viral experiment #4
Untourage, Baltan Laboratories
As my research in the laboratory develops, it becomes increasingly apparent to me that in manipulating life I become responsible for its evolutionary trajectory. The microbial other is vital before me, as living, replicating organisms. I have created something that does not exist without me and therefore I am responsible for it. I have begun to think of the E. coli in my research as my progeny and yet I am perplexed by my position in relation to them, attempting to nurture them whilst at the same time, subjecting them to conditions that seem closer to a form of torture.
I invited the scientists whom I have been collaborating with on a tour of my research. They all know what I am doing in theory, but they don't see the day-to-day actions that I take in practice and I wanted to discuss this with them to gauge their reactions. The following short documentary, made in collaboration with Baltan Laboratories, explores this interaction. Further reflections on the discussions following the making of the documentary will be added soon.
On making this mini-documentary, I felt compelled to commemorate the lives of the organisms that I had worked with. I kept a Lab Diary of my reflections on working with the organisms in the laboratory and photographed each of the generations of bacterial culture that I was responsible for in the making of my work. The documentation became a memorial to those about to die, a Memento Perimortem.