(Re)volting Data


Presentation Title:

  • (Re)volting Data



  • Panel Statement (abstract):

    As a panel of artist researchers, we offer critical accounts of artistic acts with data that arouse aversion or disgust. We address the following; 1) speculative art fictions that engage with the resistances and revolts of microbes in computational ecologies; 2) the biopolitics of our corporeal matter, using the material transformation of blood into artwork as a case study; 3) artistic research and practice as a study of small things, tiny revolts and frequencies of interference; 4) the boundary between life and death, growth and decay; and 5) the biopolitics of disgust through artworks that invite visitors to eat food produced from members of the human microbiome.

    Individual presentations:

    • Helen Pritchard – Microbial Revolts


    In 1997 Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced the development of a living sensor, the “Critters on a Chip”, a tiny light-sensitive computer chip coated with bioluminescent bacteria, placed on a standard integrated circuit. In the presence of targeted substances including petrochemical pollutants and explosives, the bacteria emitted a visible blue-green light.

    • Jade J. A. Hastings – Trans-Xeno


    Blood is a substance burdened with impedimenta– simultaneously a vital fluid, one’s heritage, identity, a common bond, and a symbol of salvation. Medical practitioners from the ancient to the modern have studied the therapeutic potency of blood.

    • Gillian Wylde – revolt, she said


    Dodie Bellamy’s essay “The Feminist Writers Guild”, describes her experience with a short-lived activist group in relation to Julia Kristeva’s concept of “tiny revolts”. Bellamy writes: “Need the success of a political group be measured by its impact on a larger social order? What about the ways it transforms the lives and psyches of its members –their tiny revolts—are they not profound?”.

    • Jane Prophet – Life, death, growth and decay


    Psychologists have claimed that finding something revolting, being disgusted is evolutionarily advantageous to humans as it prevents us coming into contact with disease and contaminants.

    • Tarsh Bates – Cum panis: the biopolitics of self, fermentation and revulsion


    The human microbiome has received a lot of attention in the last ten years, with claims that human cells are outnumbered ten to one by bacteria, fungi, arachnid, and insect cells, and an explosion of scientific research into the importance of such microorganisms to human evolution and health