CorpsCellule: Le Jardin


Session Title:

  • Posthumanism I

Presentation Title:

  • CorpsCellule: Le Jardin




  • Abstract

    Keywords: moist media, romantic conceptualism, the body, speculative research and creation, poetics, laboratory, garden, boudoir.

    Located at the cross-section of art, the body and biology, CorpsCellule: Le Jardin is a collaborative research and creation initiative responding to the inquiry of how bodies manifest and what the body(ies) can become. Contextualized in the emerging field of moist media, the project proposes the unlikely confluence of an orchid and a silkworm. Exploring the allegorical potential of where flesh and flower meet, somewhat pornographic metaphors are revealed in the encounter of these two symbolic life forms. Throughout the process of co-culturing these disparate organic entities, the realities of the uncommon interspecies immersion orchestrates an alteraction, carrying the discrete organisms involved out of themselves and into the realm of the other.

    The daily research activities include the culturing and care of living entities,experimentation in tissue-culture, and observing the convergence of a worm and a flower cohabitating, cross- cultured, and modified at cellular levels. Throughout the experimental practice photographic documentation, descriptive drawings, video, and a reflexive research log are produced, chronicling the continuous transformation of Le Jardin and the performed protocols of creation and care. Addressing the eugenicist imperative implied by acts of aesthetic selection, Le Jardin also examines the control inherent in care and the ethical implications of working with living media.
    The achievement or failure of this project lies not in producing a successful co-culture, but rather in the somewhat irrational attempt to realise the surreal. Not attempting to identify a stable body, nor to inscribe and explain its function, but rather to envisage the plural potentialities of embodiment. Articulated through a practice of installation, performance and photo documentation, the site of research synthesises conceptual and functional notions of a garden, a laboratory and a boudoir as an experimental locale to manifest poetic encounters. The controlled environments and systematic processes of science are adapted and performed, intuitively probing the potential of instrumentalising scientific tools as artistic media. To this end, select protocols of botany and biotechnology are appropriated in pursuit of the intimacies, the sublime, and the visceral grotesque revealed in the coupling of the body(ies) and technology. Drawing from both current and historical references, Le Jardin engages various discourses surrounding the body and technology, and through practice participates in the fictionalization of the real and the realisation of fiction, contributing a poetic manifestation of a speculative and imaginary embodiment.