The Transgenic Bagel, 1994-95

Sonya Rapoport, The Transgenic Bagel

View original The Transgenic Bagel via Sonya Rapoport’s website.

Rapoport’s earliest Web Art work preserved in its original form, The Transgenic Bagel explores gene-splicing technology using the story of Noah. Participants select a Biblical figure and are assigned a trait extracted from mythological animals from the Noah’s “Virtual Ark.” The genes for the trait are then injected into a bagel, and the participant is asked “Will you eat the Transgenic Bagel?”

Transgenic Bagels and Neurotic Genes, an article about this work, was published in the science journal Nature Biotechnology (Vol. 15, January, 1997).

In 2008, Rapoport published higgledy-piggledy: The Transgenic Bagel Redux. Intrigued by the discovery that bagels were part of the ancient Egyptians diet, Rapoport updated The Transgenic Bagel to reflect recent developments in genetics that show that one gene can code for several different traits.