Transformers was funded by the Australian Network for Art and Technology - Scientific Serendipity Artist in Residence Program.
Additional Assistance provided by the Australian Embassy, Beijing.kaleidoscope

The project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

In Transformers I was interested in the significance of biotechnologies on the individual, and on the idea of identity. Science and technology are increasingly mediating identity, or being relied on in that way. We have only to look at genetic screening clinics and DNA fingerprinting as examples of this. While acknowledging the knowledge (and creativity) of science, I preferred to situate science somewhere other than the centre. For Transformers I collected physical evidence of identity from 12 subjects; hair, from which I used the follicles to extract DNA to sequence, fingerprints and photographs, along with more intangible and cultural identifying information like personal histories. Combining the tools of science – Scanning Electron Microscopy (both stills and video) and DNA sequencing – with the construction of identity as a rhizomatic experience, the intention was to retain the elasticity of who we are and what we can become, without resorting to a simplistic nature versus nurture type argument. In fact those kinds of distinctions seem to serve very little purpose. What I would rather focus on is a need to value difference. Although the project grew out of my interest in genetics, ultimately Transformers was a counterpoint to the weight being given to genetic determinism.

Images at left from
Converge: Where Art and Science Meet
, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art
Art Gallery of South Australia
March 1 - April 28, 2002





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