You can go viral!
You now have a unique avatar assigned to you. This is added to other users’ avatars, forming a collective that will mutate over time; watch the spread below. Go viral and spread to Facebook and Twitter.
What Is Going Viral
Going Viral is an innovative art-science project. It is the culmination of a collaborative programme of work undertaken by 6 artists and 4 immunologists. Through their joint exploration of key functions of our immune system - and the daily battles it fights - the Going Viral artists have produced artworks that consider, question, interpret and present the immunology they have researched.
Going Viral began in Scotland as an exhibition comprising stories, film, sculpture, images and music and now moves to London and around the UK. The experiences and encounters of those who visit it will spread, virus like, across real and virtual networks and will continue to grow beyond the life of the exhibition.
The core works involves Multiple Sclerosis patient/s, organ transplant recipients and allergy sufferers. Microscopy and imaging techniques will also be incorporated. These works and their spin-offs then 'go viral' - to be networked to people throughout UK and beyond.
The project team would like to thank the Centre for Biophotonics for their huge input to Going Viral. www.biophotonics.strath.ac.uk
Going Viral is funded by the British Society for Immunology, who commissioned Sound Strategies to develop and implement the project. www.immunology.org www.sound-strategies.co.uk
The BSI team comprises Judith Willetts, Melanie Lucas and Emilie Bates. The BSI immunologists involved are Dr Donald Davidson, Dr Donald Palmer, Dr Owain Millington and Dr Hannah Hope.
Sound Strategies are Michael Spencer and Andrew Peggie. They aim to extend arts into business and education and have provided consultancy and workshops for numerous organisations looking to promote their brand through the medium of arts.
British Society for Immunology
37 Albert Embankment
London SE1 7TL
T: +44 (0)20 3031 9800
F: +44 (0)20 7582 2882
Jacqueline Donachie is an artist based in Glasgow. Her work is concerned with social situations, both physical and conceptual, working across a range of media from sculpture to print. She has a forged an international reputation for a socially-engaged, collaborative art practice, with a special interest in healthcare and bio-medical research, and has undertaken substantial commissions for organisations such as The Wellcome Trust, The Contemporary Art Society and Glasgow University.
Working with an MS patient, diagnosed aged over 40 (20 years after symptoms first appeared), Jackie investigated issues around MS prevalence in Scotland, evidence of the impact of sunlight deprivation, family history and childhood trauma on the individual's condition. The impact of social science and biomedical research and the common ground between are a feature of the work. The artist's curiosity is to understand how and if science can quantify the influence of environmental and social situations.
Jo Hodges is a visual artist with a diverse practice ranging from temporary site-specific installations to film and animation. She has a background in health, social justice and community development. Within her individual practice, she creates both small and large-scale installations and interventions. In collaboration she develops large scale, interactive and site specific public art works. Her socially engaged practice ranges from developing films and animation with marginalised young people to creating interactive artworks with community groups.
Jo has worked with The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, The National Museum of Scotland and The National Portrait Gallery in London.
Jo uses the personal stories / journeys of organ recipients to illustrate the importance of immunology in this area – a success story. The artworks embed personal objects and narratives and transform scientific data into other forms that have human connection and resonance.
Jo worked with 6 organ recipients as well as scientists at the Centre for Biophotonics at The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Science, Glasgow.
Hugh Watt is a Northern Irish artist based in Glasgow, known for his evocative work in fillm and video. His practice shifts between the production of single channel experimental film works and the construction of multi-channel, immersive video installations. A large part of his artistic output has been driven by a fascination concerned with the fabric and context of specific sites, exploring concepts where artworks are spun directly from the fabric of the sites, where they are eventually shown. Much of his practice explores how the conditions of display affect the readings of the work, shifting the work away from the simple depiction of subjects, as something we assume to know and understand, to an experience of seeing as something abstracted and re-imagined. His work mixes the poetic and metaphoric in a playful way as it explores the complexities involved in the exchange between the observer and the observed.
'Working closely with the, Centre for Biophotonics, at Strathclyde University, I was immediately fascinated by the technology that they use to image cells and observe cell behaviour. It was the precision with which they observed cell samples that intrigued me. When discussing their research they spoke of a scale, invisible to the naked eye, breaking millimetres in fractions. I developed a film-work, which plays with the act of looking and scale, magnifying and rendering the minute, immense.
In a second, sculptural work, I investigated, through the construct of a hybrid form, a domestic object built out of scientific utensils, what happens when the scientific and the domestic are brought together under a single form. Through the use of this hybrid form, the structure explores the unity between, science, creativity and the everyday.’
Architect Ewan designed and built for the exhibition space at the Glasgow Science Centre. He envisages the space as a 'host body', providing a space, within a space, within a space, which will frame the artists' interventions inside and outside the structure. The structure becomes the host body for the exhibition and the space which embodies the collaborative processes shared between artists, immunologists and the individuals who are the subjects of the artists' work. It is the space that bonds all these and connects them with the immunology they have explored or experienced.
After achieving a BA Hons and an MA in Fine Art Trevor Cromie worked as an artist for about 5 years exhibiting in galleries such as the ICA, Camden Arts Centre and Chapter. He was also the recipient of several Arts Council of England awards and residencies.
