These pieces are based on studies of Caenorhabditis elegans, a microscopic worm that is one of the most studied organisms in the scientific community. It is often used to study aging, and in fact researchers have found ways to triple its lifespan by manipulating its genes. For months I worked with scientists at Harvard Medical School who were studying worm aging, eventually managing my own collection of worms and trying to find ways to connect to these microscopic creatures. Experiments included introducing the worms to bacteria and fungi collected from my body, thereby allowing the worms to mingle with my recent intimates, and building microscopic constructions for the worms to explore.
The installation includes prints, high-definition videos, schematics of the microscopic constructions, the molds used to make these sculptures, and a documentary video that follows me through a day in the lab.
Joe Ketner kindly wrote an essay about the work for it's Boston premier: Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.
This work was generously supported by the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, and the LEF Foundation. Special thanks to the Fontana Lab and in particular Javier Apfeld for allowing me into their space and showing me the wonders of worms; and Natalie Andrew for teaching me about PDMS and photolithography and helping make the microscopic sculptures.