I made the Genpets sculpture series 8 years ago and I’m happy to say they’re still going strong. It’s actually quite amazing. Traffic-wise sometimes things spike but I’m still seeing 100,000+ page views per day. Some days more, some less, but it seems to hover around that.
I work in advertising, and in most cases entire campaigns with millions of dollars thrown at them never see the kind of web traffic my art sees in a week (and yet in most cases I’m shushed in ad meetings when I try to bring up ideas - haha, oh well, their loss.)
I’m happy to see it’s in most cases eliciting the reaction I’d hoped to see - shock, revulsion, and then curiosity, prompting people to dig deeper into biotech, what’s going on in the field, and talking through these issues and where the technology could one day lead.
On a side note I still think it’s an interesting experiment in displaying art outside of the contemporary gallery system. Yes, I’m all for showing in galleries, and have on many occasions worldwide, but you’d be hard pressed to tell me I can show at ANY gallery and get 20,000 to 100,000 eyes on it per day. Is it the same experience as seeing them in person? No, of course not. Both experiences are very different, and I’d argue they’re almost like separate works. In person they move, lights blink, and you’re up close with something breathing that feels real. It can frankly be quite creepy seeing them all lined up. The website is much more text heavy, with a deliberately coy and sleazy corporate hard sell nature to it that is just as creepy without the physicality of the Genpets. (I tried to mimic the type of promotion/advertising that would be used if the Genpets were actually real).
I’ve actually left Genpets humming along on it’s own for quite sometime and taken a break from showing them, but reviewing the traffic logs and seeing how many millions of people are visiting the site of late has inspired me to work on a new piece of art. (shoehorned between other projects). I love to work on lots of things at once when it comes to my own projects. I’m never in much of a rush unless it’s a client project.
Thanks to everyone that’s supported the work or simply looked at it over the years.