Adam Zaretsky

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Adam Zaretsky graduated in Art Studio from University of California at Davis, 1995. He has an Art and Technology MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, 1999. He has two years experience as a Research Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Arnold Demain Laboratory for Microbiology and Industrial Fermentation, 1999-2001. He has two years experience as an Organic Farmer, working to aid subsistence farmers in such disparate climes as Guatemala, Sumatra, New York and Hawaii, 1993-1995. He also has two years experience as a sex worker/activist, gleaning the underbelly of our human behavioral repertoire for biological commentary on sexual variety, 1996-1998. .Adam Zaretsky has been published in Nature Magazine, Red Herring, Leonardo, The Washington Post and Johnny's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader. He has spoken at Harvard, NYU, CAA and SCIARC. As you look through the following documents you will probably notice, Adam is what is referred to as a BioArtist, a specialist in Art and Biology. For the past 3 years, Adam has creatively designed and taught VivoArts: Art and Biology Studio, an experimental 'living art' production class for: " Steve Wilson's Conceptual/Information Arts (CIA) department at San Francisco State University, 2001 " SymbioticA, The Art and Science Collaborative Research Laboratory at The University of Western Australia Department of Anatomy and Human Biology, 2002 " Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Integrated Electronic Arts Department, 2002-2004. What is VivoArts? The goal of this course is to create an open ended interface between life and the arts. To keep all expressive options dilated, the focus of the class is not on the logic of the biologic. Instead, our cultural relationships to the world of life are exposed in their contradictory and slippery illogics. The interfaces between human society and the ecosphere are identified, rethought and collaged together to form signs of definitional breakdown. Some initial categories for treating to artistic xenophilia: Food, Nature, Laboratory, Our Bodies and Pets. By defining where and how we interface with these lifeforms and by mixing these logics we arrive at unusual conceptual re-evaluations. Why Biotechnology and the Arts? For artists (and the public in general), laboratories are the most intimidating and foreign sites of bio-interface. We are also in the center of a wave of biological fetishism, which is likely to unfold into spurts of unbelievable difference in the coming years. Assuming we have not annihilated ourselves in aggressive tech-war maneuvers, there is a good chance that our kindred ten to twenty generations from now will be appear to be of non-human origin. For this reason, these places and the headspaces of their inhabitants need to be anthropologically explored before intelligent commentary can be made. Art and Biology Research: While immersed as a Researcher in the MIT Biology Labs, Adam created (in the lab) MicroSushi, First Attempts at Embryonic Transplant Surgery and The .PostHuman Herald all three of which were presented at SEAFair 2001 Skopje Electronic Arts Fair, Society and Genomic Culture, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. During his time at MIT, Adam also teamed up with Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr of Tissue Culture and Art in the Vacanti Lab of Mass General Hospital to design a proof of concept experimental 'Dynamic Seeding Musical Bioreactor' based on Adam's Experimental Fermentations known as The Humperdinck Effect. His time spent in the lab gave him the impetus to craft the concepts behind The Workhorse Zoo and MMMMÖ, both of which were funded by The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology. The grant in the amount of $20,000 was awarded to these support projects. The WorkHorse Zoo was presented at Unmediated Vision, Salina Art Center, Salina, Kansas, 2001 and MMMMÖ was presented at Biofeel, Biennial of Electronic Arts Perth, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, August 1-25 2002. The Pig Wings Project by the Tissue Culture & Art Project in collaboration with Adam Zaretsky was displayed at the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA on March 8 - May 25, 2003. This included a video of our dancing Biopolymers. The Langlois Foundation also helped fund Adam's BioArt Practice as an Honorary Visiting Researcher in the Department of Human Anatomy, University of Western Australia as a part of SymbioticA. While immersed as a Researcher in these labs, Adam created (in the lab), The Pineal Extendor, The