Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Abstract

Although touted by promoters as the cutting edge of food science, meat produced in vitro (rather than from a whole animal) is emerging more directly from developments in fine art—more specifically, from the aesthetic experiments of Australian-based artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, who ask: What language do we have to describe the agency of tissue-cultured life? This essay begins to answer this question by tracing a tradition whereby bioengineered meat mediates complex environmental critiques in literary fiction over the past century, including Margaret Atwood’s exemplary novel Oryx and Crake (2003), which depicts biotech industries producing three distinct kinds of “real artificial meat,” all sourced in genetically modified animals.

Comments

Originally published: Configurations, 2010, 18:181–197 DOI: 10.1353/con.2010.0006 © 2011 by The Johns Hopkins University Press and the Society for Literature and Science.

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