Biology as Art

Recently got a mailing from one of the social sites (Groupon or Living Social) titled ‘You as Art’. If you didn’t think there was enough competition from real and imagined artists and images on the web, this shows it goes way beyond that. Some imaginative entrepreneurs offer enlarged and framed versions of many of your biological singularities at a price – and so it seems Piero Manzoni and his outrageous canned ‘artist’s shit’ from 1961 was way ahead of its time in many ways.  You can get your DNA scan, fingerprint, voice print, lip print, your profile carved in wood lathe, and more just with an order and PayPal. BUT IS IT ART? Is the essence of your biological makeup really part of any creative process? Is the “stuff” of who we are as individuals without a conscious process of visualization really art? I think not, ‘You as Art’ is more like a commercial appeal to narcissistic tendencies that Piero personally exploited so seamlessly and that appeal to of most individuals in art networks that consider themselves sophisticated and beautiful people.  It won’t be long before someone is also willing to can and label your own feces and offer it back to you at a markup – yet considerably cheaper than the hundreds of thousands of dollars Manzoni’s got at auction. Making contemporary art is so easy in the 21st century on the web! Have indigestion? Go make some art!

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