Ophiux gives a glimpse into a near future that whilst fictional, is not far from reality and is founded on current scientific research. The work imagines a future in which synthetic biology has been fully realized and applied to both advance human evolution and increase life expectancy, and where human biology has been computer programmed. The installation will include a film work and a ‘futuristic medical room’.
To conceive the exhibition, Holder has worked in close collaboration with scientists she met during her residency at Wysing in 2015 - Dr Marco Galardini, a Computational Biologist at the European Bioinformatics Institute at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge, and Dr Katrin Linse, Senior Biodiversity Biologist at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge.
Ophiux visualizes how current digital developments are used to extract data from DNA. The exhibition proposes that in the future the human population, and millions of other organisms, will have been genetically sequenced in order to extract data, with the aim of furthering life. Holder’s work reflects on the reality of today’s healthcare, in which our bodies are increasingly mapped and digitized.
The installation will include larger than life-sized models of biological imaging machines as well as genetic sequencing equipment. It will simulate not only the collection of data from our own bodies but also the sampling of data from other organisms by a speculative pharmaceutical company: ‘Ophiux’