Lively Material follows a thought from the mind of artist, Louise Mackenzie, into the body of a genetically modified organism, the laboratory workhorse E. coli. The thought is translated by the artist from a spoken phrase, voiced by Mackenzie into a code that becomes represented as physical material: synthetic DNA, stored within the body of a living organism. The lively material of the organism becomes both container and commodity in the context of the laboratory. Through a filmic laboratory diary, Mackenzie explores how her relationship to the organism alters when DNA is stored in a cultural, rather than scientific context.
Filmed on location at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle and the Centre for Speech Technology Research, Edinburgh.
Research supported by Northumbria University, Newcastle University, Edinburgh University, Sunderland University and Amino Labs.