Rewiring the Body Rebooted

Rewiring The Body at open City Docs Fest, in partnership with Cork Film Festival

UCL Studio 2, Friday June 20th, 2014, 7pm. 

This was a a rebooted version of or Rewiring The Body event, originally programmed for Cork Film Festival. We screened short documentary, fiction and experimental films which explored the intersection of technology and the body. From cyborgs to bionic eyes and from 3D printed exoskeletons to pain management through virtual reality, these films blur the borders between science and fiction as traditional boundaries of the body are crossed.

We were joined by artist and designer Agatha Haines, who graduated in 2013 from the Design Interactions program at the Royal College of Art. She made a splash with her graduation show which featured beautifully rendered sculptures of bioprinted organs and surgically enhanced babies. Agatha presented her work and spoke about body augmentation and modification in science and culture.

We were also joined by Research Scientist Melissa Bovis. Melissa works at the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science at University College London.  Upon completing her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry & Genetics at Leeds University in 2004 she carried out research at Imperial College London in the Department of Biomedical Materials & Regenerative Medicine before pursuing a PhD at University College London in Nanotechnology & Biomedicine.  Her current research focuses on using nanoparticles to delivery anti-cancer drugs to tumour tissue following their release through laser light-activation. Melissa’s talk help distinguish between what is science fact and what currently remains science fiction in the world of nanotechnology.

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Films:

Supervenus
Dir. Frederic Doazan

.A plastic surgeon is creating in real time the new goddess of beauty.

Bionic Eye

Dir. Steven Cantor, 3 mins 30

Dr. Joseph Rizzo and Prof. John Wyatt have pioneered a technology for restoring sight to patients who suffer from degenerative blindness.

 

Swallowable Parfum

Dir. Lucy Mcrae, 45 secs

Lucy McRae is a Body Architect exploring the relationship between the body, technology and the grey areas of synthetic and organic materials. She invents playful, imaginary worlds steered by complex scientific  challenges to create portals of possibility that provoke the way people embody the future. On a search for beauty in the biological Lucy invented the Swallowable Parfum a scented capsule that releases a genetically unique fragrance through the skins surface.

 

Agent Orange Ready

Dir. Christian Schleaffer, 2 mins 52

A Vietnam veteran suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder finally has to face the memories which haunt him in the form of surreal bodily mutations. This film is also about “agent orange”, the defoliant used by the united states army in the Vietnam War. This contained dioxin and has resulted in the birth of disfigured children even today, almost 40 years after the war. The company that produced the dioxin-contaminated ingredients is still active today and famous for producing the world’s best-selling herbicide, being one of the leaders in genetic engineering of food plants and for extremely ruthless behaviour.

 

Pixie Dust

Dir. Gina Czarnecki, 3 mins 40

Pixie Dust explores the notion of limb regeneration for humans within the contexts of science, sport, disability and super-ability.The title Pixie Dust comes from the substance taken from the pigs gut matrix that is applied to wounds to prevent scarrification and therefore allow continual growth of the tissue – as used in finger regeneration (allegedly) it plays the nonreality and disney-fication of scientific research.

 

Heart Stop Beating

Dir. Jeremiah Zagar,  3 mins 30

In March 2011, two visionary doctors from the Texas Heart Institute successfully replaced a dying man’s heart with a ‘continuous flow’ device, proving that life was possible without a heart beat.

 

Trueskin

Dir.  Stephan Zlotescu, 6 mins 12

The short film is set in the not-too-distant future where augmentation is ‘in’. Kay can’t afford to augment in the U.S., so he heads to the black market of Bangkok where anything goes.  While there, he gets a hold of a mysterious chip and  finds himself on the run from dangerous forces.

 

Cyborg Foundation

Dir. Rafel Duran Torrent, 3 mins 30

Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that causes complete colour blindness. In 2004, Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed the eyeborg, a sensory device that translates colours into sounds, which Harbisson, the world’s first officially recognized cyborg, wears at all times.

 

Sight

Dir.Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo, 8 mins

In an augmented world, knowledge is power.

 

Scott Summit

Dir. Ondi Timoner, 3 mins 30

Scott Summit, Founder of Bespoke Innovations, creates prosthetic limb fairings for amputees using 3D printing.