About    Work     R & D    Journal

February 3, 2016



Cosmopolitical Futures, The Anthropocenic Human series reflects my long time interest and research in foundational studies in theories of quantum physics and the nature of nature and the properties of living matter. In recent projects – Black Lace and the Stem Cell work in particular, I alluded to methodological approaches based on Barad’s theories and the counterintuitive interpretation of quantum physics; that an object of investigation cannot be accessed outside of human conceptual frameworks to address and provide insights into the nature of causality, identity and nature. Barad forms an emergent zeitgeist in cultural theory/philosophy (Stengers, Bennett, Braidotti, Latour,Haraway) making connections between vitalist materialism, science and politics and ethics. As environmental changes force themselves into our physical consciousness we find ourselves re-thinking connections between politics, nature and humanity. Stengers, term, Cosmopolitics, stresses the relationship between the political order and scientific models of reality. Barad proposes that agency does not originate in human intention but resides in all of matter, suggesting that matter bears the mark of human agency in ways that release human intention. Her radical ontology proposes the collapse of partitions between mind and matter; wanting us to re-consider ethics, sentience and values within the new diffractive methodology she calls “Agential Realism”. AR accounts for how we iteratively rework the ‘objects” that we study. Fixed notion of “humanness’ have been dramatically transformed by posthumanist theory and the advanced sciences of transgenics biomedicine and biomimesis. The philosopher, and founding quantum physicist Niels Bohr made account of ways in which words and worlds are inextricably linked as discursive and material practices. He understood the intentional state of mind as arising from complex networks of human and non-human agents and ecologies of material conditions that exceed an individual and he saw how the paradoxical challenge for humankind was to make meaning and intelligibility in the light of unintelligibility and in doing so he endorsed, trans disciplinary creative processes and practices of poetry and the visual arts.



Recent on-going artworks are based on an EPRSC funded, Pathways to Impact (PiA) residency at the University of Southampton in the School of Medicine on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine exploring the use of stem cells in the area of Bone and Joint research. My research engages with contemporary debates in biotechnology and stem cell research and I have developed numerous works through art and science collaboration that contribute to public critical understanding and discussion of these domains. Engendering public engagement with biotechnological, stem cell and regenerative medicine research, my work engages with the impact of these life sciences on human identity, culture and society. I have harnessed elements regenerative medicine space to create a new body of research, developing this most recent artworks on an EPRSC funded, Pathways to Impact (PiA) residency in the School of Medicine on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine exploring the use of stem cells in the area of Bone and Joint research.


The PiA (Pathways to Impact) residency was uniquely devised as a visual arts research project. The site-specific research was produced in association with Professor Richard OC Oreffo and the Bone and Joint Research Group at the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine.

I co-ordinated regular visits to the department, thoroughly familiarizing herself with bone and joint, stem cell regenerative medicine. The research residency enabled close observation and artistic reflection on the science of osteo-specific differentiation, function and signaling pathways in stem cell populations. The aim is that my creative practice can contribute to a public understanding of the regenerative medicine space through art and science collaboration.

The work hints at ways in which transformative biological processes associated with evolutionary symbiosis can be harnessed as metaphors to interpret regenerative medicine. Exploring the different ways people might come to experience regenerative medicine, the work also reflects on how visual arts led research can improve public understanding of stem cell research.


Regenerative phenomena associated with stem cells touch on the deepest aspects of human identity. Stem cell transfer treatments replace non-functioning and dead cells at tissue sites within the body with healthy donor cells. The hope of medicine is that collections of induced pluripotent stem cells might one day come to form a biological resource for regenerative treatments and general medical use.

Kathleen is interested in how stem cell research can offer new generative metaphors for health and healing and how therapies suggest ways to extend the human lifespan and alter ourselves genetically. Her initial research looked at how stem cell utilization might delay and disguise the physical impact of ageing.

