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Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr , are co-founders of the Tissue Culture & Art Project . http://www.tca.uwa.edu.au/. Oron Catts & Ionat Surr: Tissue Culture & Art Project. Tissue Culture: ( Wikipedia) the growth of tissues and/or cells separate from the organism.

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Oron CattsandIonat Zurr, are co-founders of the Tissue Culture & Art Project.http://www.tca.uwa.edu.au/

Oron Catts & Ionat Surr:Tissue Culture & Art Project

Tissue Culture:(Wikipedia)

the growth of tissues and/or cells separate from the organism.

This is typically facilitated via use of a liquid, semi-solid, or solid growth medium, such as broth or agar.

Tissue culture commonly refers to the culture of animal cells and tissues, while the more specific term plant tissue culture is used for plants.

Biotech Art

Stelarc: Extra Ear Eduardo Kac: Petunia - “Edunia”

  • Emerging in the late 1990’s, artwork, in response to current developments in biotechnology, that is blurring the boundaries between science and art.

  • Diverse work with artists employing biotechnological techniques, working with living tissue, human and/or animal cells, bacteria, viruses and other genetic material.

  • Artists are cloning, breeding, creating hybrids and intervening in biological processes to create their work.

http://www.fact.co.uk/news/?id=128http://www.flickr.com/photos/katielips/sets/72157603878431761/http://www.collegeoutlook.net/creative_outlook/its_alive.cfmhttp://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2009/09/vivoarts-school-for-transgenic.phptimeline for regenerative medicine: from a talk by Oron Catts http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2009/09/vivoarts-school-for-transgenic.php

Oron Catts

Born in Finland

Currently living and working in Western Australia .

Tissue engineering artist.

Co-Founder and Artistic Director of SymbioticA, the Art & Science Collaborative Research Laboratory, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA.

Co-Founder of the Tissue Culture & Art Project/TC&A (1996).

Research Fellow at the Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication Laboratory, Harvard Medical School (2000-2001).

Trained in product design and specialized in the future interaction of design and biological derived technologies. BA, (first Class Honours), and Visual Art (MA).

Ionat Zurr

Born in England

Currently living and working in Western Australia .

Wet Biology Art Practitioner.

Researcher/Academic Coordinator - SymbioticA

Co-Founder of the TC&A Project.

Research Fellow at the Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication Laboratory, Harvard Medical School (2000-2001).

Studied art history, photography and media studies.

Specializing in biological and digital imaging as well as video production.

'We overlook only too often the fact that a living being may also be regarded as raw material, as something plastic, something that may be shaped and altered.'

HG Wells, 1895

Short Manifesto: The Tissue Culture & Art Project (TC&A)

was set to explore the use oftissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. We are investigating our relationships with the different gradients of life through the construction/growth of a new class of object/being – that of the Semi-Living. These are parts of complex organisms which are sustained alive outside of the body and coerced to grow in predetermined shapes. These evocative objects are a tangible example that brings into question deep rooted perceptions of life and identity, concept of self, and the position of the human in regard to other living beings and the environment. We are interested in the new discourses and new ethics/epistemologies that surround issues of partial life and the contestable future scenarios they are offering us.

Pig Wings Project

  • Using tissue engineering and stem cell technologies in order to grow pig bone tissue in the shape of 3 sets of wings, the Pig Wings installation presented the first ever wing shaped objects grown using living pig tissue.

  • The 3 kinds of wings represented chimeras--good/angelic (bird-wing) and evil/satanic (bat-wing)--and Pterosaurs

  • “This absurd work presents some serious ethical questions regarding a near future where semi-living objects (objects which are partly alive and partly constructed) exists and animal organs will be transplanted into humans.

  • What kind of relationships we will form with such objects? How are we going to treat animals with human DNA? How will we treat humans with animal parts? What will happen when these technologies will be used for purposes other then strictly saving life?”

