Brandon Ballengée

Species Reclamation Via a Non-linear Genetic Timeline: An Attempted Hymenochirus Curtipes Mode Induced By Controlled Breeding

This long-term experimental project involves breeding Hymenochirus family frogs. Brandon Ballengée has been working with what he believes to be several do m esticated sub-species, while atte m pting to selectively breed generations ‘backwards’ to produce a Hy m enochirus curtipes:

“An investigation into historic scientific literature leads me to believe that H. curtipes is a shorter limbed wild-type version that differs considerably from the domesticated laboratory frogs that I began with. In what Darwin referred to as regression, I have bred like with like attempting to resurface historically described physical traits. When exhibiting this project in a museum or gallery context, I display docu m entary photographs and text explaining the progression and m ethods e m ployed within this project. But more importantly though, I exhibit the multiple generations of the living Hymenochirus frogs, I consider the m to be the actual artworks. Each generation is stylistically different just as each individual animal is unique and should be viewed simultaneously as a livingcreature and a work of art.”

Ballengée’s projects involve exploring the historical origins and current practice of artificial selection and/or genetic engineering.

Brandon Ballengée is a NY based artist who explores the boundaries between art, science and technology by multidisciplinary works out of infor m ation generated from ecological field trips and laboratory research. He has collaborated with nu m erous scientists to conduct primary biological research and has collected specimens for several scientific organizations. In addition, he regularly conducts workshops in ecology, field biology and genetics at urban parks, zoos, pet stores and fish markets.