Futile Labor

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Futile Labor is an interdisciplinary project by Ionat Zurr, Chris Salter, and Oron Catts, bringing together an artistic exhibition and scientific and techno-cultural research that calls our attention to the growing phenomenon of manipulating and engineering life for utilitarian ends. Futile Labor scrutinises shifting perceptions of life and labor through the development of a vital machine – a tissue-engineered muscle that acts as an actuator (motor) inside a custom designed “technoscientific body” (a bioreactor). We aim to create an ontological link between twitching skeletal muscles “in a dish” and the human audience through an evocative responsive environment that documents and viscerally enacts the results of a five year research process. Through this we thus may think anew our post-humanist perceptions of movement as an indicator for life and agency.