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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere

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MIT List Visual Arts Center / Boston / Art

In 1997, the artist Eduardo Kac coined the term “BioArt” to describe his work, specifically a performance piece titled Time Capsule, in which he implanted himself with a tracking chip usually reserved for pets. A new exhibition at MIT brings together more than a dozen artists to explore bioart today. Whereas the bioart of the 2000s focused on how artists could assert mastery over technological and organic manipulations of the human body, the new generation of bioartists blurs the boundary between human beings and the biosphere, and looks to symbiosis, the scary and beautiful phenomenon of “with living.” Works on view include Kiyan Williams’s human effigy, which will gradually compost thanks to fungus, and an installation by Claire Pentecost that imagines a post-capitalist currency based on the value of soil. —J.D.

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