Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

26-28 November 2020, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Online

156. Nanook
Session: Session "NSP8 / Sustenance"
Speakers: Maayan Strauss

The proposed project is for a 15-minute video titled Nanook (Inuit for polar bear). The video is to be part of an installation that stages a new clinic for cosmetic surgery, which is the subject of the film. The world’s 26,000 polar bears are starving as retreating sea ice deprives them of their staple food, seal blubber. Meanwhile, every year, more human beings undergo medical procedures to remove their excess fat – with over 250,000 annual procedures in Germany, and over 750,000 in the United States, over a metric ton of human fat is extracted and discarded every day. This project, provisionally entitled Nanook, is a proposal for the redistribution of this human excess to save lives: the lives of polar bears. If fully utilized, extracted human fat from liposuction procedures could entirely support up to 600 polar bears each year or aid many more as a dietary supplement in lean times. What may initially appear as a perverse proposition emerges as a logical outgrowth of the ‘sharing economy’ and exchange-based art.

Maayan Strauss

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