This installation, which mimics the machinery and procedures of bioscientific research, consists of a set of custom-made tubular glass devices suspended vertically at eye-level from a metal rod construction that supplies power. The core component of each of the glass housings, staged so that observers can move between them and experience them from all angles, is a single human hair. Each of these glass “transducers” also contains a set of minute mechanical devices, comprised of a trigger and a reader made of customised printed circuit boards equipped with electronic components, and the means to produce audible vibratory output based on the capillary DNA reading from the hair. The biological specimens thus generate a soundscape where uniquely individual vibrations can be heard by deambulating amongst the transducers contributing to this human hair polyphony. Visitors can offer their own encoded samples for future showings, registering their donations in a consultable archive. Hair as a repository of identity is literally instrumentalised in this pseudo-scientific aesthetic mantra. The installation functions metaphorically at a number of entangled levels, combining the hallowed metrics of laboratory clean rooms with the mysticism of religious sanctuaries for holy relics, and where the buzz of fine tuned machines conveys the fragile uniqueness of human debris.
Verena Friedrich (Germany)
VIDA 13.2 - Special mention