Trevor then spent the next 21 years working in Scotland’s cultural sector. He provided directorial, curatorial, and project management roles within venues such as The Third Eye Centre, the CCA, the Fruitmarket Gallery and The Lighthouse as well as setting up and directing his own projects. Trevor now works as an artist/curator splitting time between curatorial/arts projects and his art practice. Initially engaged as Arts Project Manager for the Going Viral project, Trevor was also awarded one of the commissions and persuaded to pick up the dual role of project manager and artist.
Anaphylaxis is a condition where your body has an extreme reaction to a normally benign substance. Sufferers talk about a real and tangible fear of dying when they are undergoing an anaphylactic shock.
For this project Trevor focused on the emotional impact anaphylaxis has on an individual, looking to communicate that ‘emotion’ through a series of drawings and paintings. The real starting point for Trevor was when he undertook an exercise to produce 100 drawings, to help him establish his visual literacy for the paintings. 80 drawings done he still has 20 to go before the exhibition opens. A selection of these drawings and subsequent paintings feature in the exhibition.
Pete is a theatre practitioner and musician. He is artistic director of Kuten Theatre Company and is a member of the UK Ukulele Orchestra. He also specialises in music and movement work with early years children and their parents, recently completing a year's residency in a local nursery school in Edinburgh.
After the launch of the Going Viral exhibition Pete will be touring Scotland as the Minotaur in a new poetry drama.
As soon as I saw the email about the Going Viral project I knew I had to persuade them to let me be part of it. I wanted to engage with the scientists and find out who they were and what got them excited about their work. As a result I wrote a short dialogue between scientist and artists, entitled 'A Portrait of the Scientist'. I have also written some songs about things immunological, written to inform a little, hopefully to entertain and to open up the world of the immune system to ordinary people, young and not so young.
The Paragon Ensemble
A series of workshops was held in Glasgow in partnership with the Paragon Ensemble. These were for schoolchildren aged 7 to 12. The children were introduced to the subject of viruses and were presented with basic scientific information and a series of graphic images showing the biology at microscopic level. The children were given 'roles' to play with their instruments which represented the cell activity within the body when 'meeting' and responding to a virus. This culminated in a performance of the devised musical work on the evening of 17 April 2012.
Visit our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bsigoingviral to see more footage of the workshops as fimed by the japanese documentary company NHK.
Dr Donald Palmer
Donald Palmer is a Senior Lecturer in Immunology at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London where his main research interests are focused on understanding the processes involved in immunosenescence, particularly with regards to age-associated thymic involution. Donald teaches on many of the courses at the RVC and is currently Course Director for the BSc in Bioveterinary Sciences. He has always been passionate about science education and communication and is an active member of the Widening Participation Committee at the RVC; regularly visiting schools and organising workshops for secondary school pupils.
Dr Donald Davidson
Donald Davidson is a Senior MRC Research Fellow at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research at Edinburgh University, with a research focus on host defence peptides in infectious diseases. He is also a keen artist with interests in science communication and public engagement, including recent illustration of the children's infectious diseases educational game resource "MicroMania" for the British Society for Immunology. The Going Viral project was therefore a natural fit and opportunity to engage his scientific knowledge and enthusiasm in this area.
Dr Hannah Hope
Hannah is the Science and Society Officer for the British Society for Immunology and is responsible for the public engagement and outreach activities of the society. She is interested in science education, the place of science in culture and social empowerment. She produces events at science festivals around the UK for audiences of all ages as well as stand alone events such as talks or activity weekends at regional museums. Hannah has developed several science workshops that she delivers in schools upon request. She also organises the society's involvement in local and national careers fairs for secondary school students.
Dr Owain Millington
Owain is a Lecturer and RCUK Academic Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, and Principal Investigator at Centre for Biophotonics. Owain works in developing and applying microscope systems for examining and manipulating the interactions between cells of the immune system and infectious diseases. The use of specialised microscopes at the Centre provides stunning 3D and 4D images of the immune system, and it was this amazing insight that led to the involvement with the 'Going Viral' team. The use of cutting-edge technology to capture the inspirational beauty of biological samples is reflected in the results of the scientists.
Art and Immunology
Immunology is all about the immune system – what it is, what it does, how it works and what happens when it goes wrong. Most of us know something about our immune system. We think of it as the system in our bodies that works to protect us from illness and infection, and the system that goes to work to fight for us when we are exposed to those infections.
We know that many diseases in humans and animals are caused by infections and disorders of the immune system. Understanding Immunology helps us to diagnose these diseases and disorders and is key to developing treatments to help manage and reduce their effects. Research into Immunology helps us to discover ways of preventing them occurring in the future and enables us to develop vaccines to tackle this.
Through the collaboration of a group of artists and immunologists, some of these basic areas of immunology have been explored, explained and questioned. Both artists and scientists have reflected on the basic nature of immunological investigation along with the ways that artists and scientists work, process and produce. The artists have themselves become researchers of Immunology.
Through this exploration, each artist has been able to consider, interpret and create work that makes up Going Viral. They have looked at the tools and processes of scientific research and have interpreted and expressed their encounters with and understanding of this. Some have chosen to focus on specific conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis, and the effect this has on the lives of those it touches. There is an examination of and response to the extreme and potentially fatal form of allergic reaction that is anaphylaxis. There is also an investigation into organ transplantation, where the immune system needs to be carefully supressed in order for the new organs not to be rejected by the body.
An important part of the work is the exploration of the personal stories and the human faces of ‘immunology’. These stories come from many points of view – those of patients, practitioners, researchers and the artists themselves.