Centisperm
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Centisperm

Goals

To electroporate whole genomic DNA from a centipede into the center of human sperm.

Materials and Methods

  1. 1. Mix sperm and DNA in the electroporation vial (cuvette): 10 microliters of centipede DNA to 50 microliters of desalinated sperm.

  2. 2. Put cuvette inside the Eppendorf® Electroporator 2510.

  3. 3. Set voltage.

  4. 4. Press button twice to fire the machine. Wait for beep.

  5. 5. Apply refresh media (Glaceau XXX 10% açai-blueberry-pomegranate flavored vitaminwater® filtered with a 3-micron Gelman Filter).

Discussion

The centiSperm is a new media for the production of New Media Art as well as a post-human artificial insemination product. Without local volunteers to carry a nonconceptual, time-based new media sculpture to term, the centiSperm was applied as a glaze. I glazed one of Celia Olsen's famous homemade donuts with centiSperm twice daily for five days. I also used centiSperm to glaze a ceramic sculpture of Uranus's Castrated Penis. Queer transgenic human rights are presaged by the story of Ἑκατόγχειρες, Hekatonkheires, also called the Centimanes or the Hundred-handers. I dub Centimanes the patron titan of aberrant transgenic humans. Thank you, Kronos, son of Gaia, for castrating your father, Uranus. Uranus was not able to love his differently embodied body-art-babykins.

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David Bowen and Asa Calow, Flight of the centiSperm, centiSperm Conductivity Data Acquisition, along with an autonomous drone path based on centiSperm data instructions, 2016 (<bit.ly/2lQK86e>). (© David Bowen. Photo: Weidong Yang.) (Above, right) Maja Spasova, Drawing from series: Spirits of Djerassi, pen and ink, 2016 (<bit.ly/2kvixHy>). (© Maja Spasova)

The Djerassi residency had a nice collaborative arc. Matteo Farinella made some fabulous underground comic-inspired illustrations of the process. David Bowen, with Asa Calow (Relative Capacitance Advisor), developed the Jizalizer 3010. The centiSperm electrophysiology signal was translated into an XYZ/time-data plot. The dataset coordinates were uploaded to a drone that flew autonomously based on the DNA instructions, leaving an LED trail of four-dimensional semidata in the sky (above, left). Maja Spasova observed the centiSperm project and then took to drawing—or channeling the lives of—the centiSperm. Some are intertwined with each other. Some have wings. Some are forming into embryos. Some are flying in the sky.

Thanks for the support from Bulldog Bio Inc. for the Bridge Electroporation Cuvettes, Marist College Summer Research Grant and the John P. and Susan D. Diekman Fellowship.

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Matteo Farinella, Comics of centiSperm Lab, pen and ink, 2016 (<bit.ly/2kXJcLW>, <bit.ly/2lTE4Xu>, <http://matteofarinella.com>). (© Matteo Farinella)

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Adam Zaretsky, Castrated Penis of Uranus, centiSperm-glazed ceramic RetroFunkart sculpture, 2016 (<bit.ly/2lQHtcI>).

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Adam Zaretsky
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