“Edunia” the plantimal

Posted by on April 14th, 2011 in art, gardening, genetics, identity

This may look like an ordinary Petunia, but it’s just a little bit more than that. This photo is taken from WIRED UK’s image gallery of the works on display at Dublin’s Science Gallery’s Human+ exhibition, and the flower has been created by Biological artist Eduardo Kac combining his DNA with the flower’s, using genetic engineering.

It’s best explained on the artist’s website:

The central work in the “Natural History of the Enigma” series is a plantimal, a new life form Kac created and that he calls “Edunia”, a genetically-engineered flower that is a hybrid of Kac and Petunia. The Edunia expresses Kac’s DNA exclusively the red veins of the flower. The gene Kac selected is responsible for the identification of foreign bodies. In this work, it is precisely that which identifies and rejects the other that the artist integrates into the other, thus creating a new kind of self that is partially flower and partially human.

Art today, tomorrow yet another ‘perfect gift for the person that has everything’. In fact, I don’t think it’s too morbid to suggest this could also be a way to honour the passing of a loved one, letting a piece of them live on in a family garden.

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