Revital Cohen: Artificial Biological Clock

  • ©, Revital Cohen, Artificial Biological Clock


    Artificial Biological Clock

Artist(s) and People Involved:




    Glass, nickel plated brass, acrylic resin

Artist Statement:

    The promises posed by new reproductive technologies such as IVF, test tube babies and egg freezing, are blurring perceptions of the reproductive cycle amongst women, and consequently, the age of conception is constantly being challenged. The female body clock relies on moonlight to regulate the menstrual cycle. The use of artificial light and contraceptive hormones, along with the growing pressure to develop a career, are distorting the body’s reproductive signals. The Artificial Biological Clock compensates for this increasingly lost instinct. This object acts as constant reminder of the temporary and fragile nature of fertility. Given to a woman by her parents or partner, it reacts to information from her doctor, therapist and bank manager via an online service. When she is physically, mentally and financially ready to conceive the object awakes, seeking her attention.

    Natural Kingdoms and the Post-biological World As technology develops the ability to break the boundaries between natural kingdoms and fuse the organic with the artificial, we are slowly liberating ourselves from the limitations imposed by biology and redefining our anatomy, mind and environment. Advancements in biotechnology and medicine allow our bodies to be moulded, manipulated and juxtaposed with other materials. As such we can take many confusing, questionable roles. This cross-breeding of the kingdoms opens up new design opportunities and a space for debate.

    The relationship between technology and biology is complex and interweaved. Technology has evolutionary consequences; it alters the human body and then compensates for the loss with artificial solutions. The work developed out of this premise explores ideas of inorganic biological urges, interspecific symbiosis and human enhancement. The project consists of two speculative design proposals exploring possible implications of developments in life sciences. The Artificial Biological Clock uses digital interfaces in order to analyze and influence behaviour, functioning as a remote prosthesis replacing a lost instinct rather than a dysfunctional organ. The Life Support project proposes using animals bred commercially for consumption or entertainment as companions and providers of external organ replacement. The work aims to provoke and trigger a debate concerning bioethics and the nature of persuasive or intrusive medical technologies.


All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: