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The Space of the Biomedical Body Symposium // Wednesday 23 august
This symposium will investigate the intersections of contemporary art and medical science practice within and around the biomedical body. Bringing together artists, curators, researchers and scientists, this cross-disciplinary symposium will focus on the dynamic research, creative potentials, emotions and challenges inherent in working with live human materialities.

 

The Space of the Biomedical Body Symposium is presented by Sydney College of the Arts’ New Materialism in Contemporary Art research cluster and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in conjunction with SCA PhD candidate Fiona Davies’ installation Blood on Silk: Last Seen curated by Lizzy Marshall at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

 

Guest speakers include: Fiona Davies, Dr. Ryan Jefferies, John A Douglas, Lizzy Marshal, Helen Pynor and Danica Knezevic.

 

When: Wednesday 23 August, 11am-1pm Where: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre RSVP: reception@casulapowerhouse.com More information: sca.newmaterialism@sydney.edu.au

 

Image: Fiona Davies, Blood on Silk: Last Seen, installation, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

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Exhibition Launch: Friday 21 July, 6 – 9pm

EXHIBITIONS: BLOOD ON SILK: LAST SEEN

22 Jul 2017 – 17 Sep 2017 | 10.00am – 5.00pm

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre presents its inaugural Turbine Hall Commission, Blood on Silk: Last Seen by established Western Sydney artist, Fiona Davies.

For this new work Davies will transform the Turbine Hall by creating five suspended makeshift hospital rooms from handmade silk paper. Representing the merging of public and private spaces, Last Seen investigates the emotional landscape that carers and visitors have with the hospital environment experience.

Fiona Davies is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Davies’ works are multimedia installations encompassing both the real and simulated. She holds a B.Sc (UNSW) and Bachelor of Visual Art (UWS). She was awarded a MFA from Monash University.

Her current theoretical practice examines ICU medicalised dying, intertwining emotional knowledge with contemporary medical practices – specifically, definitions of death, the materiality of blood and processes of surveillance.  Her ongoing project, Blood on Silk (2009 – ) included working in collaboration with the late physicist Dr Domachuk.

She exhibits in both formal institutions and non-traditional spaces nationally and internationally.

The Turbine Hall Commissions offer visitors new perceptions of our architecture and public spaces through site responsive artworks.

Curated by Lizzy Marshall

Exhibition Launch: Friday 21 July, 6 – 9pm

Details ex Casula Powerhouse website

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Still Photo Credits Alex Gooding, Martin Lukersmith, Zan Wimberley, Alex Wisser

Video Credits Fiona Davies, Alex Gooding

 

 

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.