“Buckminster Fuller described the occurrence of structure in chemical elements not as things but as ‘patterns of inherently regenerative constellar associations of energy events’. The dynamic metabolism of each of our cells determines its growth or demise and the sustained presence of stem cells within the porosity of both the embryonic and adult brain, suggests holistic connections between periodicity, cell re-newel, cell death and the nature of mind itself.”

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), can differentiate differentiate in vitro or in vivo into adipocytes, chondrocytes and osteoblasts the progenitors cells of human cartilage and bone. Kathleen began looking at the shape principles governing the structuring of bone, its emergent mathematics and the geometry of its growth. The structuring of cellular growth is beautifully exemplified in the emergent architecture of bone.


During the residency I was granted access to biological donor materials associated with embryonic, fetal and adult stem cell research. I produced over 2000 photographic studies of human donor derived tissue as the conceptual basis of a multi-screen video installation. Her visual research demonstrates how embodied, sensory encounters with digital media are intrinsic to the visual literacy of medical research. The resulting multi-screen, six-channel video and sound installation, Intra-actions and re-configurings, consists of horizontally aligned screens designed as a panoramic, landscape. Viewed in partial darkness, the work provides an audience with a reflective space and the work offers an emotional engagement with both the clinical and ethical dimensions of stem cell research.

The independently titled episodes dramatize biological procedures: Screen 1 Matter, Screen 2 Vascular, Screen 3 Viscera, Screen 4 Ossify, Screen 5 Primordial, Screen 6 Lacunae.

I applied poetics, moving image and sound to draw every day audiences to the science and art of stem cell research.

“The structural grammar of my work was inspired by the theoretical work of the Philosopher of Science, Karen Barad. Inspired by her concepts I applied graphic and text layering methods to examine how time based, visual and linguistic systems can regulate and dictate interior and exterior perspectives of objects. Dual streams of words composed from descriptive notations, poetry and genetic science are used to suggest parallel images, like labyrinths and mirrors. The work exploits the visual aspects of language and I use imagistic repetitions, tonal variants, scale and magnification to create a contemplative space. Virtual shadows and the sound track, composed of visceral heart pulses are used to invoke the infinite levels of reproduction of living cells in the human body. “

In addition to the installation I produced 15 photographic e-sketchbooks containing hundreds of images drawn from her visual research. These digital sketchbooks presented in landscape format echo the conceptual methods of the moving image installation. Thematic titles are conceptually re-versioned and the form is fluidic: pages may carry a single image or mirror pages found elsewhere; a text frame may directly relate to an adjacent image or may be repeated or carry references to a later image.

Barad, Karen, Meeting the Universe Halfway – Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning,
Duke University Press

February 2, 2016

Black Lace


Produced as part of an international contemporary art and craft exhibition, Black Lace is a site-sensitive video and sound installation commissioned for the UK Crafts Council 50/50 funded international lace textile exhibition, Lost in Lace, for the Birmingham City Art Gallery and Museum. Museum lace archive conservator support enabled an off-site destructive micro-visual analysis of silk lace from a unique sample of antique Chantilly lace. The donor sample is beautiful virtuoso piece of 20th century lace, bought from Steinman’s in Piccadilly London forming part of Lady Cadbury’s archive collection. Hundreds of hugely magnified studies were produced using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) in collaboration with scientific imaging specialists from the Biomedical Imaging Unit, School of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Using complex, digital methods these were post produced and re-composed to create a continuous, slow panning shot of lace montages arranged along the Z axis in virtual 3D screen space. The resulting continuous scrolling lace landscape is set against a multilayered, stochastic sound composition of larval silk moths devouring the mulberry leaves that fuel the production of the silk protein fibers.

The Black Lace project breaks customary patterns of approaches to the material culture of lace, re-framing it as a complex biomaterial with bio-economic and bioethical dimensions. Black Lace alludes to the lurking fault lines between nature and culture and the work follows on from my wider research themes that also make cultural and artistic connections to the practices and narratives of contemporary biosciences.

