«Pour produire un monstre, c’est une pauvre recette d’entasser des déterminations hétéroclites ou de surdéterminer l’animal. Il vaut mieux faire monter le fond, et dissoudre la forme. (…). Et il n’est pas sûr que ce soit seulement le sommeil de la Raison qui engendre les monstres. C’est aussi la veille, l’insomnie de la pensée, car la pensée est ce moment où la détermination se fait une, à force de soutenir un rapport unilatéral et précis avec l’indéterminé. La pensée “fait” la différence, mais la différence, c’est le monstre. (…) La différence doit sortir de sa caverne, et cesser d’être un monstre; ou du moins ne doit subsister comme monstre que ce qui se dérobe à l’heureux moment, ce qui constitue seulement une mauvaise rencontre, une mauvaise occasion. Ici, l’expression “faire la différence” change donc de sens.» – Deleuze, Différence et Répetition.


«In “Nature?” I have created live butterflies where their wing patterns were modified for artistic purposes. Such changes were achieved by interfering with the normal development of the wing, inducing the development of a new pattern never seen before in nature. The butterfly wings remain exclusively made of normal cells, without artificial pigments or scars, but designed by an artist. These wings are an example of something simultaneously natural, but resulting from human intervention. The artistic intervention leaves the butterfly genes unchanged. Thus, the new patterns are not transmitted to the offspring of the modified butterflies. The new patterns are something that never existed before in nature, and that rapidly disappear from nature not to be seen again. These artworks literally live and die. They are an example of art with a lifespan – the lifespan of a butterfly. They are an example of something that is simultaneously art and life.» – Marta de Menezes, “Nature?” (1999-2000), developed at the laboratory of Professor Paul Brakefield, University of Leiden, Holland, with the scientists: A. Monteiro, M. Bax, K. Koops, R. Kooi and P. Brakefield.


«For both Bicyclus anynana and Heliconius melpomene butterflies, one wing has a ‘natural’ design, whereas the patterns on the other has been artificially modified. (…) This work was produced in collaboration with the biologist Paul Brakefield, who specializes in the evolutionary development of butterfly wing patterning. Unspecified types of ‘modifications’ were applied to the caterpillar during its transition to butterfly pupae. Tools used include microsurgical needles, red-hot cauterizing needles and tools for micrografting. The micromanipulation of the wing imaginal disk results in new, non-intuitive patterns that affect the colour and design elements, such as new eyespots. The wounds are small and heal seamlessly and painlessly because the pre-wing disks do not have nerves. (…) The presumption that these humanly modified butterflies carry out a ‘normal’ life remains untested.» – Nature.


[NOTE: From personal design of Nature to the fabrication of living animals stamped with brand logos is only a small step. Brands everywhere, death everywhere].

The tyranny of the single viewpoint

David Hockney’s “Secret Knowledge” (2002).

«Photography is usually seen as the start of something, but it is in fact the end of something. The artist’s hand in the camera was replaced by chemicals. After the invention of photography, painters no longer had the monopoly on images you could call “real”, “natural”, “true to life”. So artists began to look elsewhere for other ways for depicting reality. (…) The single viewpoint, the frozen moment, triumphed. With the advent of film and television, the tyranny of the lens was complete. (…) It is almost impossible to have more than one viewpoint. (…) A new tool has arrived: the computer. The computer allows us to manipulate images. Manipulate means “to use the hand”. The hand is back in the camera. (…) We seem to have forgotten some things that they knew in the past. You could say that we still live in a perspective nightmare. The single point of view will always restrict our perceptions. (…) It seems to me a great big beautiful world out there and we are hemmed in. Don’t you want to get out to see a bigger space, a bigger picture? I think we do. Exciting times could be ahead.»

War on all fixed forms

«I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms. I am one of millions who do not fit in, who have no home, no family, no doctrine, no firm place to call my own, no known beginning or end, no “sacred and primordial site.” I declare war on all icons and finalities, on all histories that would chain me with my own falseness, my own pitiful fears. I know only moments, and lifetimes that are as moments, and forms that appear with infinite strength, then “melt into air.” I am an architect, a constructor of worlds, a sensualist who worships the flesh, the melody, a silhouette against the darkening sky. I cannot know your name. Nor you can know mine. Tomorrow, we begin together the construction of a city.»

– Lebbeus Woods (1940-2012), in War and Architecture, 2002, p. 1.