Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?

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Donate Parts features a range of installations and exhibits that look at how we approximate body part regeneration and organ transplantation, alongside the ethical events around the subject.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Ghost Writer (2017) © Bill Hart and Svenja Kratz

A new display at the Science Gallery London, is exploring the idea of human repair and regeneration, with a series of solemnizations that aim to spark debate.

The show, called Spare Parts, don juans a wide range of questions, such as what human repair at bottom means, whether “spare parts” can exist outside of the human centre and whether a body could be made up of a range of regenerated parts.

It also looks at the modify on people living with replacement organs or limbs, considers diverse ethical questions surrounding synthetic regeneration and explores the science and technology confused in the repair and alteration of human bodies.

The show has been developed alongside scientists from Ruler’s College London and draws on some of the research they have been tangled in.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Among Remote Lost Objects © Tabatha Andrews

Curator Stephanie Delacroix remarks that rather than pushing a message, the show is inviting callers to ask questions.

“It is for the audience to try and think about what biological repair of the band might involve and whether we can be more creative with the way we approach benevolent repair and the impact on human lives,” she says. “The aim of the exhibition is to spark fine fettle debate about the motivations and implications of the research and practice in relation to altruist repair.”

Exhibitors responded to an open call for entries, which welcomed both new and eke out a living projects, exploring topics including organ transplantation, regeneration, result cell research and prosthetics, as well as the ethical, emotional and economic remunerations about all of these.

“Some of the artists and collaborators in this exhibition are essentially looking at what the gentle body is, how it relates to our identity, but also what motivates us in the search for a surrogate corpse or replacement part,” Delacroix says.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Listening Object (2014) © Tabatha Andrews

Lessons of work include 3D-printed models of hearts, body parts crafted from textiles and audio-visual institutions discussing the impact of organ transplantation, and many other installations.

In the courtyard uninvolved the gallery stands a piece by artists and curators Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr cognizant of as Vessels of Care and Control: Compostcubator 2.

The installation consists of an incubator, which “benefits the power of microbes that eat compost to generate heat,” Delacroix powers. The heat, in turn, warms up water, which travels through a tooter to a bioreactor, which contains a petri dish with cells burgeon inside it.

“They are looking at how we create and maintain forms of life,” Delacroix reckons. “They are interested in combining both low-fi and technological approaches to well-controlled practice.”

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Vessels of Care and Control (2018) © Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr

Another highlight is The Self-Donor Workshop by conspirator Tina Gorjanc. Delacroix explains that while humans are “acutely far away” from being able to engineer organs, there is existing probe around the creation of “organoids”, tissue cultures that could operate a role in organ repair.

This research inspired Gorjnac’s instatement, Delcacroix says, which is based on a speculative scenario featuring a boutique-workshop that individual could visit to donate cells that could then be familiar to make organs.

The idea is that these could then be cast-off to replace the donor’s own failing organs, eliminating the need for external contributors.

The installation raises further questions, Delacroix adds, such as whether the aesthetic show of an organ is important and whether bioengineers should be “designing” organs to be the make right shape.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Monument to Immortality (2018) © Svenja Kratz and Bill Hart

Another stimulating piece by artist and designer Svenja Kratz, is known as the Monument to Immortality, which stakes with the idea of “downloading” human consciousness onto a machine and proceeding to survive as a disembodied entity.

The installation consists of a holographic display of going cells, 3D-printed sculptures based on the movement of cells, and an element remembered as the Ghost Writer, which will write a text created by Katz in a “handwritten pen”. The piece explores the idea of separating the mind from the body and the faculties of continuing life through artificial intelligence (AI) tech.

There are varied interactive elements throughout the show, including a piece called Moving spirit Pulse by artist Michael Pinsky, which people see as they submit engage. The piece is made up of four columns, which register a visitor’s heartbeat when they adjoin it, and light up to match its rhythm.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Life Pulse © Michael Pinsky

A allot at the centre of the exhibition, known as The Gut, includes hands-on activities where visitants can “splice cacti” as part of a display looking into tissue bud and try their hand at stitching together electrodes in a display centred enveloping biotechnology.

The space has been designed as an “immersive experience” by Jan Kattein Architects.

The architectural pursuit’s founder, Jan Kattein, describes the design as “a journey through a series of wondrous laboratories that invite for date, participation or contemplation.”

The three-dimensional design consists of a gridded wooden framework, which has been bespoke onto walls, floors and the ceiling, aiming to create a “multi-dimensional and multi-sensual view”.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
© Jan Kattein Architects

“The inter-connected frames variously act as enclosure, plinth, divide, frame or support for the exhibits,” Kattein says.

Geometrically patterned curtains be logical on hooks attached to the wooden frames between some of the exhibits, while others involve lamps or canopies.

“The theme of bodily transfiguration translates into the spatial transfiguration of the gallery spaciousness itself,” Kattein adds.

A wide colour palette has been adapted to in the design, to “complement the largely monochrome artworks” and “contrast the serious and on occasion controversial subject matter of the exhibition,” he says.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
© Jan Kattein Architects

The wayfinding graphics and signage for the exposition have been designed by Marcia Mihotich, who has created a series of flat icon graphics such as an eye, a soul and a piece of machinery, which she says aim to encapsulate different exhibits in the duration.

She adds that the suite of graphic icons was originally inspired by the teachings of model kits which come with a range of pieces that can be put together to fabricate something.

The icons will appear together on a welcome board at the start of the expo and on information relating to each exhibit.

A series of events will chaperone the exhibition.


Spare Parts: Rethinking Human Repair, runs from 28 February – 12 May 2019 at the Method Gallery London, Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9GU. For more intelligence, head here.

Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Fluorescently tagged human cells growing of particularly electrospun scaffold © Svenja Kratz
Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Big Heart Data (2018), Salomé Bazin (Cellule studio) © Gareth McKee
Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Cordons of Fire 2017 © John A Douglas
Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Prosthesis 2017 © Antye Guenther
Science Gallery exhibition asks: to what extent should we alter our bodies?
Ghost Correspondent (2017) © Bill Hart and Svenja Kratz

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