Blood on Silk: Price taker, price maker


Fiona Davies Blood on Silk: Price taker, price maker,

2015  found objects, sound video and print  420 x 220 x 80cm

Installed at the Drabee Road Nursery, Kandos, NSW. Australia as part of Cementa_15.  April 2015

The manner in which the market works  for a person  producing  and selling their own blood, blood products  or body organs is very similar to that for agricultural production.  In this context price takers are those whose market activities have limited effect  on the market price they receive.

Additional Reviews:

cementa6 Arts Hub

IMG_2474 Six to Eight by Fleur MacDonald


Radio Interview on Blood on Silk, Death, Cementa 15 and some of the rest of life’s great questions.

Interviewed by the great Leah Haynes on radio EastideFm  earlyish in the morning of the 23rd March . My interview overlapped with the very fine visual artist Nicole Barakat. Over the years we have worked together and are both in Cementa15  at Kandos, April 9th to 12th.  So a great chance to catch up with what she’s up to as well.


Go to this page and scroll down to the bottom, find the 23rd March  and click to stream the programme.

Images from Whitebox in Griffith University

Blood-onSilk-web-3-As-per-I    Blood-onSilk-web-4--As-per-

Blood on Silk : As per Instructions 1,2,3 and 4

Queensland College of Art, Griffith University – Gold Coast campus

Queensland, 4222, AUSTRALIA


Installed at Artspace Sydney in late  2013, the work Blood on Silk: As per instructions I was exhibited in  the exhibition, Notes on the Work  a survey exhibition by Ian Milliss.

As part of Milliss’ open ended  practice, Ian had given instructions to other artists for the production of artworks, referencing works  he made in the early 1970s. These instructions were  – use strips of fabric 200 to 250mm wide each painted a single colour and then nail to the wall as you want

The three later works Blood on Silk: As per Instructions 2,3 and 4 were made in 2014 again referencing the code  of the barber’s pole and its subsequent distortion or mutation.  The code utilised in the first of this series is the pattern made by eight drops of blood falling from one metre.

Blood On Silk

Blood on Silk is a collaborative project between the late Dr Peter Domachuk, Dr Lee Anne Hall and Fiona Davies. This collaboration arose from an accidental intersection while Fiona was developing an installation in the foyer of the School of Physics at the University of Sydney Australia in September – October 2010. That work was titled Memorial / Double Pump Laplace II, and was the second in a series of three, site specific installations, loosely based on narratives of the dying and death of Fiona’s father, in 2001. During the four and a half months her father spent in intensive care the daily routine taking of blood samples became part of the pattern of the day.

The late Dr. Peter Domachuk’s research project adds new layers through the study of silk implantable microchips to allow real time measurement of the properties of blood while that blood is still circulating within the body. These silk microchips are refined, transparent and dissolvable therefore disposable, a biophotonic chip. Dr. Lee-Anne Hall a creative writer and museum studies expert also added layers of interpretation to the collaboration.

The groups thinking on the issues to address includes

– the materiality of silk as a  ‘natural’ protein fibre, ‘green’, ‘sustainable’, produced by an insect as the cocoon of the silkworm, triangular cross section,  non allergenic

–  the cultural history of silk . ‘silk routes’ pathways of commercial, cultural and technological exchange  Early industrial espionage (Byzantine period)  associated with stealing the technological  information about how to make methods of making silk yarn form the cocoons, Islamic teachings against the wearing of silk by men

 – The materiality of the refined silk / fibrion It’s characteristics – transparent, castable or mouldable, conformable to flat or patterned surfaces, cast or spin coat; water content and method of drying drives dissolvability and disposability.

 – The mechanism of reading blood characteristics in the array; patterning and organisation

 – The concepts of liveness of internal feedback , reading the body in real time; the possibility of self monitoring; instead of the sample being removed from the body to be read, it remains part of the body. The testing process is internalised rather than an external process.

– The medical ethics debate and the cost of health care.

– The relationship between humans and other animals. There are reports of an animal rights movement that disapproves of the death of silkworms in the process of obtaining silk.  It is possible to get silk from what is called pierced cocoons, ones that the moth has left naturally. Prior to commercial use the testing of implantable chips in animals/humans?

– Human rights through other uses of implantable chips; issues of surveillance or monitoring.