Closed Reality — Embryo


The pro­ject is an inte­rac­ti­ve game played on the Internet whe­re two users, cho­osing among dif­fe­rent gene­ti­cal­ly deter­mi­ned tra­its, cre­ate vir­tu­al embryos – the­ir own vir­tu­al progeny.

Multidisciplinary art pro­ject, 1999 – 2000

Authors: Andreja Kulunčić (visu­al artist, pro­ject mana­ger and con­cept) / Trudy Lane (desig­ner) / Gabrijela Sabol (soci­olo­gist) / Matija Pužar (pro­gram­mer) / Ivo Martinović (pho­to­grap­her)


The cre­ated embryos are exhi­bi­ted in an “embryo gal­lery”, and all data is sto­red in the data­ba­se,

In the second pha­se of the pro­ject, the soci­ety of vir­tu­al people cre­ated by Internet users is com­pa­red with the inha­bi­tants of a “real” society.

In 1999, the pro­ject was simul­ta­ne­ous­ly exhi­bi­ted in the Miroslav Kraljević gal­lery in Zagreb and at the International Video and Media Art Festival VIPER in Switzerland, which allowed visi­tors on both exhi­bi­ti­ons to cre­ate vir­tu­al embryos with an unk­nown player (part­ner) on the other side.

During the first six mon­t­hs of the pro­ject, pre­sen­ta­ti­ons and dis­cu­ssi­ons on the topic of clo­ning and gene­tic engi­ne­ering were orga­ni­zed at the Center for Women’s Studies in Zagreb, at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, at the Palach club in Rijeka, at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics in Zagreb, at the Otok gal­lery in Dubrovnik and at Peace Studies in Zagreb.

After six mon­t­hs, the resul­ts of the pro­ject were pre­sen­ted at an exhi­bi­ti­on in the Miroslav Kraljević gal­lery (from April 11 to 21, 2000). The work con­ti­nu­ed with eve­ning tal­ks and lec­tu­res on the appli­ca­ti­on of gene­tic engi­ne­ering to humans. The inten­ti­on was to shed lig­ht on the pro­blem from mul­ti­ple aspec­ts with the help of experts from dif­fe­rent fiel­ds of sci­en­ce. At the “for and aga­inst” dis­cu­ssi­ons, experts who have a posi­ti­ve atti­tu­de towar­ds the chan­ge in gene­tic engi­ne­ering con­fron­ted tho­se who poin­ted out possi­ble pro­blems in its deve­lop­ment. All tho­se inte­res­ted are invi­ted to par­ti­ci­pa­te in the conver­sa­ti­on after the lec­tu­re, as well as to pre­sent the­ir tho­ug­h­ts and views via mailing list, video recor­din­gs, at discussions…

The pro­ject exhi­bi­ti­on in the gal­lery was set up as an acti­ve wor­ks­pa­ce whe­re the pre­sen­ted mate­ri­als cre­ated in the pro­ject — sta­tis­tics, books, video recor­din­gs of lec­tu­res and dis­cu­ssi­ons, CD-ROM and Internet site — were ava­ila­ble to visi­tors for research.

The pro­ject has par­ti­ci­pa­ted in over 20 dif­fe­rent exhi­bi­ti­ons and fes­ti­vals aro­und the wor­ld, among the most sig­ni­fi­cant are the Youth Biennale in Rome, the Mediaterra Festival in Athens, the Media Arts Festival in Osnabruck (Germany), the FILE Festival in Sao Paolo, the Ambijenta exhi­bi­ti­on in Sarajevo, the exhi­bi­ti­on in Brewery Project in Los Angeles, the Double Life exhi­bi­ti­on in Vienna, the Tell a Story exhi­bi­ti­on at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, at the India Triennial…

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