Critical Art Ensemble (US)
Cult of the New Eve

In order to respond to recent developments in the biological sciences, Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) has created a faux cult in collaboration with Faith Wilding and Paul Vanouse - The Cult of the New Eve (CoNE). CoNE corresponds to the Human Genome Project as the attempt to decode the human DNA. The Human Genome Project is based on the DNA of a single woman. For the Cult, she is the New Eve.

Currently, scientists involved in new biological developments are pitching their work in very theological terms like "new universalism" or "discovery of immortality". With CoNE, CAE relays these promises back to the public through the filter of an obscure cult. Combining a website, electronic information systems and performance techniques of street theater, CAE extols the utopian promises of biotechnology and provokes engagement in critical discussions on biotechnology.

While presenting their website, CoNE members will be asking the audience to join them in act of molecular cannibalism. To do this, CAE has made bread and beer using recombinant yeast supplied to us by the Human Genome Project.

When participants eat the bread or drink the beer, they will be consuming the human genome Eve's genome in particular. After participating in this project, our hope is that when audience members hear the same cult rhetoric from individuals in the scientific community, they will listen from a more skeptical point of view.