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This innovative volume is the first to address the conservation of contemporary art incorporating biological materials such as plants, foods, bodily fluids, or genetically engineered organisms.
 
Eggshells, flowers, onion peels, sponge cake, dried bread, breast milk, bacteria, living organisms—these are just a few of the biological materials that contemporary artists are using to make art. But how can works made from such perishable ingredients be preserved? And what logistical, ethical, and conceptual dilemmas might be posed by doing so?
 
Because they are prone to rapid decay, even complete disappearance, biological materials used in art pose a range of unique conservation challenges. This groundbreaking book probes the issues associated with displaying, collecting, and preserving these unique works of art. The twenty-four papers from the conference present a range of case studies, prominently featuring artists’ perspectives, as well as conceptual discussions, thereby affording a comprehensive and richly detailed overview of current thinking and practices on this topic. Living Matter is the first publication to explore broadly the role of biological materials in the creative process and present a variety of possible approaches to their preservation.
 
The free online edition of this open-access publication is available at www.getty.edu/publications/living-matter/ and includes videos and zoomable illustrations. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBI downloads of the book.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
  2. open access
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  1. Half Title Page
  2. p. 2
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. 3
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  1. Copyright
  2. pp. 4-6
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 7-9
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  1. Foreword
  2. Timothy P. Whalen
  3. pp. 10-11
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  1. Preface
  2. Rachel Rivenc and Kendra Roth
  3. pp. 12-15
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  1. Keynote: In the Unpredictable Garden of Forking Paths
  2. Adrián Villar Rojas and Sebastián Villar Rojas
  3. pp. 16-89
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  1. Part One Living Matter in Contemporary Art: Snapshots
  2. pp. 90-91
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  1. 1 Biological Material Indeterminacy Rebukes the Social and the Artistic: Cases from the Documentary Archives of the Arkheia Documentation Center, Mexico
  2. Eugenia Macías & Cristina Reyes
  3. pp. 92-111
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  1. 2 Can We Use the Concept of Programmed Obsolescence to Identify and Resolve Conservation Issues on Eat Art Installations?
  2. Claudia María Coronado García
  3. pp. 112-129
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  1. 3 The Artist’s Body in the Age of Genomic Reproduction
  2. Barbara Ursula Oettl
  3. pp. 130-150
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  1. 4 The Eternal Metabolic Network: Fluxus, Food, and Ecofeminism
  2. Natilee Harren
  3. pp. 151-173
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  1. 5 Plump and Pliant: The Preservation of Bacterial Cellulose in Textile Bioart
  2. Courtney Books
  3. pp. 174-198
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  1. 6 Some Survive, Few Are Conserved, Even Fewer Can Travel: Paradoxes and Obstacles in Maintaining and Staging Biomedia Art
  2. Jens Hauser
  3. pp. 199-223
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  1. Part Two Working with the Artist: Between Conservation and Production
  2. pp. 224-225
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  1. 7 Preserving Mortality through a Sacrifice for Your Country: A Performance by Carlos Martiel and a Conservator’s Challenge
  2. Flavia Perugini
  3. pp. 226-244
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  1. 8 Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and Innovation in the Exhibition of Living Matter at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe: The Case of the Planetary Community Chicken Exhibition
  2. Davison Chiwara
  3. pp. 245-260
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  1. 9 The Life-Death Movement of Fruits, Tubers, and Vegetables in Nydia Negromonte’s POSTA
  2. Magali Melleu Sehn
  3. pp. 261-276
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  1. 10 Conservation/Restoration of Biological Material in Contemporary Art: A Perspective from Academia in Collaboration with Artists
  2. Ana Lizeth Mata Delgado
  3. pp. 277-295
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  1. Part Three Living Matter: Challenging Institutions
  2. pp. 296-297
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  1. 11 Killing with Kindness? The Challenges of Conservation and Access for Living Matter
  2. Marcia Reed
  3. pp. 298-320
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  1. 12 Flora and Fauna as Art: A Contemporary Art Conservation Approach to Living Systems
  2. Sherry Phillips and Sjoukje van der Laan
  3. pp. 321-339
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  1. 13 Conserving Active Matter in Contemporary Design
  2. Jessica Walthew and Sarah Barack
  3. pp. 340-363
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  1. 14 Research, Conservation, and Exhibition of a Contemporary Art Installation Containing Living Organisms as Part of the Creative Process
  2. Claudia Barra, Cristina Bausero, María Pía Cerdeiras, Silvana Alborés, Belén Estévez, and Soledad Martínez
  3. pp. 364-384
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  1. 15 When Installation Art Depends on Live Surroundings to Survive
  2. Camilla Ayla Oliveira dos Anjos and Magali Melleu Sehn
  3. pp. 385-403
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  1. 16 Building Communities and Conserving Living Matter in the Collection of the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC-UNAM, Mexico City
  2. Claudio Hernández
  3. pp. 404-414
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  1. Part Four Different Approaches and Responses
  2. pp. 415-416
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  1. 17 Stabbing Our Own House: A Biography of Joseph Beuys’s Wirtschaftswerte
  2. Rebecca Heremans and Katrien Blanchaert
  3. pp. 417-441
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  1. 18 Pieces of the People We Love: Challenges in Caring for Works by Adrián Villar Rojas in the Moderna Museet Collection
  2. Thérèse Lilliegren, Tora Hederus, My Bundgaard, Sara Norrehed, and Tom Sandström
  3. pp. 442-462
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  1. 19 Nature and Its Energy: Considerations on the Processes of Conserving Organic Matter
  2. Mercedes Isabel de las Carreras
  3. pp. 463-474
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  1. 20 Conservation as an Enhancing Factor in the Interpretation of Living Materials Artworks
  2. Flavia Parisi, Maura Favero, Rosario Llamas Pacheco
  3. pp. 475-492
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  1. 21 A Crumb(ling) Display: Conserving Bread in the Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
  2. Mirta Pavić, Jasna Jablan, Ivana Bačić, and Harald Fitzek
  3. pp. 493-518
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  1. Part Five Artists’ Reflections
  2. pp. 519-520
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  1. 22 Living Matter: Research as Creative Process
  2. Gabriel de la Mora
  3. pp. 521-542
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  1. 23 Murmelte Instrumente: The Body, Like a Hand to an Instrument
  2. Kelly Kleinschrodt
  3. pp. 543-569
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  1. 24 Dissolving Matter: Notes on Símbolo descarnado
  2. Darío Meléndez
  3. pp. 570-585
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 586-611
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 612-626
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  1. Symposium Participants
  2. pp. 627-635
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