This is the last of the five wonder cabinet works in this series on blood, blood products and body parts. This final work links two aspects, the movement of blood and blood products within the body and the heart that ensures that circulation. The heart is one of the transplantable body organs. In many of the current prototypes under development for replacement hearts, the mechanism sits outside the body and in appearance reflects medicalised design aesthetics. In this work the beautiful double headed flask used in the chemical laboratory sits outside the zinc box of the work while inside a modified game of snakes and ladders is played as we try to make sense of the progress of disease.
Work in Progress – Blood on Silk: Total Artificial Heart (TAH).
First image of a work looking more closely at blood farming. I’m trying to capture the liminal space occupied by the loneliness of the those abandoned by the system and by others. She looks a little too much like she is wearing a uniform at the moment. Thinking of painting a pattern of small flowers along the hem of her dress.
“Doing the right thing at the right time is fantastic and doing the same thing at the wrong time is horrific,” he says.
Published online by Stanford Medicine News Centre, this article reports on a small early stage clinical trial at Stanford University. The trial was conducted to evaluate the safety of giving patients with mild to moderate Alzheimers, infusions of blood plasma from young producers. Unexpectedly in the trial benefits in tests of functional performance by those patients were reported, primarily by their carers. The trial wasn’t designed to test these parameters and obviously further testing needs to be undertaken. Still very, very interesting. Also interesting is that the article reports that the intellectual property for the regime of infusing patients with plasma from 18-30 year old producers is owned by a private biotechnology company called Alkahest.
Detail of a work in current progress in the series on the story ‘twenty three units of blood’. All of those units of blood were donated in the sense that they were given without monetary reward. In Australia when you donate blood you receive thanks, a cup of tea, a biscuit and if you are really good, a lolly.
I posted in August 2017 about the blood and blood products production business including a link to a documentary shown on the Australian, ABC, Four Corners programme. http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1704H029S00. Not sure if it is still online but here is the link for you to copy and paste if you’re interested. It raises ethical questions about what could be described as the farming of humans for profit or as additional ways for individuals to earn money by selling their plasma on a regular basis.
Saw this documentary last night on the ABC 4Corners program in Australia. Its one thing to read about it but another thing to see it. Just watch it.
What a fantastic way of making the cost of testing so cheap and so flexible in terms of conditions of use that its really, really useful.
Associate Professor Bayden Wood and members of the No Road Expeditions group.
Photo credit: Steve Morton
Images courtesy of the Monash website