Pig Wings Project: Lab images

Pig Wings Project: musical enhancement

  • Adam Zaretsky was exploring the effects of music on bacterial fermentation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Catts & Zurr decided to collaborate with Zaretsky by playing Pig Music to Pig Wings. Downloaded all the pig related MP3s by typing in PIG as the keyword. Two examples: War Pigs by Black Sabbath, Fascist Pig by Suicidal Tendencies.

  • Over the next three weeks the music was applied on a regular basis.

  • Alteration of Sculptural Morphology was noticed early on.

  • After the incubation period had finished, some of the Musically Entertained Pig Wings were sent to histology to be compared to the Pig Wings whom had been Musically Deprived.

  • Considerable differences in cells count, tissue morphology and distribution throughout the construct were ascertained.

Victimless Leather: A Prototype of Stitch-less Jacket grown in a Technoscientific "Body

  • Humans, the naked/nude apes, have been covering their fragile bodies/skins to protect themselves from the external environment. This humble act for survival has developed into a complex social ritual which transformed the concept of a “Garment”…

  • Garments became an expressive tool to project one's identity, social class, political stand and so on.

  • By growing Victimless Leather, the Project is further problematising the concept of garment by making it Semi-Living.

  • The Victimless Leather is grown out of immortalised cell lines which cultured and form a living layer of tissue supported by a biodegradable polymer matrix in a form of miniature stich-less coat like shape. The

  • Victimless Leather project concerns with growing living tissue into a leather like material.

  • This artistic grown garment will confront people with the moral implications of wearing parts of dead animals for protective and aesthetic reasons and will further confront notions of relationships with living systems manipulated or otherwise.

  • An actualized possibility of wearing ‘leather' without killing an animal is offered as a starting point for cultural discussion.

Victimless Leather: A Prototype of Stitch-less Jacket grown in a Technoscientific "Body

Bizarre Living Art Project Put to Death: by Deborah 5-8-08


  • “An art piece ironically entitled “Victimless Leather” — a tiny living leather jacket created with embryonic stem cells of a mouse to grow into a stitch-less coat — was put to its death when it got out of control and began to outgrow its incubator.

  • The work which combined ‘artistic practice with scientific research’ was fed nutrients by tube and expanded too quickly which clogged its own incubation system.

  • Merely 5 weeks into the art installation “Design and the Elastic Mind” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Paola Antonelli, curator of the show and head of MoMA’s architecture and design department, had to make the disconcerting decision to turn off the life-support system for the work which inevitably killed the ‘living creature.’

  • The jacket “started growing, growing, growing until it became too big. And [the artists] were back in Australia, so I had to make the decision to kill it. And you know what? I felt I could not make that decision. I’ve always been pro-choice and all of a sudden I’m here not sleeping at night about killing a coat. That thing was never alive before it was grown.” Paola Antonelli said to The Art Newspaper.”

    Oron Catts @ Techno Threads


2 Additional Projects + 2 Links

Extra Ear - 1/4 scale

  • In this collaboration a quarter-scale replica of Stelarc's ear is grown using human cells.

  • The ear is cultured in a rotating micro-gravity bioreactor which allows the cells to grow in three dimensions.

  • The prosthesis is seen not as a sign of lack, but as a symptom of excess. Rather than replacing a missing or malfunctioning part of the body, these artifacts are alternate additions to the body's form and function.

    Disembodied Cuisine

  • Project to grow frog skeletal muscle over biopolymer for potential food consumption.

  • A biopsy is taken from an animal which will continue to live and be displayed in the gallery along side the growing “steak”. This installation will culminate in a “feast”. (installation Nantes,Fr ‘03)

  • As the cells from the biopsy proliferate the ‘steak’ in vitro continues to grow and expand, while the source, the animal from which the cells were taken, is healing.

  • The idea and research into this project began in Harvard in 2000. The first steak grown was made out of pre-natal sheep cells (skeletal muscle).



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