Video installation

Andrea Santini & Francesca Sarah Toich ©2015

Humans and plants, seamlessly generated and dissolved ‘in vitro’ from the same particles of projected light.

Inspired by themes and issues surrounding the extraordinary developments and achievements in the fields of genetic engineering and genomics the work offers no answer or statement but it does implicitly raise a number of questions on the reasons and outcomes that drive such research. It also alludes to centuries of alchemy and experimentation, all the way to Paracelsus’ notion of the Homunculus and it’s subsequent developments in nineteenth century fiction.

A video projection is mapped onto a small professional laboratory test tube rack where images gain an holographic quality given by the combination of liquid, glass curvature and rear-projection film material. The size and position of the rack prompts the viewer to drawn in near to observe the different processes that seem to take place ‘in vitro’.

A miniaturised female body condenses in one of the tubes and searches the tiny space around her, attempting to escape and establish communication with the viewer. As new clones are generated in adjacent vials, each shows varying degrees of awareness and agency and each seems to adopt a slightly different behaviour. Following dissolution in-vitro some eventually re-consolidate as plants, and viceversa. An ikebana style composition appears as a symbol of mankind’s need to imitate and manipulate nature. An anthropomorphic dead trunk fluctuates in a sort of Danse Macabre with a human miniature in fetal position …

Creatures born out of light and liquid within an eternal re-invention of life. Forms of life escaping the art laboratory to remind us of ancient myths still deeply embedded in current research practice, be it by ambition, by desire for gain or by fear of loss and time.