…(y)ou have entered into the heart of a research project as a core participant. You were at once subject and object, (experimenting on) your very “ground-state” – your own material [i]
This project came about through the intersection of three seemingly disparate topics. The first of these was my on-going research into the “pluripotent”[ii] characteristics of adult stem cells; the second was recent theories in the area of mitochondrial DNA[iii] and the third my rediscovery of two of my grandmother’s favourite books. Whilst each of these subjects has individual significance, together, they became the starting-point for the artwork: “Changing Fates[iv]_matrilineal”.
[i] My collaborator gives his opinion of my role during our project together. Nurcombe, V. 2005. Interview by Patricia Adams. In Adams, P., The Implications for Artistic Expressions and Representations of Corporeality of the Experimental Techniques of Biomedical Engineering, Doctor of Visual Arts Thesis, appendix v, Griffith University.
[ii] A “pluripotent” cell can change into another type of cell. Proclaimed ‘breakthrough of the year’, some adult stem cells have revealed their ability to become different kinds of cells, including neurons, fat cells, muscle cells, and red blood cells. Science, 17 December 1999 Vol 286, Issue 5448, Pages 2221-2416
[iii] Sykes, B. The Seven Daughters of Eve (2002) W.W. Norton & Co., N.Y, USA.
[iv] “Changing fates” is the term used by scientists to describe the way in which adult stem cells can be redirected into other types of cells.