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Xeno in Vivo

Photo of a scene from Xeno in Vivo with cells projected above an actor on an operating table.
Xeno in Vivo
A Live Multimedia Opera Performance

Will CRISPR gene editing change our idea of what defines a species? Is gene editing simply a continuation of our long history of modifying animals through selective breeding? Or is it something radically new?  

Artist-in-Residence Heather Dewey-Hagborg and the Exploratorium present the world premiere of Xeno in Vivo, a multimedia opera and live film performance investigating xenotransplantation—in which an organ is transplanted into a human from another animal, such as a pig. The thirty-minute work, featuring a live operatic chorus, will reflect upon the ten thousand-year relationship between pigs and humans, and brings the words of scientists and archaeologists to life in song. Each night's performance will be followed by a discussion about the work and the questions raised by the evolving biomedical technology of xenotransplantation.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a transdisciplinary artist and educator interested in art as research and critical practice. Heather’s work investigates the social implications of the technological advances of biological science to explore our human nature.  

Following Thursday's performance, Heather Dewey-Hagborg will be in conversation with Tanya Zimbardo, Assistant Curator of Media Arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Following Friday's performance, Heather Dewey-Hagborg will be in conversation with Daphne O. Martschenko, PhD, Assistant Professor, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford School of Medicine.

Both conversations will be moderated by Kristina Yu, PhD, Senior Director, Science R&D at the Exploratorium.

Xeno in Vivo was created with funding from a Hewlett Foundation 50 Arts Commission and is additionally supported by the Simons Foundation.

Xeno in Vivo is co-sponsored by Z Space.