SymbioticA

We’re very pleased to be hosting Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr from the art/biology think tank SymbioticA at Machine this weekend. They will be speaking on Saturday night, and leading a tissue culturing workshop Sunday. SymbioticA’s past projects include growing all kinds of amazing things, including…

1. Disembodied Cuisine. Pre natal sheep skeletal muscle cells cultured onto/into a degradable polymer (PGA) scaffold to create a semi living steak. Upon creation this project was cooked and eaten. There’s a nice article on Disembodied Cuisine in issue 16 of Cabinet magazine.

2. Victimless Leather Immortalised cell lines which are cultured and form a living layer of leather like tissue in the form of miniature stich-less coat shape. Good images of Victimless Leather here

3. Extra Ear 1/4 Scale (in collaboration with Stelarc). A 1/4 scale replica of artist Stelarc’s ear grown using human (Stelarc’s) cells. The ear is cultured in a rotating micro-gravity bioreactor which allows the cells to grow in a 3D structure. (See image below)

Saturday Dec 1st 8pm – Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, SymbioticA, University of Western Australia:
Free

The talk covers the work of The Tissue Culture & Art project (TC&A) that began in 1996 as an R&D project into the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. Some of TC&A’s projects include the Pig Wings, Semi-living Worry Dolls, Disembodied Cuisine (the first time that tissue engineered meat have been grown and eaten), victimless Leather, Extra Ear 1/4 Scale (in collaboration with Stelarc) and NoArk. The talk will also discuss SymbioticA, A unique laboratory dedicated to the research and critic of the life sciences form an artistic perspective, located at the School of Anatomy & Human Biology, University of Western Australia.

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Sunday Dec 2nd 11am to 5pm – Mini Tissue Engineering workshop and lecture
Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, SymbioticA, University of Western Australia:
sorry, sold out

Tissue culture and tissue engineering represent a new area for artistic engagement. These branches of biomedical research have a major influence on perceptions of body, self and medical thinking. Tissue engineering enable researchers to grow three dimensional living tissues constructs of varying sizes, shapes and tissue types. This half-day hands on intensive workshop will introduce artists and other interested people to basic principals of animal tissue culture and tissue engineering, including its history and the different artistic projects working with TC and TE. The workshop will involve a demonstration for how to extract and cultivate stem cells from bones bought at the butcher. These advanced techniques can be done with homemade equipment and kitchen gear.