"Oculus Latus"
(OCOLUS - eye, LATUS - wide, side)
Mixed media The Tissue Culture & Art project in collaboration with Philip Gamblen (Sculpture & installation artist) and Shannon Howie (Textile Artist).

The TC&A Project has explored in the last 4 years the use of tissue culture and tissue engineering as a medium for artistic expression.

We did so by growing tissue culture over three-dimensional miniaturized replicas of technological artifacts. The results were presented in various media such as: Digital prints, video, web site and three-dimensional artifacts.

"Oculus Latus" tells the story of transformation of existing technology into the unknown realm of a possible future in which living biological matter will seamlessly interact with constructed systems to create the tool of the future - Semi Living Object.

This work explores themes of cutting edge technology, new approaches to surgery and the major developments that would dramatically change ideas and perceptions in regard to surgery and health care in particular and human relationship with living biological matter in general.

The starting point of "Oculus Latus" is an eye retractor. Connective and muscle tissue was grown over/into a miniaturized replica (bio-polymer) of this instrument. This replica was then photographed, in the Image Analysis and Acquisition Centre, University of Western Australia, using scientific image acquisition techniques.

The images were printed on different media including silk. The printed media was integrated with other fabrics and a three-dimensional wire frame armature in the shape based on the original instrument. We tried to emulate the appearance of tissue growth, over three-dimensional structure, in culture. A video of edited time-lapse clips of neuron growth is projected on a dome, which is structured after the vascular system of the human lens.
The installation is intended to conceptually enhance the position of CTEC (Centre for Medical and Surgical Skills) University of Western Australia, as a place in which future of surgery is explored. Furthermore, it emphasizes the uniqueness of the collaboration among the different disciplines of science, technology & the arts.