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Zone of Inhibition: Relating to the Single Cell through Speculative Performance Practice

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This article presents extracts from a short film - a speculative vital materialist tale that reaches beyond a human perception of time, to document a conversation between a past-present-future sentient community-being of cells and their kin, present day humans who are always already symbiotically and parasitically involved in their generation. The conversation took place during a participatory performance workshop held at ASCUS Lab in Edinburgh, 2017, where participants genetically modified E. coli bacteria to hold a thought (DNA with no known biological meaning, only cultural meaning) within their bodies, and were then invited to enter into a speculative dialogue with their distant cellular kin.
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Keywords: DNA; Speculative; bioart; cells; kin; performance; vital materialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: PhD Cultural Negotiation of Science Research Group, Northumbria University Associate, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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  • PUBLIC is a beautifully designed peer-reviewed journal founded in Toronto as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on how theoretical, and critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. Each issue's editors explore a contemporary theme by bringing together a unique assemblage of Canadian and international art projects with writing by scholars, curators, critics, and artists. This, along with book and exhibit reviews, creates an assemblage of artists projects and original writing on prescient contemporary themes in art and culture.
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