The dramatic acceleration of scientific fabrication techniques in the life sciences, wherein the structure and function of biological systems are designed and engineered into biomaterials and molecular machines is culturally pervasive. The fixed notion of “humanness’ has already been subtly transformed by advancements in transgenic technologies and medicine but most of us are not able to realize the fullness, meaning and impact of these scientific practices that reconfigure life

The decisive factor in using SEM was to visually evidence the underlying mathematics and structural torsions and twisting of Chantilly lace in close conjunction with the theoretically unfathomable and unimaginable complexity of the silk fibers. The human Chantilly net maker mimics polygonal networks found in nature but in the film, immensely magnified details reveal the lace’s intrinsic “otherness” and silkworm origins. The atoms, molecules and ecosystems deployed by the silk worms appear to operate like forces swelling out into shattered spirals. Each layered image in each scrolling scene of the film was technically drawn line by line by the deflections of a scanning electron beam operating in a vacuum. Each scene is intrinsically an image of lifelessness and the film is like a fossil. Human vision involves the register of light in the retinal nervous system and brain. The non-optical electron materialization of the Chantilly net in the installation alludes to processes of biophysical metamorphosis and other lurking frontier narratives drawn from the contemporary biosciences and synthetic biology. In the biotech context, the chemical co-alliance of humans and the insect species is spectacular in its imagination but in many ways can be seen to follow on from the 5000-year scientific techniques of Sericulture industry in Asian countries. Sericulture refers to the production of silk from the larval cocoon of the silkworm Bombyx mori. The silkworm has biosocial significance and vast economies and whole communities depend on the molecular proteins of its cast off capillary structure. The industrial killing and utilization of the silkworm can make us lose sight of the intrinsic mystery around its morphological developmental stages from egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon) to adult moth and the fact that these intricate developmental mechanisms of metamorphosis are little understood by modern life science. Black Lace alludes to the lurking fault lines between nature and culture and the work follows on from my wider research themes that also make cultural and artistic connections to the practices and narratives of contemporary biosciences. The research outcomes represent a unique artistic, experimental approach to scientific imaging methods using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and fluorescing CLSM (Con-focal Laser Scanning Microscopy) building on paradoxical optical and quantum principles of image processing to forge a synthesis of hidden forms, wavelengths, signals and the instrumentation of matter. The project has resulted in transferable knowledge by extending the experimental use of non-optical microscopy as a “plastic” technical media for the production of art. The project extends the presentation of scientific imaging to encourage public engagement with the physics of non-optical bioimaging concepts and synthetic biology. The research engages in novel imaging production that extends the use of scientific imaging in the production of high-resolution HD video quality moving image display.

The work aims to provides an accessible public engagement platform for public debate and awareness of ethical and cultural issues arising from the biosciences.

Media:Video Projection and Sound Art
Duration: 8 minute - HD Video 16:9

Sound Z'ev
Editor Simon Allmark

International conference presentation for Crafts Council UK- Framing Dark Space.

December 11, 2006


I'm working on a recording project that explores the irregular heart beat in transgenic zebrafish.

Measurements of electrical activity of different chambers and areas of the living heart are made to resemble maps. In developmental genetics the zebrafish genes are labelled to indicate how specific genes affect the pulse of the heart. As they are discovered, researchers give specific heartbeat patterns names of novels, songs and dances.



October 31, 2006


Work in progress based on initial meetings with researchers at the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Science, Hubrecht Developmental Biology Lab, Utrecht University.

From my Project Notebooks:

Genetic Sculpture
The themes of this project focus on the signals of life and death and how these are built into the biochemical instructions of the living cell. Installation artworks are planned that will present and explore how the architecture of the body is genetically determined based on living heart morphogenesis and the prolonging of the limbo state.


