finger to a blind eye
collaborative work with tom harrup
Finger to a Blind Eye is an ongoing project taking various forms and presentations, evolved between Deniz Üster and Tom Harrup. It began as a DIY yet highly advanced computer system, improved to enable data storage within the single cell of a stem tuber. Research has been carried out whereby data, encoded as artificial DNA, is copied into the genome of a common soil bacteria (Bacillus Subtilis). The researchers claim that this is the solution to harddrive crashes, and temporality of stored information. One of the early experiments stored the message: "E =MC2 1905!" — Albert Einstein's famous energy-mass equivalence equation. This is the very first information that was inserted onto the genome of the mentioned bacteria. We took this one step further and sustained the investigation with the insertion of the bacteria into a host mechanism. Rhizomes were chosen for their convenience to reproduce, and their resilience to degradation and data loss over equivalent storage organs. Our recent progress has shown successful results in inseminating the word group “who are you” into the fabric of solanum tuberosum, aka the common potato.
Each member of the laboratory equipment is interactive, providing the audio-visual presentation of our research through the monitor is carefully followed. Objects that are both familiar yet alien whirr, hum, jingle, flicker or revolve. Some parts are illuminated as if on stage, while the inner workings of others remain concealed. Visitors are invited to inhabit the space, to touch the objects and investigate further, undermining the illusion, or reinforcing the myth. The project is about venturing into unknown territories, both for us and for the visitor. We aim for the work to exist somewhere between our present technological dependence and a less delineated future of hybrid forms.
2010-.., dimensions variable, onions, potatoes, earth, steel, copper, wood, cables, aluminum, fibre-optic cables, wiper motor, micro-switch, paper, monitor, electric tape, typewriter, fans, lamp, lens.