Conversations with Art, 2005
Materials: audio, video

Exhibition History:
Elastic residence, London for msdm's: Protest Academy


Amy Franceschini, Art Shapiro

Relative urls:
Elastic residence
msdm's: Protest Academy

Fall of Genetics in Russia: Transcribed from Video
The story in a nutshell is...

Do you know who Luther Burbank was?
Luther Burbank was an amateur plant breeder.
He lived in Menlo Park, CA
He developed a reputation as a wizard of plant breeding.
He came from the same the same folk tradition in plant breeding as a man in Russia named Ivan Michurin
Michurin and Burbank (for that matter) believed in the inhertance of aquired characteristics.
That you can induce changes in the hereditary material. And in the lifetime of an organism
And it would be passed on to its offspring.
An agronomists Trofim Denisovich Lysenko was a plant breeder who claimed to be following the tenets of Michurin.
And gained the ear of Stalin. He convinced Stalin to put him essentially in charge of all genetics and in fact of all biology in the Soviet Union. The reason for this was that Mendelian genetics appeared to threaten the viability of the “soviet communist project.” The soviets had the aim of creating a so called, New Soviet Man who would be not only socialized to be cooperative, but biologically by nature that way. And the idea was that if you raised the children for several generations in a communist atmosphere and prevented their contamination with capitalist exploitative ideas, you would change their biological nature.
Mendelian genetics said, “it doesn’t work that way”
Lysenko said, “of course it works that way!
And the wish was father to the thought and as a result. Mendelian genetics was outlawed in the soviet union and Michurianism and Lysenkoism had the force of law. It was the only genetic theory permited in the Soviet Union.

Very bizrre story. Before this Russia had been the world leader in genetics. And nearly all their geneticists either emigrated or ended up dying the Gulag. That’s how Theodosius Dobzhansky one of the greatest geneticist of all time ended up in the US in the 30’s.

Lunchbox Lab
Photosynthesis Robot
Rainwater Greywater System
Garden Trike
Pogostick Shovel
Seed Library
DIY Algal Hydrogen Bioreactor
Homeland Security Blanket
Botanical Gameboy
Sundial Watches
Solar Music Boxes
Board Game

Public Projects
F.R.U.I.T. Network
Bingo: Field of Thoughts
Lofoten Game of the Future
Fingerprint Maze
Neighborhood Acts
Holding Patterns
The Human Knot

Amy Franceschini
Michael Swaine
Rich Humphrey
Albert Coleman
Sebastian Stjfl
Stijn Schiffeleers
  Futurefarmers: Culivating Consciousness since 1995