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The Center for Post Natural History (CPNH), a new cultural institution in Pittsburgh, PA, celebrates its grand opening this Friday (March 2, 2012). Richard Pell, the center’s creator, received support for the project from Creative Capital.
According to Creative Capital’s website, “The Center is dedicated to the research and exhibition of lifeforms that have been intentionally altered by humans, from the dawn of domestication to contemporary genetic engineering.” This includes everything from “Sea Monkeys to modified Chestnut Trees to BioSteel™ Goats.” Visitors to the CPNH will experience this “post-natural” world through a variety of display techniques including “diorama, taxidermy, photography and living exhibits.”
In an email from Creative Capital Pell writes, “The Center for Post Natural History serves as a jumping-off point for thinking about how people shape the living world around them. Humans have been slowly domesticating plants and animals for thousands of years and, in the last 35 years, we’ve begun altering the DNA of organisms in very specific ways. A good portion of the living world is in a sense a cultural artifact reflecting the desires, needs and fears of human society. The CPNH is a place to explore that idea.”
In addition to the permanent collection the CPNH exhibits the work guest post-natural researchers. Currently on display is a poster series by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy which “catalogs the diversity of genetically modified fruits and vegetables available in the U.S. and European Union.”
An upcoming exhibition in May will “debut an exhibit about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, produced by a group of American and Norwegian researchers who spent several weeks visiting the world’s largest repository of domesticated food crop seeds.”
The Center for Post Natural History will be open Sundays from 12:00–6:00pm and for select events. Learn more about the center at http://www.postnatural.org, or read an interview with Pell in the February 2012 issue of Nature Magazine.
4913 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15224