INCUBRA : ARCHIVED BLOG
1 Incubra February 26 2006 (17:27:00)
2 Incubra is GO! May 29 2006 (05:46:00)
IncuBra successfully attracted funding by ArtsWA for 2006. We wish to formally acknowledge the generosity of ArtsWA.
The IncuBra blog will begin in July 2006....
this is an image of the notes for the first chat Adam and I have had about incubra.....
IncuBra - Couture for the Bio-technological era.
IncuBra aims to be dialogue artifice for issues surrounding the advancement of biotechnology and its relationship to cellular life which is grown outside of the body –in-vitro (in glass), and the explorations of sexuality, “womanhood” and fertility which are in-vivo (in body) experiences, joined through the allegory of fashion.
IncuBra will be executed in the form of a Biotech garment – a bra or bustier “bursting” with technology, biology and cleavage. It can ideally be displayed as historical fashion garment, or can be worn and creatively exposed as a performance based, act. These acts are suited to be situated at gallery openings, dinner events and social events where social hierarchies and social butterflies may, or may not, reside.
The project IncuBra is ideally situated for development in association to discourses surrounding biotech, bioethics, bioart, feminism and wearable portable technologies.
IncuBra will be an haute couture brassiere, or corset, which will be capable of sustaining a vial of living material within a cleavage nook. Technological elements include a temperature controlled “bio centre” (through body heat from the cleavage), supported and monitored via fashionable and functional electronic features; beaded embellishments and perhaps even a fashionable well supply of pretty pink Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium with glucose, L-glutamine, and Penicillin-Streptomycin held together with hand embroidered trimmings.
The combined living fat cells of Artists Nina Sellars and Stelarc will be “kept” in the vial for their growth and nurturing. These fat cells are “remnants” (a biotechnological term) of a liposuction event, which the artists Nina Sellars and Stelarc have undertaken for their own project called “Blender”, in August of 2004, and are gifted to this project for inclusion as the object of un/desire.
Couture and electronic accessories unite with wealth. They are a recognised commodity for middle to upper class socio-economic groups (much like niche market cosmetic surgery). Couture is also commercially located. It has historically inspired mass marketed department store clothing which verges on the ultimate kitsch seasonal must haves (much the like burgeoning economically accessible cosmetic surgery trade for those with 'disposable income').
Biotechnology is filtering into our lives as a way of controlling, defining and exploring the boundaries of mortality, immortality, human and not human via reproductive technologies, cosmetic enhancements to the scientifically “helpful” cancerous cell lines, which are the epitome of medical immortality. All of these areas are seen as either tools or achievements in biotechnological history.
As biotechnology becomes a commodity (coining of recent terms such as “bio-economy” and “bio-commerce”) much like fashion it is increasingly becoming available to a particular income bracket and social status group who can afford its benefits both financially and socially. Unattended Healthcare systems, increasing bio-pandemics “bio-terrorism” and the fear surrounding these areas are all set up to separate socio-economical groups into those who can be helped and those who will be helped – What not to wear and Extreme Makeover !??
IncuBra is the must have high fashion, biotechnologically conscious or biotech-greedy accessory. It will be able to be realistically worn and “displayed” on body while incubating cellular growth in-vitro (in glass) – in cleavage.
The project also situates itself confidently in contemporary feminist theory with reference to women in science and women as objects of science. The maternal instincts of women in laboratories, care taking living things, reproductive perceptions and pre-conceptions of gender, and women as biological objects for the medical gaze will be called into question, challenged, undermined and maybe even authenticated!
All images and writings by the Artists are Copyrighted 2005 and according to all date stamps thereafter.
This idea is protected in the ethics of such creative endeavours, and the Artists strongly protect their rights as creators. Please respect artists and their ideas by supporting their endeavours, not appropriating them.
We're playing around with possibilities for temperature monitoring- we're looking at some of the visually stunning temp monitor systems from thermaltake as some of the older models have detachable lcd's which will be able to be suited into the garment construction. It also allows for us to monitor two temperatures which will require some reversing of the electronics to allow for a minimum temp as well as a maximum temp. Adam has also managed to hunt down some pcb free designs for such a piece of equipment. Should look nice if we can get it working. It will be visually interesting (displaying current temperature of the cleavage) as well as alarmed in case the temp rises to high or lowers to a non incubatory level. Will keep you all up to date...
