Eduardo Kac

O Sinal De NayĆ”

Eduardo Kac 
O Sinal De Nayá, ca 1981
UNIQUE artist book, hand titled and SIGNED. Offset printed, soft cover, stapled, ink.
6 1/2h x 4 1/2w in
16.51h x 11.43w cm


Eduardo Kac, artist books, Alternate Projects, Porn Art Movement
Eduardo Kac, artist books, Alternate Projects, Porn Art Movement
Eduardo Kac, artist books, Alternate Projects, Porn Art Movement


Kac made a number of artist’s books in the context of the Movimento de Arte Pornô. These books used as their source material conservative underground pornographic comics that circulated in the preceeding decades. Since 1964, Brazil was ruled by a dictatorship that not only suppressed freedom of expression and all other civil liberties but also banned materials considered obscene. Censorship ended in 1988, when the new constitution was promulgated, with direct presidential elections realized in 1989.

Kac used these early underground comics as the medium for his artist’s books. He would take apart the original comics and then put them back together under original covers but not their original covers. The books were made in pairs or triplets, all in their same original size.  They would look as they did originally but once deconstructed, their narratives would shift. Each comic was given a new title, hand-written by Kac on its cover. 

Kac's books were created as a critique of the conservative narrative found in the original books, which often portrayed women as objects of seduction and homosexuality as demeaning. They were an underground intervention that disrupted the normative aspects of the original narrative. Few of these books have survived, as most were recirculated through underground channels.

Eduardo Kac is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking and influential contributions to the development of contemporary art and poetry. In 1997, Kac sent shockwaves across the world by becoming the first human to implant a digital microchip through his work Time Capsule. It was also in 1997, in the context of Time Capsule, that he coined the term Bio Art, thus igniting the widespread development of this new art form. In 1999, he created the artwork Genesis, in which he encoded an English statement into living bacteria, allowed Internet participants to mutate the bacteria, and then decoded the mutant DNA back into altered English. In 2000, Kac made what many consider his most famous work; entitled GFP Bunny, it is comprised of a green fluorescent rabbit called Alba. By splicing jellyfish and rabbit DNA, he originated the first mammal in the history of art. Kac’s 2009 work Natural History of the Enigma, in which he created a new flower with his own DNA, earned him the Golden Nica Award, the most prestigious award in the field of media arts and the highest prize awarded by Ars Electronica. In 2017, the New York Times published a full-page article about Kac’s Inner Telescope, a work he conceived for and realized in outer space with the cooperation of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Tate Modern, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Museum of Modern Art of Valencia, Spain; the ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany; and the Museum of Contemporary Art of São Paulo, among others.

$ 1,800