Cynthia ODell

[UN]Natural 1
Light Jet Photographic Print; 40 x 30 in.

After hearing Michal Pollan describe how flounder genes are put in tomatoes so they can travel at long distances without freezing, I was inspired to make this body of photographic still life exploring biogenetic engineering. Principally, I am interested in what we expect of nature today. I created images that focused on doll parts and biological connections with rather bizarre and absurd results. These images equal my feelings towards BT corn and monster seeds. I feel that genetically modified crops are repulsive, bizarre, absurd and lack thought in regard to global biological impact. Because of this I became my own mad scientist in the lighting studio creating small, perishable, hybrid sculptures which I hope will make the viewers question their own fragility and identity in the midst of scientific and corporate driven biotechnologies which are hardly questioned in the United States.

Ultimately, I am interested in how the current genetically engineered experiments and foods, which have become so prevalent in American grocery stores, will change our lives, our bodies and our notions of gender? What will happen to our humanity and how will our notions of what is natural and unnatural change? But most importantly, how might these choices affect species development, our health and the environment? Although, I think the notion of “natural” as we currently know it is a myth, what will our new “natural” be and ultimately at what cost?

© Cynthia ODell