Trust me, I'm an artist

"Mutate or Die" with Adam Zaretsky    “Self-Experimentation” and the Ethics Committee of 1 with Neal White   “Confronting the Bacterial Sublime” with Anna Dumitriu   "Du cheval au panda..." with Art Orienté objet   

"Trust me, I'm an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art and Science Collaboration" is a series of public events, taking place in international settings, investigates the new ethical issues arising from art and science collaboration and consider the roles and responsibilities of the artists, scientists and institutions involved. At each event (before a live audience) an internationally known artist proposed an artwork to a specially formed ethics committee (following the rules and procedures typical for the host country), the ethics committee then debated the proposal and came to a decision, the artist was then informed of the ethics committee’s decision and, alongside the audience, they entered into a discussion about the result. The proposals were selected as they raise interesting questions for science ethics committees and help reveal the mechanisms that drive this usually hidden process, enabling the wider public to understand the driving forces behind ethical decisions and the role of artists working in scientific settings more deeply. The project “Trust Me I’m an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art/Science Collaboration” is led by artist Anna Dumitriu in collaboration with Professor Bobbie Farsides (Chair of Ethics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School) in collaboration with Waag Society. The first four events were made in collaboration with Leiden University and BioSolar Cells. Follow the links above to view the events, videos and other documentation. For more information contact annadumitriu@hotmail.com
"Dr Cheval au Panda…" with Art Orienté Objet, Thursday 31st May 2012, 6:30-9pm at The Salle des Actes, The École normale supérieure, 45, rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris, France. The performance Que le cheval vive en moi (May the horse live in me )is an extreme, medical self-experiment with a blood-brotherhood beyond species boundaries. The artist Marion Laval-Jeantet has turned herself into a proverbial “guinea pig,” allowing herself to be injected over the course of several months with horse immunoglobulins (glycoproteins that function as antibodies in immune response) and thus developing a progressive tolerance to these foreign animal bodies. In February 2011, having built up her tolerance, she was able to be injected with horse blood plasma containing the entire spectrum of foreign immunoglobulins, without falling into anaphylactic shock—the intention being that the horse immunoglobulin would enter her blood stream to bond with the proteins of her own body and, as a result of this synthesis, have an effect on all major body functions. Due to the high symbolic value of this animal, the duo would like to reenact the performance, this time with the panda. This performance would be entitled “May The Panda Live in me”. This is this scenario they introduce to the Ethics Committee. Watch the event and see the documents here.

"Dr Cheval au Panda…" with Art Orienté Objet, Thursday 31st May 2012, 6:30-9pm at The Salle des Actes, The École normale supérieure, 45, rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris, France. The performance Que le cheval vive en moi (May the horse live in me )is an extreme, medical self-experiment with a blood-brotherhood beyond species boundaries. The artist Marion Laval-Jeantet has turned herself into a proverbial “guinea pig,” allowing herself to be injected over the course of several months with horse immunoglobulins (glycoproteins that function as antibodies in immune response) and thus developing a progressive tolerance to these foreign animal bodies. In February 2011, having built up her tolerance, she was able to be injected with horse blood plasma containing the entire spectrum of foreign immunoglobulins, without falling into anaphylactic shock—the intention being that the horse immunoglobulin would enter her blood stream to bond with the proteins of her own body and, as a result of this synthesis, have an effect on all major body functions. Due to the high symbolic value of this animal, the duo would like to reenact the performance, this time with the panda. This performance would be entitled “May The Panda Live in me”. This is this scenario they introduce to the Ethics Committee. Watch the event and see the documents here.

— 2 years ago with 1 note
“Confronting the Bacterial Sublime: Building a Biosafety Level 2 Lab in a Gallery” with Anna Dumitriu, Thursday 1st March 2012, 6-8pm at The Science Gallery, The Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Eire. Anna Dumitriu is proposing the construction of a portable Biosafety Level 2 Microbiology Laboratory for use in art gallery settings. The purpose of the space will be to allow participatory hands-on bioart acrivities and the exhibition of artworks created using pathogenic and genetically modified bacteria. The lab will provide supervised access and practical workshops for the public and artists alike to enable them to experience a deeper understanding of the microbial world and develop a bacteriocentric view. Dumitriu has previously exhibited a number of works created using GM bacteria in her “Communicating Bacteria Dress" and pathogenic bacteria as in her MRSA Quilt (which was run as workshop at the V & A in London) or textile works including the extracted DNA of tuberculosis that have either been killed and sterilised or filmed in remote settings. In this work she seeks to enable the audience to experience what it feels like to be confronted with the intricate behaviours of living bacteria in their most sublime form. Watch the event and see the documents here.

“Confronting the Bacterial Sublime: Building a Biosafety Level 2 Lab in a Gallery” with Anna Dumitriu, Thursday 1st March 2012, 6-8pm at The Science Gallery, The Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Eire. Anna Dumitriu is proposing the construction of a portable Biosafety Level 2 Microbiology Laboratory for use in art gallery settings. The purpose of the space will be to allow participatory hands-on bioart acrivities and the exhibition of artworks created using pathogenic and genetically modified bacteria. The lab will provide supervised access and practical workshops for the public and artists alike to enable them to experience a deeper understanding of the microbial world and develop a bacteriocentric view. Dumitriu has previously exhibited a number of works created using GM bacteria in her “Communicating Bacteria Dress" and pathogenic bacteria as in her MRSA Quilt (which was run as workshop at the V & A in London) or textile works including the extracted DNA of tuberculosis that have either been killed and sterilised or filmed in remote settings. In this work she seeks to enable the audience to experience what it feels like to be confronted with the intricate behaviours of living bacteria in their most sublime form. Watch the event and see the documents here.

