Kac contributed to the expansion of painting techniques and mediums when he incorporated living biological processes to create biotopes in 2006. It remains to be seen if cultivating microbial life forms will become a typical a part of an artist’s training in the future, but Kac created another work of art that indicates the significance of his contribution in the present.

Kac contributed to the expansion of painting techniques and mediums when he incorporated living biological processes to create biotopes in 2006. It remains to be seen if cultivating microbial life forms will become a typical a part of an artist’s training in the future, but Kac created another work of art that indicates the significance of his contribution in the present.

Kac
 
This work is entitled Encryption Stones (2001). It consist of side-by-side black granite slabs, 24″ x 18″. Their ragged edges make them seem as if they have just been yanked from some rock mass by an almighty force. They were installed in a dimly lit room, evoking the aura of an encounter with a sacred object, recalling the Ten Commandments. A single sentence from the Book of Genesis has been laser-etched into the surface: “Let man have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”. Kac says he chose this distinctly authoritarian verse from the Old Testament of the Bible, “for what it implies about the dubious notion of divinely sanctioned humanity’s supremacy over nature.”29 Kac proceeds to undermine humanity’s dominion over the planet by introducing evidence of the multiplicity and ambiguity that characterizes planet Earth. First he translated the Biblical sentence into Morse code. Then he converted the dots and dashes of Morse code into a sequence of DNA genetic bases. Because life inevitably morphs, the meaning of the inscription on this tablet, written in DNA, is subject to mutation and evolution. Because the work eradicates the existence of ‘eternal truths’, it undermines human confidence, human arrogance, and the presumption that humans have the right to command the Earth.
 
In the twentieth century, Minimal artists gave form to human arrogance and confidence by depicting elemental geometric solids like the cube. They relied upon advanced industrial processing, not an almighty deity, to produce flawless shapes that were so basic and so perfect; they conveyed absolute certainty and embodied absolute truth.
 
LeWitt
 
Serra
 
Judd
 
a. Create two columns. One column = a biotope by Kac. The other column = one of the Minimal artworks pictured here. Assign the following words to one or the other: control, contrive, metamorphosis, diversity, confidence, sameness, dynamism, change, progress, growth, development, static, transformation, progression, authority, domination, management, regulation, chance, restrict, surprise, superiority, sovereignty, enigma, doubt.  
 
b. In your opinion, which column best represents the functioning of Earth systems?