This is work in progress. A still from a time-lapse video of Oyster Mushrooms Pleurotus Ostreatus

Conserved Topography
Genes that disrupt pathways associated with cytoskeleton, cell adhesion or formation of a highly organised extracellular matrix during organ formation have the potential of perturbing normal heart looping as well as the formation of a single heart tube. In addition, if there are perturbations resulting in endocardial changes and the dorsal mesocardium, these will also have adverse effects on looping. What causes cells to line up and make a heart tube ? How are pre-cardiac cells at the molecular level identified? In exploring the embryonic stages leading from early gastrulation to the formation of a tubular heart the work will evoke the implications of genetic metaphors and allow spectators to remotely view the signals of death in the genesis of life.


Heart cross section

Notebook Drawings








October 30, 2006

Signal Cascade




Zebrafish facility at the Hubrecht Developmental Biology Laboratory, Utrecht University

The Perishable Soft Image
Genes that control other genes have nucleotide seqeunces that are conserved accross the whole animal kingdom. Repeated functions, organizers and zones are transplanted into developing embryonic fish to effect a developmental cascade. The result is mutant individuals in which one body part is replaced by another.

A visible x shaped structure formed by homologous chromatids in prophase of meisos and which represents the site of crossing over and exchange of segments of DNA between homologous chromatids (recombination) by the mechanism of breakage and reunion.

The more biologists learn about genes, the less sure they seem to become of what a gene really is. Knowledge about the structure and function of the gene abounds, but also, the gene has become curiously intangible.

Relating the gene as a molecular biological unit to the gene as Mendelian factor produces internal inconsistencies; but genes have been deeply illusive entities even with the traditional Mendelian framework.

Peter Beurton, Raphael Falk, Hans-Jorg-Rheinberger
The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution

Insights into biological phenomena made by molecular geneticists show biological changes in the structure of DNA over time and detail what happens to a molecular structure and gene expression in the period of one mitosis to the next. Chromosomes condense during mitosis and through the motion of intermingling and disentanglement become separate entities. There is a time based "betwixt and between" state in this biochemical condensation that remains unfathomable. In molecular genetics hybrid forms of "betwixt and between" are collected and stored. Potential states of being that are neither fully alive, biologically dead nor naturally self-regulating can be sustained experimentally is a state of permanent existence. Molecular geneticists working on the extreme limits of gene regulation and expression in gene therapy and retro viral research constantly evolve and apply models of this "betwixt and between" state. The chirality, handedness and silencing of genes and proteins can be reworked and re-mapped and provide science with an emergent and phenomenological model of life that correspondingly provides the subtle interactions, cell dynamics and vectors of death.

Originally, epigenetics referred to the study of the way genes and their products bring the phenotype into being. Today, it is primarily concerned with the mechanisms through which cells become committed to a particular form or function and through which that functional or structural state is then transmitted in cell lineages. In particular, recognizing that there are epigenetic inheritance systems through which non-DNA variations can be transmitted in cell and organismal lineages.

Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2002)

Signal Cascade
In genomic research the epigenetic vectors of death can be reworked to provide images and physical models of cell migration and differentiation. My artistic research is to understand what science knows about genetic transcription and to address what can be registered as occurring during the morphogenesis of a living organism. When biophysicists predict and provide a three dimensional structure of a protein molecule they also generate more extravagant visual complexity in the living cell. A pool of cells under a light microscope, seen as a swarming colony, has infinite dimensionality and scale. Ancestral affinities are fluidic. The appearance of spontaneous correlative phenomena at the level of RNA are visualised using different conceptual and optical tools and techniques.

October 25, 2006

Zebrafish Zoo


Zebrafish facility at the Hubrecht Developmental Biology Laboratory, Utrecht University


The transparency and motion of the fish coalesce and suggest the change, migration and transcription of bases of DNA

Biotic Life
In genetic studies, the zebrafish is perceived as a kind of ensemble of characteristics. Genetic point mutations, deletions and insertions are used to determine phenotypic consequences. The cutting and tearing apart of the zebrafish at the molecular level and observing the regrowth of its body is replayed and replayed as a way of learning and harnessing it's immune system. As the fish are bred their immune defences are both encouraged by the duty of care provided by technicians and tested to the limit by forced mutations. As living entities they have a twilight biotic existence that is easily interrupted and dependent on scientific interpretation. A surreal counterpart of their functionality as genetic models is their imagined transformation into spectral and mirror images of potential humans.


