Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) | Eduardo Kac | Stelarc | Joe Davis | Karl Sims | Eva Sutton | Daniel Lee | Susan Alexjander | Polona Tratnik | IN VIVO - IN VITRO


by Eva Sutton

“I've spent a lot of my life working and playing with computers, mostly writing software. This kind of work makes you think a lot about how to break down large, complex ideas into smaller, modular components - little ideas that you can understand, translate into an abstract language, and ultimately build back up into a new whole. Years ago, I was designing software for scientific instruments. These machines detected and measured the presence of radioactively tagged molecules within biological samples. While I worked with this data, I realized that the kind of modular thinking I was applying to software design was also being applied by others to biological systems, a process that was clearly not a passive endeavor. The human body and, in fact, all life forms, were being analyzed as a system of components at the molecular level, components that could be understood and manipulated. The potential consequences of this manipulation profoundly affected me. Ever since, I have been utterly fascinated by molecular biology and its offshoot, genetic engineering. What boundaries should we draw between nature and science? How much manipulation can take place before something natural becomes something artificial? "Systems" that we can imagine - be they perfect strawberries, perfect chickens, or perfect babies - can be designed and built. But what are the consequences of achieving perfection? “

Eva Sutton

Eva Sutton is an artist and programmer living in New York. Her current work explores the boundary between static images and interactive databases; in which users change the visual state of the system without interrupting the "realistic" continuity of a "whole" image. Her interactive print "Hybrids" was featured in "Paradise Now" which explored artists' responses to current issues in genetic engineering. Eva has had a previous life as a software engineer working primarily in the fields of biotechnology and large-scale database management, and later as a senior network administrator at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her work has been featured at Aperture, SIGGRAPH, ;the National Center of Photography in Paris, and the on-line sites Digital Imaging Forum (, and She has lectured on issues in art and technology at Princeton, New York University, The Cooper Union, and the Hong Kong Center for the Arts. Currently, Eva is an associate professor at the Rhode Island School of Design where she has developed the curriculum in digital media and is designing a digital media graduate program.