Brainus/Analolly Complex and GLACK! These projects have gone on to exhibit in Australia, Macedonia and the USA. Vivoarts and the Body: Throughout his Career, Adam has consitantly explored Body Art, Sexuality, Sex Activism, ArtPorn and Fetishism as guiding forces for technological innovation and arenas to de-repress in the name of more pleasurable futures. His collaborative video Squart (w. Yoshie Suzuki) was confiscated from the PORN AR(t)OUND THE WORLD festival, 2002 by the Moral Police of Mechelen, Belgium. And he was the Curator of the Flesh Pod and Moderator of the panel: Transhumanism from the Inside Out: Flesh Creatives and the Ethics of Body Design at Version>03, Museum of Contemporary Art and Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois, 2003. While teaching at RPI, Adam wrote pFARM, the Power Farm conceptual sketch. He was funded by two radical, independent, local Woodstockers a total of $20,000 to develop and shoot the weeklong performance. pFARM is a Biotech-Intensive Fetish Powered Organic Farm Incorporated Cult Corporation. PFARM seems to incorporate the critical vantage points of Biotechnology, Fetish Industry/Underground and Alternative FarmingÖ Three Subcultures that Adam has spent Ethnographic Quality Time immersed in. In many ways pFARM .represents a thorough conglomeration of all the disparate complexity which informs Adam's visions of an erotically charged post-human vivocentrism. VivoArts and Animal Relations: Adam will continue to be an interested commentator on and practitioner of cultural aspects of biotechnological applications from both inside and outside the laboratory. But, in his course and art productions, he has expanded the realm of Biology to be inclusive of the entirety of the life world, hence VivoArts. Beyond the Biotechnological Arts, VivoArts includesÖ Ecology Arts, Gastronomic Arts, Body Arts, Breeding Arts and Animal Relation Arts. These subsets have become foci for his work, both professional and pedagogical. Just last year, RPI granted him the leeway to teach a new course, Animal Enrichment and Arts Studio, the first of it's kind. This class opened up a channel of communication between The World Conservation Society (formerly the AZA) and RPI. The students were encouraged to invent devices which might emulate the mysteries that zoo animals would have encountered on an everyday stroll through their natural environments. Young artists were invited to conceive of and prototype tools that accentuate the essential, animal urge-to-play by simulating avenues of vital exploration among animals in captivity. During this time, Adam also wrote, Rewilding the Americas from the Urban Out, 2003. Concepts of Rewilding and Enrichment have come to inform Adam's Ideas about the process of enculturation and the hopes for a life after deprogramming. My recent projects stem from the ecological, environmental and cultural oddity of 'our natural world' conceptualized through concepts of Rewilding, Enrichment and Wilderness Refuges. Adam Zaretsky URL: I have teaching experience in Video, Performance, Interactive design, Digital Audio Studio and Imaging. I also teach VivoArts: Art and Biology Studio that I believe is an emerging technology and arts field. I have had five major exhibitions in the past five years that exemplify my work. I also publish often and expect the coming year to find my writings appearing in quite a few books. Two articles are in the final phases: one on Bioart published by MIT Press and another on Surveillance Architecture out of SemioTexte, Columbia Philosophy. Having begun my teaching career at San Francisco State in Steven Wilson's Conceptual Information Arts program, I am well versed in the breadth of possibilities that fall under the rubric 'interdisciplinarity.' Art and Technology should not be limited to Art and Computer Science. Though I am prone towards an emphasis in Biology and Arts crossover, I also like my classes to emphasize: Art and Physics, Art and Robotics, Space Art and Ethnography as Art. I would certainly attempt to mimic SymbioticA ( ) in setting up an Art and Science Collaborative Research Library. I think it is important for both artists and scientists to interact with each other on more than a project-by-project basis. Immersion in the world of scientific study exposes artists to the 'other' culture and refines their process and commentary. Often hidden from ideas of free play and improvised action, some scientists glean healthy novelty and even inspiration through close contact with the less regal but often more innovative clan. An artist's laboratory and studio space co-run by artists and open minded scientists from within the