The Experiment 6 presents MVC Biotechnologies, a new area of Mejor Vida Corp., for the first time. The recent interest in biotechnologies emerges from contemporary symptoms of an environmental crisis found in the form of organic/GM, allergies, diseases, animal cruelty, depletion of resources, and their new markets.
Looking for an approach to these issues—far from fantasy utopias or corporate interests—MVC Biotechnologies works to build environmental ethics based on everyday life decisions. New market-economical developments like biotechnology are often oversimplified in a broader (media) public and polarized into pro and contra in their treatment. MVC Biotechnologies aims to develop and promote radical points of view beyond the model of a pro-contra structure and to reorganize heterogeneous information on biotechnologies. The presentation of the project is divided into 3 stages: an intervention on the Secession’s web site, an artist talk and a physical intervention in the Grafische Kabinett picking up on the floral ornamentation in the architecture of the Secession and discussing the role of cultivated plants in the conventionally formulated utopias of an “improvement of living conditions”.
In April 1998 the Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas founded the non-profit organization Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Life Corp.), which she operates according to the motto “Por una Interface humana” (For a human interface) as a longer-term project and network. The works, located between art and political activism, communicate a distrust of the logistics and functioning of a capitalistically oriented economy. Rather than foregrounding the postulation of counter-models or alternative ideologies, the actions and interventions focus on instances of economic lawlessness.
Starting from an office on the 14th floor of the Torre Latinoamericana (a modernist skyscraper built in the 1950s and a symbol of trade) in Mexico City, Mejor Vida Corp. distributes various products free of charge all over the world through the net and on site in the cities, makes services available and launches campaigns in public spaces, which address the everyday needs of people and question institutionalized capitalist utopias. Through Mejor Vida Corp. one can obtain free student IDs from a fictive university, which guarantee discounts worldwide, or print out “bar code stickers” of innumerable supermarket products via the homepage to set up one’s own prices. In addition, in a poster campaign MVC substitutes the jackpot prize money of the national lottery “Melate”, which was originally introduced to finance social projects, with the poverty statistics of the megalopolis. These activities are firmly anchored in the specific social and political context of Mexico, but in a broader sense they also address global rhetorics.