— 2 years ago with 3 notes
“Self-Experimentation” and the Ethics Committee of 1 with Neal White, Friday 27th January 2012, 7-9:30pm at The Arts Catalyst, 50-54 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5PS. In May 1959 on the opening of Yves Klein’s exhibition Le Vide (The Void) at Gallery Iris Clert in Paris, crowds thronged as Yves opened his highly controversial exhibition – that featured a seemingly empty white gallery space. Those lucky enough to gain access, were in for an unexpected treat. “Special blue cocktails were served: a mixture of gin, Cointreau and methylene blue prepared for Klein by La Coupole, the famous brasserie. As Klein intended, the cocktails caused the urine of drinkers to turn blue for about a week, roughly the planned run of the show.” Since this event took place in 1959, Methylene blue as a stain has been established as toxic. However, it is also a component in several medications (Trac Tabs, Urised, Uroblue) used to reduce symptoms of cystitis, and in other forms for the treatment of methemoglobinemia. It is our intention to re-create the event as an experiment to establish what are the safest, or least toxic dosage of methylene blue in an alcoholic cocktail required to turn urine blue, if only for a limited period. The effect of this will be monitored, and the dosage will be controlled during the trial. Watch the event and see the documents here.

“Self-Experimentation” and the Ethics Committee of 1 with Neal White, Friday 27th January 2012, 7-9:30pm at The Arts Catalyst, 50-54 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5PS. In May 1959 on the opening of Yves Klein’s exhibition Le Vide (The Void) at Gallery Iris Clert in Paris, crowds thronged as Yves opened his highly controversial exhibition – that featured a seemingly empty white gallery space. Those lucky enough to gain access, were in for an unexpected treat. “Special blue cocktails were served: a mixture of gin, Cointreau and methylene blue prepared for Klein by La Coupole, the famous brasserie. As Klein intended, the cocktails caused the urine of drinkers to turn blue for about a week, roughly the planned run of the show.” Since this event took place in 1959, Methylene blue as a stain has been established as toxic. However, it is also a component in several medications (Trac Tabs, Urised, Uroblue) used to reduce symptoms of cystitis, and in other forms for the treatment of methemoglobinemia. It is our intention to re-create the event as an experiment to establish what are the safest, or least toxic dosage of methylene blue in an alcoholic cocktail required to turn urine blue, if only for a limited period. The effect of this will be monitored, and the dosage will be controlled during the trial. Watch the event and see the documents here.

— 2 years ago with 1 note
“Mutate or Die” with Adam Zaretsky, Saturday 10th December 2011 at 3pm-6pm at The Theatrum Anatomicum, De Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Adam Zaretsky’s project “Mutate or Die”, in collaboration with Tony Allard, addresses: “the life sciences’ enormous investment in the illusion of objective control over the biological world, and the tag team efforts of “pan-capitalism” and the biotech industry’s privatizing of genetic research and patenting life forms.” (Zaretsky) The writer William S. Burroughs’ genetic material will be used in a speculative artistic experiment that will involve the creation of a transgenic mutation. The public will be invited to participate in the process, specifically within the portable lab we will build in a gallery space.  At the core of the project will be the gene gun blast that will biolistically combine tiny pieces of William S. Burroughs’ gut flora / script/ gene text with another organism’s genetic script / gene text, to produce a transgenic mutation, or put in another way, an “intentional-genetic modification orgiastic”, or “i-GMO”. After the gene gun blast sets the mutations in motion, we will invite the audience into the process as readers / interpreters of the stories embedded within the old beat writer’s gut. Watch the event and see the documents here.

“Mutate or Die” with Adam Zaretsky, Saturday 10th December 2011 at 3pm-6pm at The Theatrum Anatomicum, De Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Adam Zaretsky’s project “Mutate or Die”, in collaboration with Tony Allard, addresses: “the life sciences’ enormous investment in the illusion of objective control over the biological world, and the tag team efforts of “pan-capitalism” and the biotech industry’s privatizing of genetic research and patenting life forms.” (Zaretsky) The writer William S. Burroughs’ genetic material will be used in a speculative artistic experiment that will involve the creation of a transgenic mutation. The public will be invited to participate in the process, specifically within the portable lab we will build in a gallery space.  At the core of the project will be the gene gun blast that will biolistically combine tiny pieces of William S. Burroughs’ gut flora / script/ gene text with another organism’s genetic script / gene text, to produce a transgenic mutation, or put in another way, an “intentional-genetic modification orgiastic”, or “i-GMO”. After the gene gun blast sets the mutations in motion, we will invite the audience into the process as readers / interpreters of the stories embedded within the old beat writer’s gut. Watch the event and see the documents here.

— 2 years ago with 1 note