space of a scientific department is one of my major goals for the next department which decides on my representation. I will continue to practice and theorize on the Body in Performance as a part of the Bioartistic experience. Dealing with such issues a Sexology, Biomophism and Surveillance, I will emphasize multi-person, interactive, mobile performances that reveal and entertain prospects of a post-repressive sex-positive future world. For a full review of this trajectory, you can ask Louise Poissant or Ernestine Daubner of l'UQAM about my concepts and presentation around the themes of BioPorn at the Art and Biotech conference they hosted last year in the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. Louise may actively froth at the mouth. I consider the badly named 'Modern Primitive' movement and the works of Orlan, Stelarc and the Vienna Actionists to inform if not underscore our hopes and fears for the outcome of the coming revolution in transgenic commodification. I am the son of a Behaviorist father and a Jungian, Critical Theorist mother. Donna Harraway helps me but so does Alfred Kinsey. I also will admit, I am an active student of Developmental Biology and Transgenic Theory and Practice. I do believe this is a transnational and diasporic issue for both humans and the rest of the lifeworld. Human desire is reshaping evolution for contentious ends. Designer babies, goat milk pharmacies, racialised germ warfareÖ the coming century will prove to be another test of world resiliency in the face of the least mature organismic organization, human culture. In the next two years, I will probably begin to undertake a PhD in Art and Biology, which will include practical transgenic production protocol. I plan to aid in the public perception of science, contribute to the debate on both social and legal bioethics and perhaps entertain a breeding program for an abject yet adept transgenic brood. I admit this is contentious, complex and even narcissist icily pretentious of me. I am highly critical of neo-eugenics movements and believe strongly in animal consciousness but I also understand the possibilities for new life and post-humanistic post humansÖ their anti-eugenic and complete (if foreign) consciousnesses. So, I would say that tells you quite a bit too much about my personal research goals. Exhibition Listing: The Workhorse Zoo: I lived for a week inside a Cleanroom with nine of the most important workhorse organisms of molecular biology. A resounding success and utter absurdity, this project was sponsored by The Langlois Fond. The Organisms: Bacteria - E. coli Yeast - C. cerevisiae Plants - A. Thaliana and Fresh Wheat Worms - C. elegans Flies - D. melanogaster Fish - D. rerio Frogs - X. laevis Mice - M. musculus Humans - H. sapiens An ethics quiz was developed from this performance installation experience, which was recently published in Russia: MMMMÖ MMMMÖ concluded my work at MIT in Industrial Fermentation and Vibration. The vibro-lounges were interactive, interspecies, dialogical, Audio/Haptic, videophonic installation. They were shown at PICA as a part of BEAP in 2002. This was also funded by the Foundation Langlois. GLACK: This is the non-verbal GLACK Attraction and GLACK Repulsion we humans feel when seeing what is in under the skin. Shot with a long rubber endoscope, GLACK reminds us all that we are fleshy body pods. Shown in 2004 as a part of Art of the Biotech Era, this 15-minute video is of food packed into tubes and shot with an endoscope. It is gross and mysterious if you don't know that its just peas and hamburger, etc. pFARM was a two-week performance and is still in editing as a longer video project. The concept is an organic-fetish-biotech company that uses submissives as human subjects in a pastoral setting. We performed public art and private sessions, adlibbed and obscured boundaries between these famously divergent cultural categories. Presented at MUS…E D'ART CONTEMPORAIN DE MONTR…AL, ART & BIOTECHNOLOGIES COLLOQUIUM - 2005 ADAM ZARETSKY, Artist; pFARM : Organic Biotechnology And Power Farming Ovarium 2005: A recent nine-day performance in Montreal under the pseudonym Andi Wallwhore and with the collaboration of Svetlana. was the brainchild of David Johnston of Concordia, CA. I share this with you to emphasize my alterity in the realm of performance and adjoining my Bioart career. In some ways we were interested in making fun of sedentary voyeurs. Though it was hoped that we might inspire others to enjoy nuanced and humorous approaches to debauchery, we also considered the cesspool of corporate masturbators out in the e-ether. For them we hoped to produce a libidinal short circuit.