Humans have been editing and toying with the DNA of non-human animals for decades. Take Dolly the cloned sheep, Belgian Blue cattle with artificially increased muscle volume, disease-resistant piglets with faster growing rates or a genetically engineered monkey, macaque adaptus, with an introduced human brain-development gene. The time has come to switch the focus of our attention.
Duna, a group of three Czech activistic visual artists, has designed the fictitious Adaptus concept that revolves around a little black box the size of an electronic cigarette. The core ideas of the project are based on the book by Timothy Morton, Dark Ecology, that deals with the unavoidable “Moebius Strip” of living in the Anthropocene era.
“Morton explores the logical foundations of the ecological crisis, which is suffused with the melancholy and negativity of coexistence yet evolving, as we explore its loop form, into something playful, anarchic, and comedic. His work is a skilled fusion of humanities and scientific scholarship, incorporating the theories and findings of philosophy, anthropology, literature, ecology, biology, and physics. Morton hopes to reestablish our ties to nonhuman beings and to help us rediscover the playfulness and joy that can brighten the dark, strange loop we traverse.”
Within this hypothetical concept, The Adaptus box is used by a group of ecology fanatics and biohackers who use it to merge their own DNA with the one of nearly-extinct species to become the first interspecies hybrids, forever wiping away the thin line between human and non-human animals. After all, it has been us who, biasedly and full of pride and hubris, made the distinction.
The Adaptus exhibition has been put on display in the NOD Gallery as a part of the ROXY Visuals event, the 4+4 Days in Motion festival, and the Prague’s grassroots Nika and Berlínskej Model galleries. It has also been made into an editorial for the Hugo Zorn magazine and the Duna group has further illustrated an interview with Timothy Morton for the Rajon magazine.
DUNA (self-described) / The visually-activistic group Duna is a project in which we focus on the relationships between living organisms and their environment, social relations, and global Anthropocene problems. In our work, we have been inspired by the reality we experience ourselves, including the augmented one, which spans speculatively into the sci-fi genre with elements of mystification and exaggerated advertisement strategies.