Photo credit: Windell H. Oskay,
on creative engineering and new media art

Victimless Leather (2004)

February 2nd, 2008

victmless leather

Bio-art project by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr at the Tissue Culture and Art project, working at SymbioticA, the art & science collaborative research lab at the University of western Australia.

Inside a small bio-reactor they have grown a tiny leather jacket, using skin cells from mice and bone cells from humans. They placed the cells on top of a biodegradable polymer structure so that they have formed the “jacket”.

From what I can understand the fact that they use a combination of cells from mice and humans is not merely for practical reasons but also because this is part of their research into “semi-living” objects, physical objects that are designed (!) to upset the dominant hierarchical taxonomies of living/dead, human/inhuman, organic/inorganic, etc.

Régine Debatty (who runs the we make money not art blog) talked about this piece in a lecture and talked about an odd incident where some people crashed an exhibition of the piece, outraged — although it is a little unclear of their agenda was animal rights questions, political, ethical or possibly religious questions.

Further reading:

Structured tagging