Zebrafish Danio Rerio is part of a pantheon of model organisms used to study vertebrate development. Zebrafish are used as a genetic model system because they are small, breed quickly and are inexpensive to maintain in large numbers. These characteristics make the zebrafish useful for classical genetic analysis. Classical genetics refers to the search for mutations that distort specific biological events without foreknowledge of the genes or gene involved.



Zebrafish mating pairs yield hundreds of embryos at weekly intervals. Their mating habits are diurnal, initiated by light. Zebrafish embryos are obtained by placing an adult male and female together in a breeding cage in the evening. Fertilisation occurs externally. Male and female gametes are released into the water and the activated sperm must quickly encounter and fertilise the eggs. The fertilised eggs fall through a mesh at the bottom of the tank. The eggs are then collected and raised in Petri dishes in a temperature-controlled incubator and are accessible for observation and manipulation throughout embryonic development. The timing of developmental events is affected by temperature. Higher and lower temperatures have an effect on the speed of development. The striking transparency of the embryos facilitates the observation of morphological structures in vivo without the need for fixing and staining. The breeding tanks transform the fish into novel living artefacts.


Mutagenesis and Transplantation Chimeras
Green Fluorescent Protein probes reduce the zebrafish to a series of macabre abstractions. Migrating cells are labelled. Genes are silenced and malformations witnessed.


Faulty Genes
There are many mutations affecting cardiac morphogenesis in zebrafish and many of these have been identified according to specific genes.


Fate Maps
Absent ventricle, randomised heart looping, no valves, no heart beat, silent atrium, large heart, both chambers beat weakly, reduced heart tissue, isolated cell contraction, spasmodic beat, cardia bifida, no endocardium.



Cell Theory


Growing Oyster Mushrooms

Cultural and Cosmic Evolution
In 1839 Schleiden and Schwann proposed cell theory. Stating that cells have universal occurrence and are the basic units of an organism. Cells are like lakes that drain into bodies. Organic matter is energetic pattern and moving order. The formative process giving rise to the structure of nerves, muscle, vein and bone is the same subtly ordered formative processes as the generation of the mind and consciousness.


Notebook Drawings

The instruments we use become extensions of our bodies. In order to operate instruments skillfully we internalise them in the form of kinesthetic and perceptual habits. Our instruments become part of us and modify us, gradually altering the basis of our affective relationship to ourselves and each other.

In cell work microscopes represent physical tools for the mind that attach to the body. The scene below, on the stage of the scope is closer to the mind than the eye. The colour and movement of live cell imaging is shadowy, delicate and unformed.

Cells were described by Robert Hooke in the 17th century. An optical microscope revealed box like structures in cork. These micrographic images of dissected cork look like randomised mosaics and netting and consequently were described as cells.

In the Microscope. Here too are the dreaming landscapes, lunar, derelict. Here too are the masses, tillers of the soil. And cells, fighters who lay down their lives for a song. Here too are cemeteries, fame and snow. And I hear the murmuring, the revolt of immense estates.

Miroslav Holub
Shedding Life

In 1849 cell division was witnessed for the first time. The cells under the microscope spontaneously divided along their centres again and again. This observation later led Rudolph Vichow to propose that all cells come from pre-existing cells. An assertion that gave rise to the idea of a spontaneously generating universal life process.

Powerful microscopes and biochemical techniques are used to unravel the chemical reactions and molecular structures within the cell. Time lapse live cell imaging is generally automated and the depth of field adjusted with laser accuracy. Different lenses allow for different visual representation and interpretation. Fluorescent dyes created from the cells of luminous organisms are introduced into cells to trace the movement and timing of spontaneous events.



