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October 1, 2019 | Patti Mulligan

October 17, 2019–March 15, 2020
Art's Work/Genetic Futures

Image: Maria McKinney, Longevity/Apoptosome, from the series, Sire, 2016. Courtesy of the artist

for immediate release | Full Press Kit

Raleigh, NC – NC State University Libraries and the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center present Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology, opening at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design on Thursday, October 17, 6 to 8 p.m.

Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology: Shaping Our Genetic Futures (Art’s Work/Genetic Futures, is an art-science exhibit and symposium of artists, scientists, and humanities scholars, led by the NC State University Libraries and the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center, held at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, the physical and digital display spaces of the University Libraries, and the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA). These activities will elicit discussion about genetics in society through the lens of contemporary art and offer viewers new ways to think about their potential roles in the genetic revolution.

By combining science and art and design, the artists, and artworks chosen for display, contextualize genetic engineering by bringing it out of the lab and into public places; challenging viewer’s understandings about the human condition, the material of our bodies, and the consequences of biotechnology. The exhibition, symposium, integrated curriculum, and cross-campus dialogues will raise awareness and discussion about biotechnologies and their consequences in our society while drawing in art practices for reaching new communities.

Exhibition Catalog

A full-color, 146-page, printed catalog of the exhibition is available through UNC Press. The catalog is also viewable as a PDF online here.

This major exhibition at the intersection of art and biotechnology elicits discussion about genetics in society through contemporary art in order to offer viewers new ways of thinking about their roles in potential genetic revolutions. Through their works in this exhibition, artists have addressed questions about biotechnology beyond those typical in scientific conversations, including questions of access, sex and gender, race, the rights and roles of animals, and the involvement of corporations. Artworks include a collage made of hand-dyed toothpicks, clovers which produce mostly four leaves, an outdoor sculpture invoking novel ecosystems, a die casting device for mice, a spittoon used to collect samples to create a collective DNA fingerprint, and the early-stage research toward a female sperm.

“Biotechnology and art are fascinatingly intertwined. From our aesthetic appreciation of plants and animals that brought about breeding regimens, to art about ethics in the genomic age, these artworks invite the public into the conversation about the history, philosophy, politics, and future of biotechnology.”

– Hannah Star Rogers, Exhibition Guest Curator, and Visiting Scholar, University of Edinburgh

The artists represented in Art’s Work/Genetic Futures draw on a number of artistic and design traditions to produce their work. In various measures, many of the artists have engaged with bio-art, worked with performative interventions, or produced projects influenced by speculative design. When we think of art and genetics together, we reach toward understandings about the human condition, the materiality of our bodies, and the consequences of biotechnology in ways that are uniquely possible through combining bench science and contemporary art. These analytical and speculative works help us imagine the implications of modern biotechnology practices, encourage us to reflect on historical and contemporary methods of genetically modifying organisms, and implicate us in the choices around the ethics, politics, and social practices of genomics.

Schedule of Events

List of Artists

Links to bios and artwork images. High-resolution PRESS IMAGES available in the full press kit.


Hannah Star Rogers
Exhibition Guest Curator, and Visiting Scholar, University of Edinburgh,

Evelyn McCauley
Marketing and Communications, Gregg Museum of Art & Design at NC State University,

The Gregg Museum of Art & Design is a free collecting and exhibiting museum with more than 35,000 objects in its permanent collection. From 19th-century Japanese color woodblock prints and antique quilts to contemporary photography and industrial design, the Gregg’s objects span cultures, disciplines, and genres.

Patti Mulligan
Communications Director, GES Center, NC State University,
Exhibit site:
Twitter: @GESCenterNCSU; #ArtsWorkGeneticFutures

Genetic Engineering and Society Center | Integrating scientific knowledge and public values in shapes the futures of biotechnology.

Request Full Press Kit

Includes information on press access at the Exhibition Opening, plus links to high-resolution images, captions, and credits. Mini-Press Kit available at

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