With the installation The Infinity Engine, partially commissioned by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Hershman Leeson created a functional replica of a genetics lab in collaboration with well-known scientists. Built of modular units, the flexible and scalable environment can be adapted to different locations and reflects current standards in genetic research. In the cubicles, representations and re-enactments of lab tests are on view and printed scaffolds of noses and ears, microscopes, and other types of scientific equipment. Color-coding and signage define the areas of the installation, which is enhanced with replications of sounds typical of a genetics lab. Wallpaper of hybrid crops and animals and syringes define one room, and another room allows visitors to read files of legal documents related to genetic engineering. Visitors to the installation can participate in a “capture room,” devised in collaboration with Dr. Josiah P. Zaynor, in which reverse facial-recognition software captures the images of the visitors and reveals their DNA origins and adds the information to an evolving composite archetype.
The Infinity Engine, 2014, multimedia installation, partly interactive (genetically modified fishes, fish tank, screens, projections, wall paper, 3-D printed nose, files, electrics, and other materials), 380 x 1280 x 550 cm, installation view, Lynn Hershman Leeson. Civic Radar, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, 2014/2015
Dr. Caleb Webber, University of Oxford
Additional Interview Transcripts:
Dr. Troy Duster, Sociologist of the Genome, Professor Emeritus, New York University
Dr. Oron Catts, Founder of Symbiotica Labs, Australia
Dr. Myles Jackson, Professor, New York University