Further on the subject of temperature…. We have had some interesting conversations about how we should approach the need to adapt the temperature of the cleavage. The temperature in the cleavage should always attempt to remain at around 37 degrees if its to be incubatory and cell culture friendly, but obviously this will vary according to various “environmental” factors. Thus far we have discussed a couple of possibilities:
The possibility of a pneumatic style cleavage enhancer which would pump air into bladders located on the outer sides of the breasts which when the alarm sounds for low temperature, the bladders would expand (fill with air) enclosing the cleavage and creating more heat. Alternatively when the cleavage is too hot (tempted to make a joke here ;) the bladders deflate thus opening/”uncleaving” the cleavage allowing for circulation. This would be automatically ideally but its looking like this first stage of the corset will need to be manual for logistic reasons.
We have researched various items we could apply to this idea –
I really like the idea of the mechanical; it seems to sit somewhat oppositionally to the biotechnological which we seem to identify as electronic. The idea here was to have two straps attached to the corset. Each strap would be attached at the side and wrapped around the front to the back of the corset – the other would be wrapped from the side to the back but in the opposite direction. These would be attached to a cog style mechanism which would wind in or out. This is really a flight of fantasy, but we imagined the sound of the cranking cogs as they reeled in uncontrollable bosoms.
some working drawings are to come...keep in touch!
This tissue culture techniques link is provided for those who would like some added information on the subject.
please feel free to comment if you have any suggestions or observations.
We also purchased some testubes, very cute with coloured lids. I found some neon pink ones too which I though would be fantastic but they are novelty items and not really suitable. I noticed there is a big market for test tube shot glasses – seems that the lab is rather an interesting concept in terms of the domestic. Adam was talking about this the other day where the definition of a lab was put to him in such a way as to define a space where experiments are carried out and re tested using specialised equipment and ingredients, as well as such a space that is a controlled environment – Adam suggested that a kitchen is such a space! This is why a project such as this identifies itself with “lab” and the domestic….much more on this later. Will post some pictures when these items arrive.
I am set to travel to Melbourne in September to visit the corsetiere – we have decided on Marquis DeSade corsets who have a very interested maker, Mary. I am really looking forward to having a chat about construction possibilities though there is much to be done in combining our working drawings to a readable plan for her.
We have decided on a format for the ‘performance’. I highlight this word because it is one that has been under much debate. The corset itself ‘performs’; it is my body that is its tool. When I mention performance, people envision me prancing around and perhaps dancing or gesturing, in fact I will be doing very little; after all who would want to upstage the corset incubator? I’m not even sure it would be possible to upstage its beeps and movements! People will be invited along to participate by wearing their own corsets and socialising during the High Tea event of the season. We have called the event The Mad Corset Tea Party. It is a working title and premise but has a lot of potential for showcasing IncuBra.
stay in touch for more updates ....
secrects that are kept in the chest....
Just thought we would share with you all a nice little observation about the word chest. While writing the BioTech Haiku poems, I was looking at words which describe the breasts and or cleavage. Of course the "chest" was one of them often being used as a kind of PC terminology which is an attempt to disguise gender when using it in certain contexts. For example, if I were to refer to my chest in the bodily context of my project it has an interesting tone, being a non descript word and simultaneously in relation to my female body, only meaning one thing. It's at this point we began to look at the various definitions for chest, and found that bosom also figured heavily in some of the more romantic notions of 'this area of the body'. Ultimately we used 'chest' in our blurbs in reference to the play fullness in our project as an exploration of:
secrets kept hidden in the "chest"....
Definitions chest from: http://www.allwords.com/word-chest.html
1. The front part of the body between the neck and the waist; the non-technical name for the thorax.
Thesaurus: thorax, breast, trunk, rib cage, bosom, heart.
2. A large strong box used for storage or transport.
Thesaurus: box, case, crate, coffer, locker, coffin.
3. A small cabinet, eg for medicines.
Idiom: get something off one's chest
colloqTo relieve one's anxiety about a problem, wrongdoing, etc by talking about it openly.
Etymology: Anglo-Saxon cist, cest box, from Latin cista.
