“In Search of Chemozoa” is a multichannel video installation, commissioned and funded by the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center, presenting an imaginary in silico model organism called Chemozoa. Created by British artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, known as boredomresearch, the artwork responds to mythical creatures documented in scientific literature to reveal tensions and interconnections between human and planetary health.
When in residence at the Arizona Cancer and Evolution Center, boredomresarch witnessed the beauty of the world’s simplest multicellular organism Placozoa (Trichoplax adhaerens) being studied by Dr. Angelo Fortunato who is developing novel model organisms to understand cancer across species. It was this simple organism that inspired boredomresearch’s imaginary Chemozoa, a fictional organism that experiences the same disease process that touches so many lives. Combining computer animation with footage from natural environments, boredomresearch presents ideas necessary for a cultural understanding of cancer.
The artwork will be exhibited at ASU Art Museum at Arizona State University, the Centre of the Cell (a science center based at the Queen Mary University of London), David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Atlanta, and Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth UK.
Photo credit: boredomresearch