Futile Labor

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Futile Labor
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SymbioticA says
Opening event Thursday October 1, 6:00pm.

Official opening by Stelarc.

The John Curtin Gallery presents the world premiere of Futile Labor, a multi-sensory art installation by Ionat Zurr and Chris Salter that explores the growing phenomenon of the manipulation and engineering of life.

This installation at the John Curtin Gallery will enable visitors to experience the growth and movement of a tissue engineered muscle that is housed and fed in a custom designed ‘living machine’. Through electrical stimulation, the muscle cells contract and their resulting movement is translated into humanly perceivable sensations: vibration, light and sound.

Referencing the fallacy of “seeing is believing,” Futile Labor challenges the idea that scientific truth is based on what is visible and instead plays upon what is physically felt in the bodies of the visitors. The artists utilize muscle cells called C2C12s, which were transformed by scientists into “immortal cells” that can endlessly divide and multiply.

In Futile Labor, the tension between human and machinic bodies, the living, semi-living or non-living, is correlated with the very thresholds of human perception: the humble, almost invisible and barely perceptible random twitches of microscopic muscle cells in a dish over the efficient and apparent movement of a well-oiled machine. This human dream of engineering life may turn out to be, in the end, just vapor in the wind.

Futile Labor is part of Symbiotica’s HR initiative which includes a number of interrelated research-based exhibitions, forums and lectures throughout October 2015 that explore experimentation and excellence in art.
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By: SymbioticA