Talk by François-Joseph Lapointe, Université de Montréal
Wednesday 15th October 3pm
Medical Museion, Bredgade 62, København K.
Ticket price: 50 kr. (includes entrance to Medical Museion)
See film of François-Joseph’s most recent performance/experiment here.
Looking for something to do in the Autumn holiday? Come to Medical Museion on Wednesday 15th October at 3pm and hear Canadian artist and scientist François-Joseph Lapointe talk about self-experimentation, the ‘microbiome selfie’ artworks on display in the exhibition Hello Bacteria!, and whether we should consider microbes an essential part of our identity….
With the advent and recent popularity of self-tracking, a large number of individuals are now relying on technological tools and wearable sensors to monitor and analyse their daily activities as a way of improving performance, productivity or any other factors involved in personal well-being. Nowhere is this co-called “Quantified Self” movement more active and important than in personalized medicine, with numerous accounts of people claiming to have cured specific diseases on their own. With annual conferences, workshops, on-line forums and specialized journals, this growing community of people primarily motivated by health issues is challenging the medical profession. Although it is currently impossible to monitor the microbiome at home (except for those who can have access to a personal sequencer), some biotech start-ups are offering to analyse your microbiome as part of a citizen science movement. Using data visualization tools, you could then find out what types of people have a microbiome like yours, and understand how your microbiome compares to cutting-edge scientific research. With this also comes the possibility of people doing experiments and personal interventions; say by testing the effect of a specific diet on the gut microbiome, the use of various cosmetics on the skin microbiome, or the diversity of sexual practices on the vaginal microbiome. In this talk, I will present some of my own experimentations with the microbiome. As a scientist, I will discuss the pros and cons of personal investigations for microbiome research. As an artist, I will look at microbiome experiments as a way of questioning the aesthetics of the self.