Cell Guts
Around the nucleus are a mass of membrane bound organelles. These stand in relation to the cell as organs do to the whole organism. Some have a digestive function analogous to the stomach. DNA and chromosomes in the nucleus rely on the cell guts to manufacture proteins, enzymes and hormones. The symbiotic cell bodies co-exist and co-create each other in the choreographed dance of transcription.


September 18, 2006



The Anatomy of the Heart as a Pump
The heart is a muscular pump that propels blood into the arterial (delivery) system and receives blood from the venous (return) system. The heart is divided into right and left sides. Each side has a receiving layer (atrium) and a pumping chamber (ventricle). The right atrium receives unoxygenated venous blood from three sources: the inferior vena cava, which drains blood from the lower half of the body, the superior vena cava from the upper half, and the coronary sinus, which drains blood from the heart muscle. The blood flows from the right atrium to the right ventricle. Ventricle contraction ejects blood through the pulmonary valve in the pulmonary artery and then to the lungs. Blood returns via the pulmonary veins into the left atrium and then to the ventricle. The left ventricle ejects blood via the aortic valve into the aorta and this is distributed throughout the body. As blood passes through the lung tissue (pulmonary tissue) red blood cells exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen and return this to the system. As blood pass through the body it surrenders its oxygen and accumulates carbon dioxide from metabolising tissue.

The wall of the heart has three layers: the inner layer, endocardium, the middle layer, the mycocardium, which forms the main mass of the heart: and the outer layer, the epicardium.



The heart has a skeleton made up of four fibrous rings (annuli) and non conductive tissue that connects them into a single framework. Each annulus is the supporting structure for one of the four valves of the heart and the connecting site of the muscular network that comprises the four chambers. Because the fibrous skeleton is non conductive the musculature of the atria normally is separated electrically from the ventricular muscle. The specialised conduction system that coordinates the rhythm of atria and ventricles, the atrioventricular node and bundle of His, passes through the fibrous connective tissue.

Chemical Electricity in the Heart
The cell membrane is semi permeable two layer lipid envelope that maintains the inside of the cell, a high concentration of potassium (K+) and low concentration of sodium (NA+) outside the cell - and outside the cell a high concentration of NA+ and a low concentration of K+.
The voltage inside a resting (polarised) cardiac cell is negative with respect to the outside of the cell. in large part because of the membranes permeability to K+ and impermeability to NA+ during diastole.


September 15, 2006





Fungus and Flesh
I have developed a simple experimental home lab growing fungi from spawn cultures and use photographic and time-lapse video to record their morphogenesis.This a technically unsophisticated approach to growing and translating natural phenomena as emergent sculptural form. I am linking shapes to human embryonic growth.

Witnessing the cellular growth process of fungi as their generations bleed through a surface and turn into a texture of flesh is both enchanting and uncanny. Thread like cells, hyphae form a subterranean, branched, mycelium web. They grow without light or chlorophyll and cannot absorb carbon dioxide from the air.

In nature, fungi appear mostly in autumn, the season of decay when their ecological function is to bring about dissolution. This saprophytic aspect of fungi and their look and shape and skin like membranes - the warts and patches - the veils and gills - the cavities and phallic shaped fingers defy the classifying intellect. Fungi have large cells with a membrane bound nuclei that exhibit complex gravity. They seem to appear haphazardly the rhizormorpic web spreads through the soil and over the surface the host, keeping an organic connection. During the growth process the opposing forces of entropy and growth visually compete and their flesh is seen to pass through strange transformations simultaneously expressing life and decay.

