Web Projects

Eugénie
First virtual laboratory of artificial insemination

The sperm banks have multiplied, - on earth as in cyberspace - . These suppliers of sperm tend to compensate for, among other things, the growing infertility of men. These banks of masculine genes are becoming disturbing tools for the advocates of eugenics. The temptation to improve the species through the control of parentage was not born yesterday... Since the beginning of the 20th century, many currents of eugenic thought have influenced the social and political orientations of a number of countries. Following these reports, and inreaction to the polity of the Repository for Germinal Choice bank, where one can inseminate herself free of charge with the sperm of a recipient of the Nobel Prize, Eugénie was born!

The technology of selective procreation will bring about consequences which risk having, in the long run, certain unsettling consequences on the population.From this perspective, Eugénie offers a descriptive catalogue of the semen of about fifteen celebrities. Once the choice has been made, the mother initiates the process of cybernetic procreation. After the birth, she is invited to visit her child at the nursery and can, from this time, describe its evolution. The family trees of all the donors are also accessible, in this way permitting a better visualisation of their respective offspring. A demographic study is statistically compiled in order to draw up a summary portrait of this artificially inseminated population.

The hybrid team which created Eugénie is composed of Julie Méalin, Valérie Jodoin and Éric Mattson. The concept behind Eugénie is by Julie Méalin. These technicians come from the universe of constant mutation: communication, biology, fine arts, new technologies, sexology and computers. They are neither specialists nor experts of fragmentation. The fusion of small bits of segmented knowledge generated the realisation of this virtual laboratory of artificial insemination.

Within the framework of La Biennale de Montréal, we have selected the work Eugénie, Laboratoire Virtuel d'Insémination, produced in 1998. The work was reviewed in the fifth edition of the CIAC's Electronic Art Magazine.

 


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