It’s art! When white blood cells attack each other

It’s art! When white blood cells attack each other

Blood Wars” is artist Kathy High’s latest art-science installation using human blood. The experiment artistically and scientifically studies the human immune system.

For the project, High takes blood from two people, separates out the white blood cells, stains them different colors and puts them back together into a petri dish. She then films the white bloods cells under a microscope using time lapse microscopy.

Blood Wars is also a competition. The white blood cells of two different people duke it out, and the winner goes onto play the next match. “We’re trying to find the strongest immune system,” says High. Ultimately, the experiment will reveal the processes of blood cell division and cell membrane fluid exchange, the immune system and the mythologies of inheritance and blood pathologies.

The piece will form part of a new experimental exhibition between research laboratory SymbioticA and Dublin’s Science Gallery, called Visceral, which explores the boundaries between art and living systems, bringing together more than a decade of work developed through SymbioticA’s art-science residency programme at The University of Western Australia. It hopes to show the tension between art and science and the cultural, economic and ethical implications of biosciences today. The exhibition will run from 28 January – 25 February 2011.

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