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Artist Talk with Laura Splan

By Mina Zarfsaz

Last week, on Thursday May 17, 2018 Laura talked to us about her practice and the experiments she has been undertaking during her residency at Integral Molecular.

She elaborated on her process of visualization where she has been uploading the protein models and sequences to PyMOL and manipulating their forms and interactions. Read more on this topic in our formers posts.

Simultaneous to the 3D modeling efforts, she is thinking about digital imaging and animation as possible pathways in her project.

On the trajectory of humanization of antibodies, and their materiality in the body, Laura mentioned that she is interested in bringing the materials of the animals, such as the wool from the camelids into her experiments. Ben Doranz, The CEO of Integral Molecular, has coordinated for the wool of 30 Llamas and 3 Alpacas to be delivered to the lab. These camelids are used for antibody production at other labs. The timing of this has been specially interesting since Llamas get sheared only once a year in May. Also, it is interesting to know that Alpaca and Llama fleece are classified as specialty or luxury fibers.

Laura will possibly incorporate the wool she will be receiving soon in the process of making yarn, carding, spinning and use her body somehow in the process from letting small body movements (such as heart movement) to actuate motors, to animation, and sound.

It has been amazing to see how Laura’s body of work is shaping what she has been doing during this residency. We are also glad that she shared her thoughts with the audience and got feedback and questions form fellow artists, and scientists. We are looking forward to see how these multifaceted experiments will take form in their actuality. Stay tuned!