31 May, Paris: “Trust Me, I’m an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art and Science Collaboration”

Dear Colleagues

you are invited to Trust Me, I’m an Artist

The Salle des Actes, The École normale supérieure, 45, rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris, France


“Trust Me, I’m an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art and Science Collaboration” is an international project investigating the new ethical issues raised by art/science collaboration and the forthcoming event in Paris on 31st May at 6:30pm, at the prestigious location of The Salle des Actes at the École normale Supérieure, will feature the French duo Art Orienté objet. They will propose a new work called ““Du cheval au panda…” to a panel of experts who will consider the legal and moral issues that it raises and consider the roles and responsibilities of the artists, scientists and institutions involved. Art Orienté objet have been creating works concerned with the environment, trans-species relationships and the questioning of scientific methods and tools since 1991.

The project “Trust Me I’m an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art/Science Collaboration” is led by artist Anna Dumitriu in collaboration with Professor Bobbie Farsides (Chair of Ethics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School) in collaboration with the Waag Society and The University of Leiden.

Art Orienté objet’s performance Que le cheval vive en moi (May the horse live in me) is an extreme, medical self-experiment with a blood-brotherhood beyond species boundaries. With this performance the French duo Art Orienté objet calls for greater ecological responsibility from humans, whose technologies increasingly instrumentalize other animals and plants. The artist Marion Laval-Jeantet has turned herself into a proverbial “guinea pig,” allowing herself to be injected over the course of several months with horse immunoglobulins (glycoproteins that function as antibodies in immune response) and thus developing a progressive tolerance to these foreign animal bodies. In February 2011, having built up her tolerance, she was able to be injected with horse blood plasma containing the entire spectrum of foreign immunoglobulins, without falling into anaphylactic shock—the intention being that the horse immunoglobulin would by-pass the defensive mechanisms of her own human immune system, enter her blood stream to bond with the proteins of her own body and, as a result of this synthesis, have an effect on all major body functions.

Due to the high symbolic value of this animal, the duo would like to reenact the performance, this time with the panda. This performance would be entitled « May The Panda Live in me ». This is this scenario they introduce to the Ethics Committee.

The aim is to reveal the mechanisms that drive this usually hidden process which behind scientific research decisions, enabling the wider public to understand the driving forces behind ethical decision making and the role of artists working in scientific settings more deeply. Other events in the series have featured projects by Adam Zaretsky, Neal White and Anna Dumitriu. We are grateful for the support of Leonardo OLATS in putting together this event.