516 ARTS announces Artificial Selection, a group exhibition bringing together art, science, myth and technology. It examines contemporary artists’ responses to the processes of adaptation, mutation and survival when the natural order distinguishing species or machine becomes less distinct. Gene manipulation in plants and animals to enhance or specialize performance or product yield has been a historically long-standing human practice, including the controversial “selective breeding” in humans with the study and practice of eugenics. Yet today, no longer shrugged off as the stuff of science fiction or fantasy, genetic engineering and other advances in technology have offered up the real possibilities of super-humans, “designer” babies, sentient robots and hybrids of any variety of combinations of human-animal-vegetable-machine. Hybrids pervade our mythologies and religions and continue to play an influential role in the way we perceive our capabilities as a creative species. Whether pursuing power, progress or pure experiment, do we fully understand the consequences of artificial selection? The exhibition features local and national artists with work in photography, painting, sculpture, interactive video, ceramics, installation and robotics.
Additional programming in collaboration with UNM ARTS Lab.