Snowflake

2007-2015

Installation consisting of video film, liquid nitrogen container, LED lamp and photographs

This project is based on our research of the history and the social meaning of cryonics—a field of knowledge, dedicated to preserving human bodies in cryostasis. People, who wish to preserve their bodies for the future possibility of “resurrection”, hope to “wake up” in the future, when their bodies will be recreated with the help of advanced nano-technology. We are interested in the social and cultural implications of this phenomenon, but also we would like to conceptually re-examine the border that separates the physical and the psyche and promote its plasticity. We have created a symbolic object that speaks about all this and the video is telling the story of the project.

To create our work, we have collaborated with the project  MEART the Semi-Living Artist , which is a geographically detached, bio-cybernetic organism that has a technologically created identity. It consists of “wetwear”–a culture of mice neurons, that grow over a multi-electrode array (its “brain”), and “hardware”–a mechanical body that responds to signals sent by “the brain.” MEART has the ability to sense the outside world through a camera that acts as its eyes. It has the ability to process what it sees through the culture of neurons on the multi-electrode array that acts as its brain.

Inspiration for us was the work made at the Cryonic Institute and the ideas of Robert Ettinger (“the father” of cryonics) reflected in his book “The Prospect Of Immortality and Man Into Superman.” An interview with Mr. Ettinger is included in the video as well.

For our project, we have used the MEART system, which was “seeing” an image of a snowflake before the culture of neurons (“the brain”) was cryogenically preserved in Georgia Tech (Prof. Potter’s Lab). At the exhibition display at Laznia, Poland the vial with the neurons has been placed in a liquid nitrogen container, exactly how the bodies of the Cryonic institute’s clients are. This cryogenically preserved “brain” may be dreaming snowflakes, because the only thing it has seen during its life outside the container was the image of the snowflake that we showed to it.

Collaboration with Oleg Mavromatti (ULTRAFUTURO) and  Guy Ben-Ary