Did Dolly Dream of a Bio Mom?
Scientific advancements such as genetic engineering, cloning, and artificial intelligence have major influence on the evolution of how we, as humans, contextualize ourselves within the world. These advancements will likely act as harbingers of transhumanism - the enhancement of human mental and physical abilities and aptitudes and amelioration of undesirable aspects of the human condition.
Cloning is especially damaging to our concept of identity, for how can we be special or unique if we can be duplicated? The famous Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult. Using a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, scientists transfer genetic material from the nucleus of a donor adult cell to an egg whose nucleus, and thus its genetic material, has been remove. But who was the sheep she was cloned from? She is only ever referred to as the “donor.” Perhaps this is because she never had a name, only a number, as Dolly did before becoming a media celebrity. More likely, however, it is because talking about the donor brings up huge issues about identity, family relationships, and reproduction. As the donor, she is not the mother, the aunt, the sibling, or even the twin. She is the original we never discuss.
In “Did Dolly Dream of a Bio Mom?” I have redesigned a common Greco-Roman torque and bracelet style, penannular (an incomplete circle) and featuring the heads of animals on the terminals.
Taking my inspiration from Dolly, my bracelet features the busts of two young sheep connected by the fabricated double helix of a DNA strand. These lambs are exactly the same, representing Dolly and her donor.
Sterling silver. Cast and fabricated.
Copyright © 2008, Amy Johnston