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Eduardo Kac: “Rockets for the Sake of Poetry,” Kashi And Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences And Humanities

October 24, 2024 at 4:30pm5:30pm EDT

Life Sciences Complex, LSC Atrium

The Kashi And Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences And Humanities is a partnership with Department of Physics and the Syracuse University Humanities Center. The Wali Lecture is an annual event where the sciences and humanities converge, fostering dialogue and new perspectives on current topics for all who attend. This year, the Wali Lecture is co-organized with the BioInspired Institute’s focus group Posthumanities: Arts and Sciences to present Eduardo Kac, Professor of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Legendary artist Eduardo Kac will revisit key highlights in his forty-year career, with emphasis on his current space artworks. After an introduction contextualizing his pioneering telepresence works from the mid-1980s, Kac will give examples and further discuss his development of bio art. Kac first gained prominence at the beginning of the twenty-first century with his transgenic work GFP Bunny (2000), in which he used molecular biology to literally create a green-glowing rabbit named Alba. In 2017 Eduardo Kac worked with an astronaut to create an artwork aboard the International Space Station. Kac’s trajectory reads like a long and distinguished list of ‘firsts’: first telepresence artwork; first human to implant a microchip; first new mammal in the history of art; first artwork made in outer space. He has recently completed Agora, the first transplanetary artwork, which lifted off from Cape Canaveral on January 8th, 2024.


Eduardo Kac is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in contemporary art and poetry. In the early 1980s, Kac created digital, holographic and online works that anticipated the global culture we live in today, composed of ever-changing information in constant flux. In 1997 the artist coined the term “Bio Art,” igniting the development of this new art form with works such as his transgenic rabbit GFP Bunny (2000) and Natural History of the Enigma (2009), which earned him the Golden Nica. GFP Bunny has become a global phenomenon, having been appropriated by major popular culture franchises such as Sherlock and The Simpsons, and by writers such as Margaret Atwood and Michael Crichton. In 2017, Kac created Inner Telescope, a work conceived for and realized in outer space with the cooperation of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Recently, the Vulcan Centaur spacecraft launched Kac‘s holographic sculpture Ágora (1986/2023) into heliocentric orbit. Kac’s singular career spans poetry, performance, drawing, printmaking, photography, artist’s books, early digital and online works, holography, telepresence, bio art, and space art. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the New Museum, Pompidou Center, Reina Sofia Museum, Seoul Museum of Art, Korea, and showcased in biennials such as Venice Biennale and Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil. His works are in major collections such as Museum of Modern Art-MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, and Museum of Contemporary Art of São Paulo, among others.

About the lecture series:

Kameshwar C. Wali was the Steele Professor of Physics Emeritus in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Although internationally recognized as a theorist for his research on the symmetry properties of fundamental particles and their interactions, and, as an author, for his books “Cremona Violins: A Physicist’s Quest for the Secrets of Stradivari” (World Scientific, 2010) and “Chandra: A Biography of S. Chandrasekhar” (University of Chicago Press, 1991), among many other books, he had many interests beyond his field.

The Kashi and Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences and Humanities was established by his daughters, Alaka, Achala, and Monona, in partnership with the Syracuse University Humanities Center, as an expression of their admiration and gratitude for their parents’ vision, leadership, and dedication to the University and the greater community. The Lecture was inaugurated in 2008 and has been offered annually except for 2020, featuring scientists as speakers whose contributions could be appreciated by general audiences, not just specialists.


Eduardo Kac’s lecture is generously supported by the Syracuse University Humanities Center, the Department of Physics, the Wali Endowment Fund, and the BioInspired Institute.

This event was first published on May 6, 2024 and last updated on May 24, 2024.

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