A film from the research and development for a series of works entitled 'Watsed'. This film is made for the BBC Big Screens and was made as part of DadaFest 09.
Pixie Dust explores the notion of limb regeneration for humans within the contexts of science, sport, disability and super-ability.
The title Pixie Dust comes from the substance taken from the pigs gut matrix that is applied to wounds to prevent scarrification and therefore allow continual growth of the tissue – as used in finger regeneration (allegedly) it plays the nonreality and disney-fication of scientific research.
We are entering a new era of clinical practice with the development of regenerative medicine, harnessing our previously undiscovered potential to self-repair, with stem cells as a way for the body to regenerate itself and to regenerate others. Stem-cell biologists and those involved in regenerative medicine are fascinated by the story of Prometheus, the Greek god whose immortal liver was feasted on day after day. This myth invariably provokes the questions: Did the ancient Greeks know about the liver's unique capacity for self-repair? What opportunities did the ancient Greeks have to learn about the liver's structure and function?
In 20 years time , given the speed of medical research and the focus of regenerative research, could we see the regrowth of human limbs?
Regeneration through the “natural process” is contrasted with regeneration through defined techniques and with defined outcomes as pursued by science and technology.
Do we seek to imitate nature or bypass nature or subvert nature? How do our attitudes to imitation, manipulation or subversion differ when set in context of human biology the larger ecosystem or , for example.the Olympics? Will we opt for the natural or the augmented? Vanity or for function? Ability or superability?
With genetic enhancement, regenerative therapies, technological development and bioengineering the notion of ‘performance enhancement, has to be redifined. Will it mean that those people with artificial limbs are no longer ‘disabled’ but performance enhanced?
Pixie Dust was funded by Wellcome Trust and Dadafest.