Knowing Animals Reading Group August 27 'Real Artificial'

The discussion on Monday 27 August will continue our exploration into the relationship between animals and  biotechnology.

This time through McHugh's consideration of the artistic work of Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr and the creative writing of Margaret Atwood. The reading is Susan McHugh's "Real Artificial: Tissue-Cultured Meat, Genetically Modified Farm Animals, and Fictions." Configurations 18 (1) (Winter) pp.181-197,2010.

Where: The Linkway, L4, John Medley Building (Building 191), The University of Melbourne
When: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 27th August, 2018

All welcome, please join us for the discussion


Although touted by promoters as the cutting edge of food science, meat produced in vitro (rather than from a whole animal) is emerging more directly from developments in fine art-more specifically, from the aesthetic experiments of Australian-based artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, who ask: What language do we have to describe the agency of tissue-cultured life? This essay begins to answer this question by tracing a tradition whereby bioengineered meat mediates complex environmental critiques in literary fiction over the past century, including Margaret Atwood's exemplary novel Oryx and Crake (2003), which depicts biotech industries producing three distinct kinds of "real artificial meat," all sourced in genetically modified animals.