EDUARDO KAC (US)
JUNE 29 TO AUGUST 05
ARSENAL ART CONTEMPORAIN
BIO - EDUARDO KAC
Eduardo Kac is internationally recognized for his telepresence and bio art. A pioneer of telecommunications art in the pre-Web '80s, Eduardo Kac (pronounced "Katz") emerged in the early '90s with his radical works combining telerobotics and living organisms. His visionary integration of robotics, biology and networking explores the fluidity of subject positions in the post-digital world. His work deals with issues that range from the mythopoetics of online experience (Uirapuru) to the cultural impact of biotechnology (Genesis); from the changing condition of memory in the digital age (Time Capsule) to distributed collective agency (Teleporting an Unknown State); from the problematic notion of the "exotic" (Rara Avis) to the creation of life and evolution (GFP Bunny). At the dawn of the twenty-first century Kac opened a new direction for contemporary art with his "transgenic art"--first with a groundbreaking piece entitled Genesis (1999), which included an "artist's gene" he invented, and then with "GFP Bunny," his fluorescent rabbit called Alba (2000).
Eduardo Kac’s Inner Telescope is an artwork that was made and presented in outer space. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet realized it aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017. It was specifically conceived for zero gravity and was not brought from Earth: it was made in space by Pesquet following the artist's instructions.
The artwork was made from materials already available in the space station. It consists of a form that has neither top nor bottom, neither front nor back. Viewed from a certain angle, it reveals the French word “MOI” [meaning “me”, or "myself"]; from another point of view one sees a human figure with its umbilical cord cut. This “MOI” stands for the collective self, evoking humanity, and the umbilical cord cut represents our liberation from gravitational limits.
Inner Telescope is an instrument of observation and poetic reflection, which leads us to rethink our relationship with the world and our position in the Universe. Since the 1980s, Eduardo Kac has been theorizing and producing art and poetry that challenge the limits of gravity. His Space Poetry manifesto was published in 2007. In 2017, Kac finally realized the dream he has pursued for more than 30 years: the creation, production and experience of a work directly in outer space.
The astronaut's mission was entitled "Proxima" and was coordinated by the European Space Agency (ESA). Kac's work was coordinated by the L'Observatoire de l'Espace, the cultural lab of the French Space Agency.