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Adopt an Embryo

2020, Test tubes, Petri dishes, Polymer clay, Resin, Wood, Dimensions variable

Adopt an Embryo acts as both a physical artwork and psychological experiment by presenting the viewer with a choice; allowing them to pick their own hypothetical child (embryo). Presenting the viewer with a choice of superficial traits in their 'future child' promotes a question of both self-perception and peer-perception - seeing a choice of embryo as equivalent to shopping for materialistic items, selecting what they want for themselves, or what is perceived as ideal in society. Each embryo is paired with an organ system with a genetic or auto-immune complication - there is no child without imperfection. The question arises of whether the viewer is satisfied or whether they would change their initial decision. Changing an initial choice would deem the ‘parent’ superficial or intolerant, are they dissatisfied for the child, or for themselves? By staying with their choice they are deemed tolerant and kind, but do they have complete tolerance of all humans no matter what? Or do they only think of themselves, in that others will be cynical if they reject the outcome they chose?

It should be noted that the embryos depicted are at an approximated interpretation of 6-week old embryos and are similar in size to the actual organisms at this stage. Human skin colour develops in a later stage of development (around 32 weeks), much after the embryo is considered a foetus at around 12 weeks. This trait is not considered in this artwork/societal experiment for this reason. This work is strictly hypothetical and is intended to bring about discussion, no decision should be interpreted as correct or incorrect, just or unjust, as personal preferences are non-linear and there are various factors to consider. My place in the creation of this work has been from a point of complete neutrality on the issue, I do not have distinct opinions on whether technologies of this nature are right or wrong and present the work from an unbiased perspective.

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