Hybrid Bodies and Other Art-Science Collaborations
Seen as both the seat of human identity and the archetypal symbol of love, the heart is an organ that has been ascribed qualities and associations far beyond its anatomical functions. Since the first heart transplant in 1967, the technical aspects of the operation have been streamlined and now heart transplantation is the accepted therapy for end-stage heart failure. Yet few researchers have explicitly connected organ recipients’ experiences and cultural views about transplantation to the notion of embodiment.
Since 2010 four artists, (Alexa Wright GB; Andrew Carnie GB; Ingrid Bachmann CA and Catherine Richards CA) have had access to an innovative research study exploring the process of emotionally and psychologically incorporating a transplanted heart. They have been working as part a larger interdisciplinary team, based at Toronto General Hospital, led by Canadian Cardiologist, Dr Heather Ross and British philosopher, Dr Margrit Shildrick and other scientific partners. The project is highly innovative in that artistic research has been undertaken not only in response to, but also in parallel with, the scientific research. The artists and scientists have been in dialogue throughout the research process, which has also been opened up to heart transplant patients, their friends and families. The artworks that have come out of the Hybrid Bodies project will be exhibited at KKW in August/September 2016. We hope that they will provide a tangible focus for discussion.
Andrew and Alexa will give an overview of the Hybrid Bodies project and the different artworks created for it so far after giving a brief introduction to some of their previous individual collaborations