Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr at the Tissue Culture & Art Project are attempting to grow a semi-living jacket made of “victimless leather.” Living tissue are grown into a leather-like miniature coat.
Using a biodegradable polymer as a base, the duo coated it with 3T3 mouse cells to form connective tissue and topped it up with human bone cells to create a stronger layer of skin. The jacket is being grown inside a bioreactor that acts as a surrogate body. Once the polymer degrades, a jacket that maintains its shape and integrity should be “fashioned.”
They are also designing a MetaBody, a semi-living object consisting of different tissues from different bodies and will team up with French performance artist Orlan, to culture her own skin and hybridize it with skins of different pigmentation from other people of different races to create a miniature Harlequin dress, abolishing identities of individuals, genders, races and species.
And they’ll be growing facial parts for Stelarc, an Australian artist who explores extending the body through prosthetics. They want to grow a nose, lips and a shape of the eyes, connecting them to form a living mask that would either imitate a face or represent a mutation of it.