Living maps of military airbases in Iraq grown with the bacterium Serratia marcescens in petri dishes.
Using a modified* lithography printing process often used in cellular biology, I printed the bacteria in the shape of US military airbases in Iraq as presented in Google Earth from 2007-2009. This time-lapse piece was part of an installation produced for the exhibition "FREEZE: 2009 International Medtech Art Show," curated by Laza Wu and Shang-min Chien at the National Taiwan Museum at of Fine Arts in Taichung Taiwan, 2009. freeze.ntmofa.gov.tw Audio for the time-lapse by artist, Clarke Curtis clarkecurtis.com/
A creative form of sousveillance, American Vectors is one of many artworks I made beginning in 2004 in which I appropriated* the tools and techniques of cellular and micro-biology to create images that reframe and destabilize the rhetoric surrounding the US military invasion and occupation of Iraq. For more examples of this and other work see christinahung.net
My use of the bacterium Serratia marcesence began in 2004 as a gesture of support and in solidarity with the artist Steven Kurtz, my friend and mentor. Following the untimely death of his wife Hope, Steve was detained for 22 hours without charge on suspicion of "bioterrorism." For more on Steve's story see caedefensefund.org/faq.html and Lynn Herhman Leeson's film Strange Culture strangeculture.net I had the honor of writing a remembrance of Hope for the Brooklyn Rail in 2004 brooklynrail.org/2004/07/art/hope
*Historically I have always used the terms "appropriation" and "modification" to describe my use of these tools and techniques. The recent popularization of bioart and the rise in usage of associated terms such as "biohacking," and "DIY bio," may also be applied to this work.
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