Definition of Bosom from : http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bosom
bosom - the chest considered as the place where secret thoughts are kept; "his bosom was bursting with the secret"
archaicism, archaism - the use of an archaic expression
concealment, privateness, secrecy, privacy - the condition of being concealed or hidden
bosom - a person's breast or chest
breast - the front part of the trunk from the neck to the abdomen; "he beat his breast in anger"
bosom - cloth that covers the chest or breasts
cloth covering - a covering made of cloth
garment - an article of clothing; "garments of the finest silk"
bosom - a close affectionate and protective acceptance; "his willing embrace of new ideas"; "in the bosom of the family"
adoption, acceptance, acceptation, espousal - the act of accepting with approval; favorable reception; "its adoption by society"; "the proposal found wide acceptance"
bosom - the locus of feelings and intuitions; "in your heart you know it is true"; "her story would melt your bosom"
hunch, suspicion, intuition - an impression that something might be the case; "he had an intuition that something had gone wrong"
chest - the part of the human body between the neck and the diaphragm or the corresponding part in other vertebrates
female chest - the chest of a woman
male chest - the chest of a man
breast - the front part of the trunk from the neck to the abdomen; "he beat his breast in anger"
chest - box with a lid; used for storage; usually large and sturdy
box - a (usually rectangular) container; may have a lid; "he rummaged through a box of spare parts"
ammunition chest, caisson - a chest to hold ammunition
coffer - a chest especially for storing valuables
hope chest, wedding chest - chest for storage of clothing (trousseau) and household goods in anticipation of marriage
Pandora's box - (Greek mythology) a box that Zeus gave to Pandora with instructions that she not open it; she gave in to her curiosity and opened it; all the miseries and evils flew out to afflict mankind
pix, pix chest, pyx, pyx chest - a chest in which coins from the mint are held to await assay
sea chest - a sailor's storage chest for personal property
tea chest - chest for storing or transporting tea
tool cabinet, tool case, tool chest, toolbox - a box or chest or cabinet for holding hand tools
toy box, toy chest - chest for storage of toys
treasure chest - a chest filled with valuables
chest - furniture with drawers for keeping clothes
chiffonier, commode - a tall elegant chest of drawers
highboy, tallboy - a tall chest of drawers divided into two sections and supported on four legs
What is a Pirates' treasure? A sunken chest! I couldn't resist. Ahem, seriously, regarding bosom as a noun, you did not mention boob. My bosoms are quite large. Thus, I refer to them as boobs. Using the word breast, congugates thoughts of something small and perky! Dainty and delicate, which mine are not. They are just plain old boobs. Regarding cleavage, the other day I was using a curling iron on my hair. It was a very hot day. So hot in fact that I did not put my work attire on because I didn't want to sweat. I also did not put my bra (over the shoulder boulder holder) on for the same reason. Well, I accidentally dropped the curling iron on my chest. It bounced and rolled once, burning the very delicate breast tissue that is my cleavage. By the next day I had a pretty nasty burn. Applying ointment to the area was fruitless. The boobs, when allowed to fall free form, touch and rest on eachother. The temperature in between the boobs is elevated by the friction. Thus creating a warm and moist enviornment for yeast type infection to grow. Should the free falling boobs also rest on the stomach, you have pretty much the same scenario. Creating an Incubra that truly lifts and separates appeals to me. But that is not what you are looking for. Perhaps in the future, you may want to take a look at the opposite of an Incubra! Some kind of container that would accomodate dry ice. Alot of people, myself included, have thermostats that do not work. People with fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and some diabetics , are put more at risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke due to this immune malady. My wish for both of you is success with your project. I look forward to returning to your blog to keep abreast of this innovative endeavor. ........Peebs
Posted by peebspeeves on 08/27/2006 03:40:32 AM
Plenty has taken place since we last posted. Construction has started on the corset by the ever lovely and talented Mary from Marquis De Sade. We must say we are very impressed with the quality and creativity Mary has contributed to the corset and project. We definitely chose the best person and company for the job and we both feel very comfortable leaving that aspect in her very capable hands. She is as excited and playful with it all as we are and we are all having a complete ball with the process!
We have also finalised the working parts for the corset including the air bladders (they work very well!) the temp guage and support warming mechanisms, the speaker system and micro video unit. Everything is going very well on that front.
Cynthia was also invited to talk about the project at the Electrofringe This is Not Art festival in Newcastle this month. She was in the company of the talented Kristen Condon (TekniKunst) and Linda Dement during a discussion of works and thoughts about GenderTopia - this years theme for TekniKunst. Adam was also present but insisted on being 'omnipresent' as opposed to outspoken (thats Cynthia's job:)
We have some photos from these events and developments which we will post very very soon....we promise!
UPDATED: here are some select pics of the Perspectives of GenderTopia Panel at Electrofringe
UPDATED JAN26th 2007: Just a side note here, we feel its important to mention that Electrofringe, This Is Not Art and Octapod have still not honoured their contractual agreement to pay their speakers. This is not to use this blog as a soap box but rather caution artists who are embarking upon 2007 associations to ensure their contrcts are iron clad when working with any artistic body. We need to start asking for upfront payment. Artists need to be supported not exploited. (OK that was a bit soapboxy :)
UPDATED MARCH 2ND 2007: Payment received after much fuss..but atleast it got here I guess!
We thought it was about time we offered you all a picture of the mock up of IncuBra. Here it is! It's in plain calico material as its a mock up but it shows the placement of everything as well as a rough idea of the shape of the corset... The final corset has been completed and images will come as soon as it arrives.
