TABOO - TRANSGRESSION - TRANSCENDENCE
in Art & Science
27-29 September 2023, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta
Breathe, take a deep breath, and embrace the air that enters your lungs. This is a meditation on what constitutes devising a breathing machine to sustain life, precisely the human suffering and undeniable pain from illness and disease, and the pain of animals and researchers that happens to prevent it. Eurus is an emergency resuscitation system created in 2020 to mitigate the ventilator shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This breath-shaping and pushing machine has been tested with lung simulators, ASC5000, and is now undergoing animal experimentation. It is an artwork, a sculpture, a device, it's experimental and performative. This meditation focuses on the feelings that arise while conducting the animal study portion of the project, the sensations of giving life beyond reproduction, feeling their stomach rise with our breath, and taking away life for the sake of protocol. This is an ongoing artwork that exists in the space between life and death. It’s the shape of a breath that explores survival, sacrifice, love, and the emotional impact of medical innovation- the real cost of healthcare.
"Sometimes I do a little prayer for them, but only when no one else is around because it feels weird." -Says a friend working in ophthalmological animal research with mice.
"Do everything you can to save them."
- Someone losing a loved one
Thank you to sheep numbers 1550 and 1538.
Dr. Aisen Caro Chacin is a regenerating composition of cells that produce a woman, artist, and animal whose migration patterns are not based on seasons, but rather, chance, chaos, and opportunity. She leads the medical prototyping lab at the University of Texas Medical Branch and is an Assistant Professor in Pathology at the School of Medicine. She is Adjunct Faculty at the School of Art at the University of Houston, where she also received her BFA. She is a founding board member of the Medicine and Arts Program at UCLA and holds an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons the New School where she was also a teaching fellow. She received her Ph.D. in Human Informatics from the University of Tsukuba, Japan.