Fresh Obama Clone Yeast,
Coming to New York

08.21.12 Marina Galperina

“It’s a new way of thinking about cloning,” says conceptual artist and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats about his beakers of softly bubbling yeast. His pet field is epigenetics — the study of non-genetic, environmental factors and chemicals that influence people and their genes — in this case, diets.

Using diets of high profile people, Keats grows yeast “clones” in little jars, mixing the White House diet with a bit of Obama’s recently kicked nicotine, for example. Then there’re the phosphates, vitamin B12 and thiamine for Michael Phelps’ regimen of five-egg omelets, chocolate chip pancakes and coffee and, “Effectively, what happens is the cells will become more Phelps-ian,” he explains to Discovery. Gaga’s booze, veggies and fish. Washington’s Madeira. He’s currently investigating WWJE — What would Jesus eat? Or at least, “his” ethnic peer peeps.

It’s a little Cronenbergian, nah? Then again, he could just grow some Keith Richards “environmental factors” yeast, hit the block for big bucks, if that whole “large-scale thought experiments” thing doesn’t work out.

See the yeast on display at the AC Institute in New York on Sept 13. And now, just look at him in his bow-tie. Guuuurgh. Ooooh, don’t you just want to mix genes?