A meditation on intimacy and obsession in an emerging world of biotechnological rituals, the exhibition features three new bodies of work that correspond to three stages of love: desire, attachment, and grief. Through the frame of speculative narrative Dewey-Hagborg introduces us to science that is entirely real.
T3511 (2018) is a four-channel video installation made in collaboration with artist and filmmaker Toshiaki Ozawa. The narrative follows the true story of a biohacker who obtains an anonymous donor's saliva online and proceeds to fall in love with them through their biological data, ultimately identifying the individual and tracking them down. T3511 is a reflection on the ways in which biotechnology may mediate future relationships, as digital technology does today.
Lovesick (2019) is a sculptural installation of ten glowing vials containing an actual love virus that increases the production of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for feelings of empathy and bonding. The sculpture is accompanied by videos made with cellular microscopy, and by a polyphonic ballad which the artist and her partner sing intoning the letters of the proteins comprising oxytocin. Developed at a residency with a vaccine-discovery company, the work is meant to combat feelings of alienation and hate so prevalent today.
Spirit Molecule (2018-19) is an ongoing research project with artist and botanist Phillip Andrew Lewis, attempting to engineer psychoactive plants to contain human DNA. Upon entering the gallery, visitors will walk through a living greenhouse and a functional DIY genetic engineering lab staffed by a working scientist. If the project is successful, a plant engineered with the DNA of a lost loved one could be consumed as a genetic memorial.
The three projects in At the Temperature of My Body anticipate the role genetic data collection and engineering will play in shaping human psychology, behavioral traits, and aesthetics.