Alternate Realities and Bio-Fashion/Art

This past week's 'field-trip' to see Toni Dove's exhibit on campus was really fascinating and inspiring. All of her simulations were awesome to watch, but I found the first one portraying the Bubble Dance by Sally Rand was the most entrancing.  The pairing of the trance-like music with the ebbing and flowing of the superimposed images made me feel like I really was in some kind of dream world.  I really liked the idea of allowing the spectators to be active participants in how the story will unfold. I feel that this medium allows for a deeper connection between the viewer and the character that they are guiding; I'd say controlling but I feel that's too restrictive. It's more like you're influencing the unfolding of the sequence in subtle ways, projecting your own perspective on it, if you will, as you highlight, relive, or skim over the seconds of your choosing.  You create your own version of a specific scene, causing the characters to move as you move, pause as you pause, and speak as you speak.  The whole experience creates such an interesting illusion of being truly connected with the character or characters at your fingertips, allowing you to be totally immersed in their worlds.


Additionally, being able to visit the WETWARE exhibition at UC Irvine was a great and enjoyable opportunity. I really enjoyed seeing the works that Mick had discussed with us a couple of weeks ago in person.  What I found most interesting was that the distinction between Bioart and the more established arts (such as painting and sculpture) as acceptable pieces to be put on display in someone's home.   In fact, while visiting some rather fancy homes, I saw works of modern and abstract art that really resembled some images of DNA, genes, and bacteria that I've seen while exploring Bioart on the web.  With that being said, I really think that the prints of The Great Work of the Metal Lover could be seen hanging in someone's home, or other 'classy' environments.  Not only do they look rather beautiful and entrancing, but I feel that the fact that they are actual images from a scanning electron microscope make them even more unique and desirable.  This is also true of the print I took home of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.  While the poster in itself is aesthetically pleasing, its connection to the Bioart piece, to me at least, makes it all the more interesting. Imagine boasting to another art-enthusiast about owning a print attesting to the fact that 'knowledge,' in its most 'digestible' form, was able to keep actual brain cells alive. So ironic! I feel that the unique histories behind each print could really add to the 'wow' factor, making them great candidates for being centerpieces of the elite's home, especially if they have any interest in the sciences. Photography is already accepted as a suitable artistic medium, why can't photography at the microscopic level be the next big thing?

Source: Meyerhoff, Emily. "The Metal Lover."

Moreover, I think that all of Anna Dumitriu's pieces cue into the connection between these new, outlandish art forms and the already widely-accepted mediums. She converted so many things that would seen as completely unrelated to art and fashion, into pieces that cannot be separated from these notions. The fact that in "Engineered Antibody" she uses a dye that was "originally a wool dye which is nowadays used as a stain in laboratories to visualize and separate proteins," called "Coomassie Brilliant Blue," and makes a necklace out of 'amino acid' beads says it all: there already is a connection between the worlds of fashion and the science behind Bioart.  Some creative endeavors have produced things like the 3D printed clothes of Neri Oxman, a designer at MIT, which has caught the eye of other fashion designers as well (See below).  These 'clothes' were made to resemble the human intestinal tract and intended to house living microorganisms (cyanobacteria and E.coli bacteria) enhanced with phosphorescence. But the fashion-realm of Bioart doesn't end with unwearable Haute-Couture, and actually extends into things that could be effectively used in every day life. For example, Suzanne Lee of BioCouture has designed and made clothes and shoes out of "Bacterial cellulose," which is produced by bacteria and resembles the texture of leather. In wanting to "explore how organisms like bacteria, yeast, fungi and algae could be harnessed to produce fabrics," Lee developed clothing that is completely biodegradable, and hopes that may one day be actual "living organisms that could work symbiotically with the body to nourish it and even monitor it for signs of disease" (Fairs, 2014). Could you imagine that? Clothes that are alive and actually helping us live more healthy, sustainable lives? Now that's what I call a fashion statement.





Baraniuk, Chris. (2015). "Intestine-inspired 3D printed fashion will hold glowing bacteria." Web. 26 April 2016.

Brown, Adam. The Great Work of the Metal Lover.

Dumitriu, Anna. Engineered Antibody.

Fairs, Marcus. (2014). "Microbes are 'the factories of the future'". Web. 26 April 2016.

Feuerstein, Thomas. PANCREAS

Grave Spotlight. "Sally Rand." Photo. Web. 26 April 2016.

Meyerhoff, Emily. "The Metal Lover". Photograph of print at WETWARE exhibition. 23 April 2016.