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Laboratory Life

Interactive art/science lab

An interactive art-science laboratory, exhibition and talks programme which featured DNA tattooing, astrobiology, micro-biological textiles and much more.  It showcased the work created in an intense environment by renowned international artists and scientists who transformed Lighthouse into a publicly accessible laboratory. The exhibition featured work by Andy Gracie, Adam Zaretsky, Kira O'Reilly, Bruce Gilchrist, and Anna Dumitriu, made in collaboration with scientists and the participants of the open laboratory. Laboratory Life was organised by Lighthouse and The Arts Catalyst, with support from the Wellcome Trust. It was conceived by artist Andy Gracie, based on the Interactivos? model developed by the Media Lab Prado in Madrid. 

Tattoo Traits


Led by Adam Zaretsky and in collaboration with Zack Denfield and Helen Bullard, our bioart project 'Tattoo Traits' examined the feasibility of a new notion – “DNA Tattooing”. We explored the ethical, legal, and health issues that might be raised by such a process. Our work involved the creation of a “new media” composed of organic material processed in the shed-lab environment to extract hybrid DNA. An adapted tattoo gun was used to explore tattooing a novel sequence of hybrid DNA into the nucleus of living cells, a notion which is statistically improbable, but conceptually possible.  The unique open-lab structure sparked continuous debate and allowed the public to engage with issues surrounding advances in biomedical technology.


The exhibition was further shown in Hong Kong at the Microwave Festival

More information at Lighthouse



Open Laboratory: 20 – 28 February 2011

Exhibition preview: 01 March 2011, 6-9pm

Exhibition: 02 – 07 March 2011, 11am-6pm

Talk by Lead Artists: 03 March 2011, 7pm

Open Forum: 05 March 2011, 2pm

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