Recently, Chicago "artist" Eduardo Kac struck a deal with the National Institute of Agronomic Research (a French biotechnology center) to create a new kind of rabbit.
Using a process called zygote microinjection, scientists pocketed Kac's cash, and injected modified protein cells from a fluorescent species of jellyfish (Aequorea Victoria) into a fertilized rabbit egg cell. The cell was then implanted into a surrogate rabbit's womb. The so-called "green-gene" replicated as the fetus grew, and made its way into every cell of its body. The result: Alba--a glowing phosphorescent-green rabbit.
Kac (rhymes with hack), sees the scheme as a living arts and crafts project. He calls it, "Transgenic Art," and claims it is "a new art form based on the use of genetic engineering to transfer natural or synthetic genes into an organism, to create unique living beings."
But is it art? As any first grader can attest, poking Pixy Stix up your ass does not make you a candy stand. All art is subjective. For instance, Hitler loved his Jewskin curtains and matching lampshades. Fortunately they never really caught on that's a problem we face here.
It's difficult and challenging to deny someone's freedom of expression, artistic or otherwise. However, it is doubtful that there are any conscientious art galleries in America that would feature an exhibit that incorporated a live animal into a multi-media collage, or duct-taped to a painting.
Speaking from personal experience, I can attest that using bunnies as a means of artistic expression is a bad idea. Years ago, I worked at a restaurant in Trinidad, California. The owner had what he thought was a brilliant idea. For Easter, he bought a dozen white rabbits, dyed them all various pastel colors, and set them free just outside the dining area. To the delight of everyone enjoying Easter brunch, the bunnies hopped and scampered happily around the garden--up until the point when raccoons leapt the fence, and turned the lawn party into a hideous morass of blood, guts, and colored fur. Needless to say, the egg hunt didn't happen that year.
It may seem that Kac's experiment is just a harmless manipulation, but I encourage people to think of the disastrous potential, of creating "art" from organic genes. Look what happened to British royalty. Their graveyards are filled with humpbacked, disfigured corpses--just from a little friendly inbreeding. Hitler thought he was an artist too.