"Sentimental Objects in Attempts to befriend a Virus" by Caitlin Berrigan

"Sentimental Objects in Attempts to befriend a Virus" by Caitlin Berrigan

Date posted: 2007-10-26 14:15:00


Oct 28-Dec 3
Dome sculpture with living artist in it!
Tea parties in the dome, Wed  Fri, 12-2 pm
CBIS, 2nd floor

Poster show in the main lobby (ongoing)

Caitlin Berrigan is one of the first artist-in-residence in the BioArt Initiative at RPI. She is presenting the ongoing series "Sentimental Objects in Attempts to Befriend a Virus" which takes the form of a site-specific installation and a poster exhibition on the second floor of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (RPI).

For the week of October 29-November 2, Berrigan will occupy the lobby area at CBIS with her geodesic dome resembling the hepatitis C virus. During the occupancy, she will have a series of tea parties to discuss the series of works she has created using the formal aesthetic of the viral protein structure as the basis for each work. With the assistance of resident researchers, Caitlin will explore the process of visualizing viral proteins using proteomics, in order to better inform the series and her artistic process.

"Viral Confections" is part of a series "Sentimental Objects in Attempts to Befriend a Virus". Caitlin writes about the work: Living with a chronic, virtually incurable virus can lead to a certain identity crisis in which one's occupied body is seen simultaneously as enemy and victim; friend and abuser. Weary of the rhetoric of war and fighting used to describe the illness, I wanted to domesticate my untamed virus by offering it comfort, bread and circus. Instead of starvation, I offer it delicacies. Instead of deprivation, I offer it handmade garments. Instead of exile, I offer it whimsical shelter. These domestic objects are created in its image, based formally on the virus's protein structure. Perhaps the virus will be seduced by its own vanity? Or perhaps we can construct our own survival out of its image??

Please come to the Biotech center and meet Caitlin!

Caitlin Berrigan is an interdisciplinary artist in tactile and edible sculpture, immersive installation, electronic media and interactive performance. Her pieces have been alternatively characterized as disturbing, sexy and even smelly. Invoking the history of science and pop culture, her works address the ruptures  confluences of the body?s grotesque form, its medicalization, and many variations as object of desire. The results are quietly disturbing works of subtle humor  irony that speak to our violent and conflicted relationship with the body.

More information about the artist and her work at:

"Sentimental Objects in Attempts to Befriend a Virus" part of the BioArt/BioMedia Initiative Program @ RPI, http://www.arts.rpi.edu/bioart

This initiative proposes to lay the foundation for establishing RPI as the premiere institution for the synthesis of emerging biotechnological research and media art practice. A cross-disciplinary culture will be established employing art in biotechnology. Student-driven collaborations, art and research exhibitions, inter-departmental workshops and grant writing will be used to accomplish this objective. The potential for creating mutually supportive and critically engaged culture between art,engineering and science exists at RPI to a degree that is possible in only a select few universities worldwide. Now is the ideal time to bring together these visions as research commences in CBIS and construction nears completion on eMPAC.

“What is Democracy?” with Filmmaker Astra Taylor
April 24, 2019 7:00 PM
Studio Beta @ EMPAC and The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Ave., Troy, NY

Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, What is Democracy reflects on a word we often take for granted.  Join Filmmaker Astra Taylor for a media and activism workshop from 4:00 to 5:30 PM on Studio Beta at EMPAC, and screen the film later that evening at the Sanctuary for Indepndent Media in Troy.