The Rookie

by Patricia Piccinini (2015)

The Rookie continues my long-term investigation into ambiguous convergence and hybridity in contemporary life. Set against the backdrop of the exponential progress being made in genetic engineering as a result of CRSPR techniques, this work responds on both a literal and a surreal level. It reflects on the emergence into the world of new creatures such as the Chinese ‘micropigs’. For $2000, consumers can purchase the world’s first ‘genetically customised’ pet. Of course we can argue that all domesticated animals are in fact ‘genetically customised’ through breeding, but these are the first to be directly engineered at a genetic level through a technique called CRSPR.

CRSPR seems set to do for GE what the PC did for computing - making it cheap and ubiquitous. For me, the interesting thing about the micropig is the nature of its’ particular adaptation: cuteness. What makes this particular organism uniquely adapted to its’ environment is its’ attractiveness to humans. Artificial evolution has selected for relative weakness and helplessness; the pigs they descend from are actually pretty fearsome up close. It is the micropig’s harmlessness relative to its’ human owners that will allow it to prosper. For me, this is a poignant and fascinating idea: Artificial evolution selects for ‘unfitness’ for the natural world.

Of course you could argue that this is all about making GE technologies like CRSPR less scary. Despite its’ massive implications CRSPR is still almost unknown in the wider world and a micropig is a pretty inoffensive organism with which to introduce it. It certainly garnered more positive headlines than the comparatively unsuccessful human embryo experiments which have already occurred.

Thus ‘The Rookie’; the first timer, the raw recruit, the novice. This is also a creature strangely adapted to its’ unnatural environment. It draws on the common morphological adaptations in nature that help creatures blend in with their environment, whether it is stick insects or owls. In the case of this creature, it is encased in a protective carapace that is derived from a football boot. However, perhaps like the micropig, it is The Rookie’s very vulnerability that is its’ greatest defence. 




“Your Place Is My Place.“ Rosi Braidotti in conversation with Patricia Piccinini by Rosi Braidotti and Patricia Piccinini

Interview for Fine Spind Denmark by Sophie Normann Christensen and Patricia Piccinini

Interview with Pauline Bendsen for Jyllands-Posten (Denmark) Jan 21, 2019 by Pauline Bendsen and Patricia Piccinini

Interview with Alvaro Fierro for JOIA Magazine 49 (Chile) 2018 by Alvaro Fierro and Patricia Piccinini

Interview with The Condition Report by Patricia Piccinini and The Condition report

Just Because Something Is Bad, Doesn't Mean It Isn't Good by Basak Doga Temur

Patricia Piccinini interviewed by Jane Messenger by Jane Messenger

Speculative Fabulations for Technoculture's Generations by Donna Haraway

The Naturally Artificial World by Laura Fernandez Orgaz and Patricia Piccinini

Border Patrol by Stella Brennan

We Are Family: Patricia Piccinini at the 50th Biennale of Venice by Linda Michael

Patricia Piccinini's Offspring by Peter Hennessey

Fast forward: accelerated evolution by Rachel Kent

One Night Love by Nikos Papastergiadis

Autoerotic by Amanda Rowell

One Night Love by Linda Michael

Atmosphere by Juliana Engberg

Biopshere by Edward Colless

Patricia Piccinini: Ethical Aesthetics by Jacqueline Millner

Patricia Piccinini - Early Installations by Peter Hennessey

The NESS Project and the Birth of Truck Babies by Hiroo Yamagata

Some thoughts about my practice by Patricia Piccinini

The Couple by Patricia Piccinini

The Field by Patricia Piccinini

The Bond by Patricia Piccinini

Some thoughts about Embryo by Patricia Piccinini

The Rookie by Patricia Piccinini

The Shadows Calling by Patricia Piccinini

Bootflower by Patricia Piccinini

Meditations on the continuum of vitality by Patricia Piccinini

Six observations about The Skywhale by Patricia Piccinini

Those Who Dream by Night by Patricia Piccinini

The Fitzroy Series by Patricia Piccinini

Eulogy by Patricia Piccinini

The Lovers by Patricia Piccinini

The Welcome Guest by Patricia Piccinini

The Observer by Patricia Piccinini

Aloft by Patricia Piccinini

Balasana by Patricia Piccinini

The Gathering by Patricia Piccinini

Perhaps the World is Fine Tonight by Patricia Piccinini

Bottom Feeder by Patricia Piccinini

Not Quite Animal by Patricia Piccinini

The Long Awaited by Patricia Piccinini

The Foundling by Patricia Piccinini

In Another Life by Patricia Piccinini

Big Mother by Patricia Piccinini

Bodyguard by Patricia Piccinini

Sandman by Patricia Piccinini

The Leather Landscape by Patricia Piccinini

The Young Family by Patricia Piccinini

Still Life With Stem Cells by Patricia Piccinini

Swell by Patricia Piccinini

The Breathing Room by Patricia Piccinini

Truck Babies by Patricia Piccinini

The Bond by Patricia Piccinini