ICON XXI: GMO Apple by Timur York, 2016, archival digital pigment print on etching paper
The goal of my ongoing series, ICON XXI, is to visually encapsulate contemporary experiences and occurrences facing humanity in the 21st Century. The images employ techniques of universal graphic icons and symbols, to be understood across cultures, and offer a visual historical archive. They also serve as a commentary on the ubiquitous presence of computerization and the mass-produced digital design aesthetic in our lives.
Humans naturally cross-bred their food sources for centuries. Genetically Modified Organisms – GMOs, take selective breeding practices into an uncharted area of human evolution. GMO research has been in development since the 1970's, varying from animal to crop models. In 2015, the Federal Department of Agriculture/USA approved the sale of two GMO apple types, whose genes were modified to strip apples of their natural tendency to brown. Trademarked as "Arctic Apples," these are the first GMO apples approved for direct human consumption in the United States.