This is an ongoing series of self portraits (called cell portraits), where I use my own living cells as a primary media. In the most literal sense, these works are me. The exploration of self and identity through a medium that not only came from me, but continues to live independently of me.
Ethical considerations relating to experimentation on living organisms is a major topic of interest in this series. My cells have undergone a variety of experiments such as genetic engineering, co-culturing & conditional stressors.
View collection protocol here.
Endometrial or fibroblasts cells growing in a culture flask. Cells are harvested from menstral blood.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED PORTRAIT
Genetically modifying cells with a Lac-Z plasmid that results in a color change in the media.
Wearable cell portrait. These glass vessels contain my living cells in a liquid media. In order to keep them alive, they need warmth. As long as the charm is worn and makes contact with the skin, the body heat of the wearer can sustain the life of the cells.
Our attire is often selected to make ourselves more comfortable. Rarely do we wear things to make them more comfortable. The switch in these roles reiterates the challenging notion that there is a me outside of me, that has specific needs to sustain itself.