Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Phillip Andrew Lewis’s Spirit Molecule imagines a future of bio-technologized mourning, where the DNA of a lost loved one could be spliced with the genetic code of a psychoactive plant to produce a hybrid specimen rich with empathic possibility.
Dewey-Hagborg and Lewis first posited their vision in Spirit Molecule I, at Lifespace (Dundee, Scotland), in October 2018, where a greenhouse containing legal local plants with psychoactive properties and a four-channel video installation explored the protocols for the propagation of genetically modified plants as memorials.
Fathomers is pleased to announce its support for Spirit Molecule II, the project’s next phase, in which the artists are working with scientists at Michigan State University to bioengineer and produce a genetic memorial plant in situ at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU.
In this iteration, the artists embed both human DNA and a gene for the scent of patchouli into lab-strain moss Physcomitrella patens. The resulting genetically modified plants will be gifted at the end of the exhibition to the DNA donors, and the mound of wild-type moss will be distributed to the public.
Spirit Molecule II will be on view from June 7 to September 29, 2019.