Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Wonder: The Art of Blood Dueling

I have learned a deep respect for the labor of science 
and the attention to life that allows scientists to push
their inquiries and advance their research. Artists and
scientists need to create a collaborative, open workplace 
between our fields that promotes visionary practices. . . .
~ Kathy High*

Kathy High is one of a number of conceptual artists exploring the intersections of new-media art and science, in High's case, biology. With support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, High undertook at  SymbioticA, an Australian artistic research laboratory, a project she calls "Blood Wars" that examines "the biological reaction of human white blood cells, and questions traits inherited through blood." High's project literally pits white blood cells of different individuals against each other, and as the cells "compete" in their Petri dish their interactions are filmed and displayed on a computer and posted, with the histories of the cell "winners", on a dedicated Website (see link below). High's "Blood Wars" project is ongoing.

Here is the trailer created for High's interdisciplinary "living art" project:

Blood Wars Trailer from Kathy High on Vimeo.

High's "Blood Wars" was featured in the bioart exhibition "Visceral" at the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. (My post highlighting that exhibition is here.) 

* Quoted in "Symbiotic Art & Science, Part 5", Art Works Blog, March 30, 2011 (High's video "Cell Wars" is here, and is also found on her Website.)

Vampire Study Group: Blood Wars (On this dedicated project site, you'll find a project description, the science laboratory protocols High created for "Blood Wars", a "tournament arena" where High has posted the results of various matches, an area for collecting stories about cultural perceptions of blood, and articles about the project.)

Kathy High's Research Projects at SymbioticA

Kathy High's Profile at Rensselaer Institute

Kathy High Profile at Video DataBank (Be sure to watch some of High's fascinating videos here.)

In this interesting video, High talks about audiences for her work, the need for funding, and artistic failures:


Isabelle Gregson said...

Hi Maureen, how utterly fascinating. Thank you for opening a window into this project!

Laura said...

Imagine. Each time I stop by this space, Maureen, I am reminded that all of life is art. It just takes these visionaries to show us how!

Anonymous said...

she likes the interaction that her work creates.
the audience seems like part of her medium. wondering how certain audiences will mix or overlap.
like a scientist, she is testing her theories and experimenting.

Deborah said...

All life is connected, of course it must be, and art reflects life -thank you for this insightful spotlight on a particular detail of that.