It's useless to pretend to know mushrooms, they escape your erudition. The more you know about them - about telling, for example, a Spthyema Foetida from Collybia Platyphylla, the less sure you feel about indentifying them

John Cage, Composer and Mycolologist
For the Birds

View the FUNGI Gallery

September 14, 2006

Danse Macabre

The Darkness of Ruysch
Series of works based on the famous anatomical collections of Frederik Ruysch. Anatomical collections suspend life forms in death as embalmed artefacts. Ruysch dressed specimens in period costumes made by his daughter. The recurrence of embryos and foetuses in the collection echo our fears of the complexity and fragility of the human being in development.


Child's Head with Turkish Cap, attributed to Frederik Ruysch.
Photo, Rosamond Purcell

September 13, 2006




September 12, 2006


Still Lives
Biological phenomena and the biochemical basis of genetic expression within the nucleus are traced with colour. Fluorescently labelled DNA sequence specific probes can be used to selectively stain and paint individual molecules and to make a tracing of the interphase that occurs within cell nucleus during division. Fluorescent micrographs can show where chromosome territories come into contact and show the intimate contact during their intermingling. Bioluminescence occurs in nature and using genetic transfer, colour and luminosity can be integrated into new life forms. In effect, the biochemical pigment secretions in animals, vegetable and minerals can be applied like a molecular watercolour palette.

There is a kind of potato that is pollinated by a single species of butterfly, which feeds itself exclusively on that potato. The butterfly may be said to be the potato's sexual apparatus, and the potato the butterfly's digestive system, the two forms a single organism. In this particular symbiosis, the butterfly's wing is exactly the same blue as the potato flower. The wing colour results from the reflection of sunlight by minuscule mirrors, that of flower from the transformation of chlorophyll, but nevertheless they match the consequence of a complex evolutional chain of feedback and adjustments. The Disney of the future should be able to program such effects at will.

Vilem Flusser
Curie's children
Artforum 1988



Photos from work in progress

September 11, 2006

Genetic Memory


All Life is Animated Water
The collection and analysis of human genome was completed at the beginning of this century. The sequence is freely available as a research tool for biologists. The existence of a universal code forces us to reconsider our human qualities and our evolutionary relationships. Genes can be specified for the characteristic behaviours of each of the different cells types in the nervous system and it will become possible to induce stem cells to become neurons and induce neurons to regenerate.

This suggests that the materiality of memory as an autonomous cluster of cells might become disentangled from the site of the body and come to exist as a separate entity.

The cultural function of gene technology does not serve humans to preserve acquired information like a library but serves humans to preserve themselves from death and extinction. I view gene technology as a new form of cultural storytelling. Genetic memory is ideologically sacrilised as a transcendence suspended over humans.

Vilem Flusser
Ars Electronica

September 10, 2006

Antler Bone





September 9, 2006

The Keres


The Greek Goddesses of bloodshed were called the Keres, they wore red robes and drank the blood of their victims as an act of deliverance of the soul to the underworld.



Notes on the Properties of Blood and Circulation
In blood the orchestrations of cell divisions, migrations, death, growth and differentiation lead to a phantom residue of disembodied potentials.

Heart Bridge
The observation by William Harvey that "Blood is the first to live and the last to die" suggests that the circulation of blood is bridge to an invisible realm beyond life and death. The circulation of the blood and the organ of the heart are inextricably woven. Their morphological and co-evolutionary dimensions are informed by each other.

The maintenance of the structure of blood and the division of the cells is a continuation of the method by which the structure of blood first came into being.

The immunologist and poet Miroslav Holub writes and equates our molecular being as an orchestra of origins, endings, arrivals and departures.

"Shed blood shows that there is not one death, but a whole stream of little deaths of varying degrees and significances. The dark act of the end is as special and prolonged as the dark act of the beginning". In his essay Shedding Life (1990) he describes how multi cellular death through spilt blood overlaps with life. He describes how a clinically dead person is still in a sense running around in search of themselves since the systems cells - phagocytes and lymphocytes are still actively metabolising beyond death. Describing how "Blood will have its way" he suggests that biology and reincarnation intersect in describing how a captured lymphocyte could be readily fused with a cell of another species, "forgetting about a previous self but retaining in its hybrid state both self and non self".

