by Patricia Piccinini (
In this work we see a relationship, between a mother and a transgenic child, that is both deep and ambiguous. Obviously, the child has a strange physiognomy. The back is essentially the sole of a running shoe. On one level this refers to the common evolutionary trait where animals - such as stick insects for example - disguise themselves as part of their environment which highlights both the strange and super-specific cleverness of evolution alongside the deeply specific connections between species and their particular environments.
In this case, the animals mimicry of a piece of consumer sportswear locates it totally as a product of our world. Secondly, it evokes the idea of the protean amorphousness of the body, as it is understood in the age of biotechnology. Bodies are never final or even particularly specific. The universality of DNA means that organisms can be changed and manipulated, crossed and hybridised with elements from completely outside their realms. This crossing of an animal with a shoe doesn't seem so surreal anymore. But it is.