Pithos ConsTrained (2018)

Live genetically modified E. coli, glass, latex, rubber bung, copper wire

Made in collaboration with Professor Volker Straub and Dr. Ana Topf, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle 

University and Robyn Hare, glassblower, Newcastle University


Pithos is an ongoing project exploring the use of the living organism as vessel. Exhibited live for the first time at Gallery North Project Space, Northumbria University, Mackenzie has trained her E. coli bioassemblages (Bioassemblage #2) to withstand up to two weeks of existence without the need for laboratory support. The organisms are presented in a custom-built vessel that contends with the ethical constraints of developing new forms of life that are inextricably bound to human modes of production.