As said by Krystyna Wasserman, “to make books is to create physical form for ideas,” and this artist book embodies that ideology as it focuses on the ideas I have formed through a college semester learning about the different perspectives and argumentations on the ethics of biomedical enhancements, the specifics of gene mutation, make-up, replication, and the such, as well as laboratory research on gene editing using CRISPR technology. One argumentation opposing biomedical enhancements that eluded me was the idea that these interventions were wrong because they were unnatural, and by implementing them we were taking for granted the giftedness of a life we weren’t wholly responsible for having. So, the two-sided accordion named “NATURAL” AND “UNNATURAL” show how on one hand what is perceived as a ‘natural’ gene mutation in the body can come to damage it by creating cancerous cells, and on the other hand what is perceived as an ‘unnatural’ gene edit and mutation using CRISPR technology can be implemented to kill cancerous cells and cure someone of the disease. The square, solid, and symmetrical structure of the accordion reference the solidity of gene framework, while also addressing the equal importance of both perspectives on the matter. The cartoony style of the images and the included explanatory text are a way of allowing a broader audience unfamiliar to the biological specifics of gene mutation/editing to understand the processes to thoroughly question if the natural is truly good and the unnatural fundamentally bad, and what it could mean when questioning the ethics of biomedical enhancements.
Information Technology & Resources
John C. Hitt Library
Special Collections & University Archives
Book Arts & Typography
Prado, Claudia, "(UN)NATURAL" (2019). 14th Annual Student Book Arts Competition. 1.