BioHome: The Chromosome Knitting Project

Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Fargher, C. A. & Narushima, T. (2006). BioHome: The Chromosome Knitting Project Philament: an online journal of the arts and culture online : University of Sydney. Aspects of a hybrid performance/installation, first performed in August 2006 at the University of Wollongong, presented in Quicktime format.

Original online e-journal available here.

Digital copy of movie also available here [mov file 6.4MB].



Research Background
This project is a hybrid performance installation developed in response to Fargher’s Doctorate of Creative Arts where two generations of hybrid performance works emerged from one bioethical fable ‘The Woman Who Knitted Herself a Child’. Biological collaborations were developed as a result of the artists’ participation in the SymbioticA Wet Biology Workshop. Engagement with scientific subject matter and hands on practice resulted in extreme mutation of form. The work exists in the contexts of performance and theatre/visual art installation/sound art.

Research Contribution
A new form of ‘bio-performance’ was created, allowing audiences to encounter live ‘wet biology’ products and practices in a modern biotech display home. Procedures such as plant DNA extraction and live insect cell culturing are used to explore contemporary bioethical issues, especially as they relate to reproductive futures and biotechnologies, in a theatrical context. For the performance a novel process of knitting salmon DNA fibre was developed. For the music, a number of standard pattern stitches used in knitting were represented as patterns in sound. These sequences are realised using inharmonic timbres based on band patterns that result from gel electrophoresis.

Research Significance
Process of knitting real DNA fibres recognised in performance, knitting and biology fields. Composition based on gel electrophoresis and knitting patterns presented in computer music field and broadcast on ABC science radio. Biohome was documented in Philament, an online journal in the fields of cultural studies and the literary arts, Issue 9 Dec 2006 and reviewed in Realtime 75 by Dr Shady Cosgrove.



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