Compostcubator 0.3

Compostcubator 0.3


Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr

How can we keep cells alive outside the body? Does compost hold the potential to sustain partial life?

Throughout the run of Science Gallery London’s Spare Parts exhibition, this compost heap powers an incubator attempting to heat and sustain scar cells (mouse connective tissue) at the required 37°c. Inside Compostcubator 0.3, compost-dwelling microbes are heating water in a coiled hose. The warm water flows to the incubator at the top and regulates the temperature.

Part artwork, part experiment; Compostcubator 0.3 explores the use of a low-tech biological incubator to care for, nurture and control other living systems. The shape of the installation draws on the architectural features of ancient places of worship, early child birth training devices (obstetric phantom) and on the nesting habit of the Malleefowl, an Australian bird which uses heat from rotting organic materials to incubate its eggs.

With thanks to Loughborough Farm and the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King’s College London.

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