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PROSJEKT CELLF

AMMAN + AUGUSTIJN 2024

 

Microscopy image of a cancer cell. Green: intracellular adhesion. Magenta: focal adhesions. Courtesy of Progida Lab.

Bone cancer cell in 3D, focal adhesions (feet) and endoplasmic reticulum are visible

 

First published online 28 December, 2023

 

 

MOTIVATION

Create an art installation with opening night performance, on the primary question of lead researcher, Cinzia Progida, and postdoctoral researcher Jonathan Townson: How do cancer cells move differently from healthy cells. Our aim is to educate and inspire viewers to the wonders of cellular behavior often hidden to the naked eye – helping to hold a grounded perspective in cancer cell research that conveys a sense of curiosity and ease on an often fear laden subject. Amman’s multidisciplinary artwork and Augustijn’s curation aims to inspire healthier environments and people by inviting people to become more interested in science.

 

By looking within a singular cell, from the ground up (not the top down), the artwork, documentation, and materials produced are utilized by UiO after the completion of the exhibition. An audio-video installation with performance, and creation of printed materials with Cinzia and Jonathan are our primary focus.

 

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION 

Our goal is to develop a multidisciplinary installation about the research area of cell motility. This will be done by:

      • Detailed, colourful navigational multimedia materials such as videos and images leading viewers through inner movements and behaviours of cancer and immune cells. Ensure multimedia illustrates Focal Adhesion mythos. Focal Adhesions are cellular components present at the cell surface, acting like feet to move the cell forward. Metaphorically “cellular glue” bridging the organelles inside the cell, to the extracellular environment. The function of focal adhesions are often altered in cancer.
      • Created audio, visual and historic art and documentation with key moments in image technology development and how UiO’s research focus on the ground-up perspective of cell movement reveals how forces morph cell response. All artworks and recordings afford the usability after completion by UiO.
      • Though cells do not make sounds, the proposed sound compositions add an emotional layer to the multimedia installation, and music/movement performance on opening night.

 

 

 

HOW WE COLLABORATE 

Our art project will connect specific questions Cinzia and Jonathan work with in their scientific research to create artwork facilitating interest in the public and granting agencies to deepen understandings of biological processes. The project develops upon Amman and Augustijn’s installations and art at the crossroads of imaging-technology, anthropology, and ecology: https://mariamman.net/category/artistic-research/ , https://sites.google.com/view/ammanaugustijn/ , https://mariamman.net/prosjekt-cellf/

We plan to work in the Progida lab at IBV with Cinzia, Jonathan and researchers:

      • Look into ways the chemistry of the cells forces can be realized in space with the use of installation.
        Cells have no eyes to see, so we will imagine with multimedia installation detailing organelle regulation during movement, checked against Cinzia and Jonathan’s research to ensure fact-based artworks. Jonathan looks for innovative tools to answer answer questions. Cinzia looks at how the research fits into the bigger picture for answering research questions.
      • Movements/forces within the cells key features, i.e, organelle structures, DNA, nucleus will be investigated by using state-of-the-art microscopes by the research team.
      • Use exhibition space as an inside “mapping” experience. Movement/forces emphasised as key focus areas, interpretive dance is to be choreographed/performed by Amman. Artistic auditory components conveying movement/force. Movements/sounds will be based on Jonathan and Cinzia’s “mapping” methods and tools.

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTING INDIVIDUAL COLLABORATORS

      • Biography profiles of Cinzia, Jonathan, UiO researchers gives viewers information on the research conducted at the department, shared as printed booklet and/or QR Code linked webpage.

 

 

ARTISTIC PROFILES

Mari Amman’s lifelong, multidisciplinary artwork results in international performances, photography, videos, sculptures, paintings, and installations. Movements and landscapes inspired her research on biology and resonances. Her background in music and dance, and lived immunological experiences roots her interest in the Cellf, Real Art project. After completing with honours, a Bachelor of Fine Art in Advertising/Interior Design, Illinois Institute of Art (2006) and Master Fine Art with Frankfurt School Theory/Conceptual Studio Practice at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles (2015), her work was awarded 1st by the jury in the Imaging New Eurasia Exhibition in South Korea. She completed residencies, exhibitions, and developed artistic research methodologies on imaging technology, A.I., psychology, and mythology in Switzerland, France, USA, Italy, Mexico, and Norway including AWMAS in Santa Barbara, California and Kjerringøy Land Art, Norway (2020). Her Le Lapin journal cultivated a diverse, public audience. Augustijn Falkenburg’s anthropology, curating background informed his expertise in concept development, exhibition making, and academic research. After completing a Bachelor of Art in Archaeology (2011) and Master of Museum Studies in Anthropology/Archaeology (2013) at University of Leiden, Master of Research in Social Anthropology (2015) at University of Aberdeen, and a PhD in Museum Studies, History, and Contemporary Archaeology from UiO (2019), he focused on exhibitions related to ecology, climate change, and natural history. He curated exhibitions, developed projects for museums and heritage institutions in Amsterdam (NL), Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø (NO), Aarhus, Copenhagen (DK), Uppsala (SE), and Jedda (SA). Amman + Augustijn share a mission to spark wonder in viewers, while cultivating a greater sensitivity to the nuances of life.

 

Microscopy image of a cancer cell. 
Green: intracellular adhesion. Magenta: Focal adhesions. Courtesy of Progida Lab.

 

Microscopy image of a cancer cell, Courtesy of Progida Lab.

BUDGET

80,000nok: support our creative process including printing images, installation materials, equipment rental. Resource free exhibition spaces through Mari’s network of artists, galleries, BONO, NBK, BO memberships, and/or UiO, Interkulturelt Museum, and the Kreftforening, which responded favourably to the proposal of our exhibition plans.

50,000nok will be used for travel related to the project, hiring musician(s) for the opening, and potential exhibition and printing fees. Though Amman performs, possible classical and folk collaborations with musicians she collaborated with could be Bodil Rørtveit, Berit Opheim, Tove Taalesen, Hjørdis Helena Oftestad, Peter Knudsen, David Harenstam. Additional funding is being applied to, such as with Atelier Nord. Funding from Kulturrådet can also be sought.

 

REFERENCES

The visual installations proposed for our project are partly inspired by the following artists: Tal Danino, Eshel Ben Jacob, Jakob Steensen, and Nina Nowak.

https://magazine.columbia.edu/article/miraculous-beauty-and-healing-power-ordinary-bacteria

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/colonies-of-growing-bacteria-make-psychedelic-art-22351157/

http://www.jakobsteensen.com/tongues-of-verglas-les-langues-de-verglas

https://ninanowakstudio.com 

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