Cord Blood
Cord blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. Cord blood is rich with stem cells, the building blocks of blood and immune systems in the body. Stem cells have the ability to become many other types of cells. The body’s immune system and blood system also originate from stem cells. There is clinical evidence proving that stem cells from umbilical cord blood extend much farther than the blood forming and immune systems, and that they can differentiate themselves into brain, heart, liver and bone cells.

September 2, 2006

Symbiotic Evolution



Biology is the search for chemistry that works

R.J.P Williams
The Chemistry of Evolution

Bacteria, Geology and Blood
Ideas about the origins and evolution of life get constantly reversioned by the sciences. In 2005 I made a road trip with Oran Catts, Ionat Zurr and Paul Venouse to pay homage to the most ancient microbial ancestors of life on earth in a remote corner of Australia. Thrombolites and Stromatalites are living fossil communities of earliest bacteria occurring around the coast and within salt tidal lakes in Western Australia. The Thrombolites at Clifton Lake are rare archaeobacteria; these colonies of cells are the pre cursors of all living organisms on the earth. They sweat out layer upon layer of mineral limestone and these mats like some filthy swollen quilt appear in the shape of soft mounds. Billions of years old, these subtle generators of matter and photosynthesis opened a door to oxygenate the earth and in doing so left a geological trail of iron banding within the earth. This iron is a pre cursor of haemoglobin in our own red blood cells. Photographs and written descriptions give little indication of their scale or poetic impact. They have a strangely soothing presence and are curiously mesmerising. Watching their benign forms nesting at the edge of a lake you almost expect their creature like forms to move and speak. Evolutionary biology has inspired scientists and designers to explore the creative potential of “smart materials,” man-made materials modeled after nature that can adapt to changes in their environment and physically transform.These mutualistic bacterial communities are the key example of how symbiosis works.

Origins and individuality by incorporation

The origin of cells with nuclei is exactly equal to the evolutionary integration of symbiotic bacterial communities. These microbial symbionts are part of the evolutionary picture. The membrane of organells resemble bacteria in their behaviour and metabolism.

The order of events in evolution is decisive. Corkscrew shaped spirochetes, speedsters of the microbial world, are coiled and snakelike. Through viscous fluids such as mud, slime, mucus and living tissue, these bacteria dart to and fro, up and down, left and right. As they do now, in the remote past they outswam other bacteria. Quick and prolific spirochetes invaded archaebacterial inner space and those that interacted survived. Their living descendents are now inextricably involved in mitotic cell movements and other actions of complex cells.

All cells with mitochondria also have microtubules, remnants of ancient wrigglers. Such structure is consistent with the idea the spirochete- archaebacteria symbiosis was established first. Today certain mitotic swimming cells, to which oxygen is poison, still lack mitochondria. I deduce that the mitotic ancestor to all eukaryotic life evolved before oxygen permeated all corners of the atmosphere.

Lynn Margolis
The Symbiotic Planet

Extraterrestrial Life

Liquid salt water on Mars is in the form of highly-concentrated brine may support a "salt-loving" type of bacteria, says Geoffrey Landis, a space scientist and science fiction writer at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Halobacteria, is a form of extremophile, archaeobacteria, adapted to surviving in saturated salt solutions. It is possible that this ancient bacteria is preserved in salt deposits on the planet.

"Retrieval of ancient life from Mars would answer many questions about the origin of life, and the relationship or independence of Mars and Earth biology," Landis recently reported in the new journal, "Astrobiology".

NASA scientist Chris McKay, suggests that these Martian life forms could be retrieved, then cultivated in a suitable medium for growth back here on Earth.

This Page

This page is an archive of all entries in 'R & D'

Journal is the previous category

Work is the next category

Find more on the home page or browse through the archives


Subscribe to this site's feed
[What are feeds?]