Chicago artist Eduardo Kac became infamous last year for "Alba," an albino rabbit genetically engineered to glow green under blue light.
The Promise: Genetic art can help provoke public dialogue about bioengineering and its effect on society. The artists involved in Paradise Now, a fall 2000 exhibit at New York’s Exit Art gallery, raised important questions about biotech’s impact on our food supply, intellectual property laws, and notions of individuality. Photographer Kevin Clarke, who makes portraits out of representations of people’s DNA, is one innovator who actually uses the tools of molecular biology to make his art.
The Peril: While most types of genetic art are environmentally benign, some critics believe that projects like “Alba” cross the same line as the technology they purport to critique.