Reprotech: Building Better Babies
New York Academy of Sciences
From conception taking place in test-tubes, to nuclear transfers in petri dishes, to embryos that have been cryogenically stored like so much frozen food – high-tech ways and means are expanding far beyond the old carnal way of making babies. When posed with the classic quandary (where do babies come from?), will the mythology of life’s creation soon also include glassware and the bio-lab? Has the bundle-carrying stork been exiled from fairy-tales?
With the bio-printing of replacement organs and tissues on the research horizon, at what cost is this quest for immortality? What social consequences are in store when wombs can be rented through surrogacy contracts and children become the genetic product of three parents? When virgins can give birth and corpses can be fathers, what’s next? This talk will examine contemporary art practice as it relates to concerns generated by current reproductive