Panel: BioARTCAMP: Laboratory Ecologies in the Wild West
Techno-scientific tools and devices are routinely used to mimic and reproduce conditions of life. The incubator is one such piece of technology that reproduces temperature and humidity needed to encourage the growth of cell based organisms. Usually such a piece of equipment- a stable of scientific lab ecologies- is used to incubate and foster cell growth of microorganisms in a sterile and contained lab environment. The Human Incubator for Feeding Microbes is a project reimagining the materiality and function of incubation from a non-human perspective and outside of the official laboratory context. The project emphasizes the interrelation and exchange between humans and non-humans via microbial bio-remediation of human waste materials (like hair, dead skin cells, perspiration) and compostable material (potato starch, cornstarch, agar, etc.). In this performance and site specific installation work, custom made incubators are worn on the human body in order to feed microbes and communicate with them through the process of decomposition, degradation and regeneration of waste materials.
This paper will present key issues arising from making, wearing and disposing of handmade portable biodegradable incubators. The Human Incubator for Feeding Microbes, done as part of Bioartcamp in the Banff National Park, Canada, will be the case study. How might the materiality, function and design aesthetic of techno-scientific equipment- specifically the incubator-be altered by reimagining microbial and non-human-human interactions?
- Tagny Duff lives and works in Montreal, Canada. Duff’s interdisciplinary art practice spans biological art, video, performance, net art and installation works. Recent works include Cryobook Archives (2010) exhibited at The Science Gallery as part of the exhibition entitled Visceral and Living Viral Tattoos (2008). Video documentation of Living Viral Tattoos was screened at the Moscow Biennial (2009) and National Centre for Contemporary Art (2008) (Keliningrad, Russia) and IX MediaForum and Moscow International Film Festival (2008) as part of the group exhibition Evolution Haute Couture, curated by Dmitry Bulatov. Duff is Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department at Concordia University and the founder of Fluxmedia Research-Creation Network.