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Natural History of the Enigma

Eduardo & Eduina

Eduardo Kac’s unique style blends art with science, specifically genetics. For his project “Natural History of the Enigma,” Kac created a new life form by extracting his own DNA and merging it with the DNA of a petunia which he named “Eduina.”

Working with a professor of Biology he was able to segregate his contribution to the plant DNA strictly in the veins of the plant. The result is a beautiful pink flower with bright red veins which are an expression of his genes.

The function of the genes which Kac chose for the plant is to identify foreign bodies in the bloodstream. This deliberate choice compliments the visual choices Kac made regarding the plant’s red veins, which he describes as “[bringing] forth the realization of the contiguity of life between different species.”

Seed PacksLithograph

In addition the plant experiment, Kac used other forms of media to enhance the artistic sensibilities of the Natural History of the Enigma project. He offered Eduina seed packs which could be used to grow identical Eduina plants. He also made lithographs, photos and watercolor paintings of the plant as well.