new pattern never seen before in nature. The butterfly wings remain exclusively made of normal cells, without artificial pigments or scars, but designed by an artist. These wings are an example of something simultaneously natural, but resulting from human intervention. The artistic intervention leaves the butterfly genes unchanged. Thus, the new patterns are not transmitted to the offspring of the modified butterflies. The new patterns are something that never existed before in nature, and that rapidly disappear from nature not to be seen again. These artworks literally live and die. They are an example of art with a lifespan – the lifespan of a butterfly. They are an example of something that is simultaneously art and life.
Exhibition rights were acquired by Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo (MEIAC), Badajoz, Spain. http://www.meiac.org/
Developed at the laboratory of Professor Paul Brakefield, University of Leiden, Holland,
with the scientists: A. Monteiro, M. Bax, K. Koops, R. Kooi and P. Brakefield.
Tags: installation, live organisms, bioart, manipulation, butterflies, biology, art, pattern, wing, lifespan, evolution biology.