‘Brain Stem Cell'
Original Digital Archival Giclée Print
on Hahnemeuhle photo rag paper
45cm x 60cm
The inspiration for this work came from Dr. Madeline Lancaster’s research as a post-doctoral fellow at the lab of Dr. Jürgen Knoblich at the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Institute. An unexpected observation led her to develop three dimensional (3D) cerebral organoid structures, colloquially referred to as “mini-brains”.
This research is fascinating to me, as it touches on the subject of the brain and the consciousness, a major theme in my art. Development of cerebral organoids will not only further brain stem cell research in terms of recapitulating naturally occurring brain stem cell differentiation but also importantly raise the question of whether electrical activity exhibited by these organoids will one day lead to the development of artificial sentience. Consciousness for me is not something that can arise or be provoked by men, but I believe that understanding of the mechanisms by which neural differentiation occurs will, effectively, in clinical terms aid the fight against diseases of the brain, psychiatric and/or neurodegenerative disorders.
Dr Lancaster’s research is early in development, but shows that an important step needs to be taken to unlock the secrets of the human brain. Either deemed as a science fiction or reality, imagination and experimentation have gone hand by hand in every human discovery. Dwelling on subject of what makes up human consciousness has certainly ignited my own imagination and creative abilities, my artwork shedding light on a line of research that could benefit humanity in multiple ways. I believe that Dr Lancaster’s invention will provide a doorway to a range of studies that had been deemed impossible before. In her own words: „… we need to consider what seems like science fiction, but what may one day actually be possible.”