We have a web page specifically for the media which has some most commonly as questions that may be of use. It may also provide an easy to understand rendition for other readers of our concept and what the project is exactly. CLICK: IncuBra FAQ
IncuBra will be performing on Staurday the 9th of December at the Meat Market in North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia at 5:30pm onwards during the opening night of TekniKunst 06 GenderTopia. IncuBra will then be displayed until the 17th of December at the Meat Market corner of Blackwood.
latest press from BEAT
TekniKunst GenderTopia festival information
from the TekniKunst website: EVENT: TEKNIKUNST 06 OPENING NIGHT PARTY DATE: SATURDAY 9TH DECEMBER TIME: 5PM VENUE: MEAT MARKET MAIN HALL ADDRESS: 5 BLACKWOOD STREET, NORTH MELBOURNE COVER CHARGE: FREE
here are some images of Cynthia in IncuBra which was seen on the opening night of GenderTopia during the TekniKunst Festival ...
This is a post with links to all media on the project – some of it is critical some supportive and we accept all opinions on the project. We do ask that media does some proper research to get some facts straight (can you guess what has happened? You’ll see :) Some links aren’t available yet – we guess they haven’t been archived but we will update them as they appear.
‘M’ magazine liftout, The Age, Victoria, General local and International Newspaper Media. Up Front, Battle of the Cyber Sexes, by John Bailey, December 3 2006, p.5.
‘M’magazine liftout, The Age, Victoria, General local and International Newspaper Media. Preview, Review of Gendertopia, Penny Webb, December 17, 2006, p.43.
Herald Sun, Victoria, Tabloid style media paper: Article: Anger on art 'porn' by Kelvin Healey,
December 10, 2006
Herald Sun, Victoria, Tabloid style media paper On line component: The bra that doesn’t uplift, by Andrew Bolt, Sunday, December 10, 2006 Note: please be aware if you wish to reply or comment on the HS blog your post may be edited or omitted by the editor if it is deemed contrary to the designed flow of said blog. Please note that despite the comments which stem from the blog linked here, the fat cells were given to us by two OTHER artists who self funded their own project in which they had liposuction for the procurement of 'artistic material' for Blender which you can look at here or a video review here- they did not apply for nor receive any government funding to do so it was paid for out of their own pockets.
BNews, Melbourne’s premier Gay and Lesbian newspaper media. Digital Women in Control, by Daren Pope, December 30, 2006. Note: please note that Adam Fiannaca is also a collaborating artist on the project which was not mentioned in the article.
BEAT Magazine. Gendertopia, by Ben Convey, 06 Dec 2006, Issue: Beat #1042, p.30.
JJJ/ABC radio, Sunday Nights Safran, Religion, Politics and Hoochies, with Father Bob. Includes an Interview with Cynthia Verspaget, December 10, 2006.
SBS Radio WORLDVIEW
SBS Radio Alchemy
...again if we could direct media and the general public who are 'art speak' weary to our 'easy speak' ;) FAQ for further information on the project. We will update this document as more questions arise or more clarity is needed. The blurb at the start of the blog is our arty (maybe slightly outdated as work developes) take on it and it may not suit the palate of many of our readers so the FAQ is available to you - says the same thing but in different 'language'. Enjoy :)
IncuBra has be requested for inclusion in the Bios4 survey exhibition in Spain in 2007 at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla Spain... we are looking forward to exhibiting in such a professional forum along with other fantastic artists!! We will keep you up to date so keep checking back :)
we are currently seeking any funding or sponsorship assistance to travel to the exhibition - if you can help - please contact us. This ia major opportunity for international exposure should any sponsor wish to take such an opportunity to assist
Well, IncuBra has never been without drama of a sort and rather than being installed in BIOS4, it is still floating around Europe as lost luggage... Emirates has lost the luggage and decided to close the file even though we have not received the box! We are still attempting to locate the work. We have installed however an animation of IncuBraMK2- InucuBraMK2 is a much more sophisticated remodeling of the IncuBra concept (which was our big surprise) as it is brand spanking new, we have no promo photos yet we hope we will be able to retrieve the work and get you all some spiccy images. The gallery in Spain, CAAC, has been nothing short of magnificent and very very helpful and are also attempting to move the retrieval of the work along from their end.... heres a 3d image of IncuBraMK2....
We also released a Mini Manifesto for Alternative Parenting... the version published for Spain was incomplete due to a misformatting issue (to add to the problems we had :) but no biggy - its here for your to read in its entirety - its short but sweet. We hope to inspire some conversation on the idea that one can be parent fulfilled through many endeavours such as looking after cells, and that bodies that dont fit even into the "dont fit" categories can be fodder for pretty interesting dialogical stuff....