In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • VastalThe Vivoarts School for Transgenic Aesthetics, Ltd.
  • Adam Zaretsky

The VivoArts School for Transgenic Aesthetics, Ltd. (VASTAL), was formed in 2009 by Adam Zaretsky. The school was opened both as an artistic gesture and in order to make hands-on biotechnology labs more accessible to the public. VASTAL publically holds living-art performance labs with Unstill Life Studies (ULS) accompanying lectures in: 1. Ecology and EcoArt: Seed Bombing Lab; 2. Ethology and Art for Nonhumans: Enrichment Arts Lab; 3. Gastronomy and Edible Art: Hybrid DNA Isolation Lab; 4. Bioinformatics and DNA Literary Studies: (De)Mystified Genetic Code Lab; 5. Cell Biology and Tissue Culture Arts: Body Alterity Lab; 6. Developmental Biology and Mutagenic Art: Transgenic Embryology Lab; 7. Physiology and Body Art: Biotechnological Alterity Performance Lab. VASTAL public labs emulate the use of life as an artistic medium to analyze the aesthetics of transgenic technologies in both nonhumans and humans alike. VASTAL’s in-lab bioarts productions are also designed to increase the range of public perception about issues pertaining to transgenic technology. This includes the analysis of the ethical, legal, social and aesthetic differences and similarities between human Intentional Genetic Modification of the Human Genome (IGM) debates and nonhuman Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) debates. Video documentation of these science and art laboratories provides the data and extended theory, which the written dissertation supplements. This combination of investigation and practice shows how a variety of art and technology interfaces can explicate trans-species collage and bring the public closer to the resultant, actual beings of biotechnology, be they GMO or IGM.

Click for larger view
View full resolution

VASTAL living-art performance labs: (top) Ecology and EcoArt: Seed Bombing Lab run in collaboration with FoAM member Theun Karelse; (bottom) Cell Biology and Tissue Culture Arts: Body Alterity Lab run in collaboration with Oron Catts of SymbioticA and Tissue Culture and Art Project. Held in the Theatrum Anatomicum, Waag Society for New and Old Media, and at the Farmers’ Market of Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2009. (Photo: We Make Money Not Art, <>.)

[End Page 536]

Supplementary Material

The VASTAL Food Science and Gastronomic Arts: Hybrid DNA Isolation Lab (.mp4 113 MB)
[Click to Download] The VASTAL Food Science and Gastronomic Arts: Hybrid DNA Isolation Lab was run in collaboration with the food curator and eel wrangler, Patrick Faas, held in the Farmer's Market of Nieuwmarkt, May, 30, 2009. Presented alongside the labs were VASTAL-ULS Radical Food lectures by Patrick Faas and Michiel Korthals, held in Theatre Anatomicum, de Waag, June 2, 2009. Video direction, Camera and Edit: Jeanette Groenendaal and Zoot Derks,, from (©Adam Zaretsky)

Animal Enrichment and the The VivoArts School for Transgenic Aesthetics Ltd. (.pdf 18 MB)
[Click to Download] Inflexions 7, Edited by A.J. Nocek and Phillip Thurtle with Marie-Pier Boucher and Adam Szymanski TANGENT No. 7, ed. Marie-Pier Boucher and Adam Szymanski“, Animating Biophilosophy” (March 2014). 218-245.

Reading through Embryologist’s Eyes (.pdf 2 MB)
[Click to Download] in Metamorphoses of Corporeality: Art – Body – Technology Symposium proceedings, Ed. Dalila Honorato, Corfu: Ionian University - Department of Audio Visual Arts, 2015, pg. 327-362, (©Adam Zaretsky)

Adam Zaretsky
PhD diss., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, U.S.A., 2012.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
p. 536
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.