Green Kitsch

Beloff, L. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference presentation


The art works emerging from the field of biological and biotech arts have been primarily following the visuality adopted from laboratories and scientific experiments; they are often
incorporating petri dishes, glassware, and clinical machine-parts. Amongst numerous artworks one can pinpoint works created with different aesthetics, which could be described to be excessively cute or a result of ‘a poor taste’. This is the generic definition of kitsch.
To consider something what is green, biological and created by natural forces to be kitsch seems unfit; rather natural and kitsch are easily seen in opposite corners. Our cultural history presents various examples of artifacts that can be considered kitsch, which incorporate natural forms and matter, and constitute “relics out of things whose value emanated from their intrinsic relationship to life […]” (Olalquiaga 1998).
The talk focuses on kitsch and biological living organisms especially in the recent years’ practices of biological and biotech arts. The author points towards questions concerning aesthetics of living organisms when biotechnological possibilities are enabling ‘the look’ of an organism to become a design choice. Like Abraham Moles has said that “there is something kitsch at the bottom of each one of us” (Moles 1975).
Period9 Oct 2020
Event titleRIXC Art and Science Festival: Ecodata
Event typeFestival
LocationRiga, Latvia
Degree of RecognitionInternational