Live genetically modified E. coli, glass, latex, rubber bung, copper wire
Pithos ConsTrained Pithos ConsTrained is part of an ongoing project exploring the scientific use of microbial life as understood through the situated encounter of the artist in the laboratory. E. coli bacteria, used within scientific research as vessels to store information, are genetically modified by Mackenzie to hold within their bodies a thought, a question to the organisms encoded within their DNA. Exhibited live for the first time at Gallery North Project Space, Northumbria University and subsequently at Summerhall, Edinburgh, Mackenzie has trained the E. coli bacteria that she genetically modified (Bioassemblage #2) to withstand up to two weeks of existence without the need for laboratory support. The organisms are presented in a custom-built glass vessel that contends with the ethical constraints of developing new forms of life that are inextricably bound to human modes of production.
Pithos ConsTrained is part of the Pithos series of works and has been presented at:
Evolution of the Subject, Gallery North Project Space, Newcastle
Pithos (one possible story of our lively material), Summerhall, Edinburgh
Pithos ConsTrained lives at Ellison Lab 314, Northumbria University
Made in collaboration with Professor Volker Straub and Dr. Ana Topf, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University and
Robyn Hare, glassblower, Newcastle University