In popular culture, the virus, as a biological, molecular, cultural and digital entity, is often considered as a contagious and infectious intruder that must be combated and eliminated from host bodies. Contrary to popular belief, recent paleogenomic studies have discovered endogenous viral fossils in bodies (human, animal and plant) that date back millions of years suggesting that viral contagion may play an important part in the evolutionary development of bodies. The work produced in this studio residency re-examines contemporary perceptions of viral contagion, and aims to explore the potential for symbiotic relations between virus and host. The documentation of viruses is further explored not as representation, evidence or historical index, but rather as a host that proliferates viral relations in the realm of the social. Visual and textual documents generated from research conducted with retroviruses in the science laboratory are used as material in-studio towards the construction of a series of artistic prototypes for a future interactive performance installation. The work created in-studio will produce a series of new viral assemblages and ecologies that visitors will be invited to interact with.
01 January - 30 March 2008