Digital lab

new works in development

The Tissue Culture & Art Project


Following the Pig Wings Project, where we grew pig’s bone marrow stem cells in the shape of the 3 evolutionary solutions to flight in vertebrates (Bat, Bird and Pterosaurs), we would now like to animate them using muscle cells (from IGF-I transgenic mice as well as cardiac cells) as actuators. Besides the difficulties to do with aligning the cultured skeletal muscle cells and their use as actuators, we also have to modify the wing structures in order for the tissue to be able to animate the whole construct. The use of IGF-I mouse tissue, which is more efficient in its use of energy in comparison with its mass, will make this endeavour more achievable.

Animated Pig Wings will look ‘more alive’ and further challenge the audience perceptions of our Semi-Living Sculpture as evocative objects that blur the boundaries between what is alive/non-living, object/subject, and body/constructed environment.

The other research we are conducting is the development of a bioreactor for artistic purposes. Developing an interactive bioreactor (the ‘vessel’ which imitates body conditions for the cells to grow and be sustained alive) will enable us to present our Semi-Living Sculptures in non-specialised environments (such as art galleries) with no need for constructing a whole tissue culture lab. An interactive bioreactor will enable the audience to directly interfere with the environment in which the tissue grows and take an active part in caring for the Semi-Living Sculpture.

The research will be mostly conducted in SymbioticA—the Art and Science Collaborative Research Laboratory, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia. Anyone interested in this research can contact Oron at oron@symbiotica.uwa.edu.au.


Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr

Machine Corporation

www.machinecorporation.com [link expired] Machine Corporation is a satire about corporate websites and networked utopias. It uses Flash and action scripting to create an interactive user experience incorporating elements of character-driven narrative.

Machine Corporation offers a series of software products for free trial. In return users submit some very harmless information about themselves that Machine Corporation will respect and not on-sell to porn sites or marketing companies.

The authors hope to explore the possibilities of virtual space as the parameters for online narrative. The complexities of incorporating interactivity into this environment are handled by structuring and designing the narrative based on the familiar concept of interactive forms that are commonly encountered on the web.

In the tradition of culture jamming, part of the satire is corporate anonymity; therefore we refer to ourselves as faceless man 1 and faceless man 2 rather than identifying ourselves.

RealTime issue #48 April-May 2002 pg. 23

© RealTime; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 April 2002