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PANCREAS, 2012 (detail)
glass, metal, plastic, technical equipment, brain cells, bacteria, 230 x 800 x 200 cm
biotechnological realisation: Thomas Seppi, Department of Radiotherapy
and Radiooncology, Medical University of Innsbruck

The processual sculpture PANCREAS transforms books into sugar (glucose) that feeds human brain cells. The books’ paper is shredded, soaked in water, and pressed into an artificial intestine (fermenter), in which bacteria break the cellulose down into glucose. After filtering and purifying, the glucose is fed to the cells growing inside a glass tank (brain in a vat). The feeding of the artificial brain follows a strict diet: the brain food consists exclusively of "Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit". PANCREAS is a pataphysical machine that uses biotechnologies in order to translate language and books, that is symbols and data, into matter and flesh. Glucose, as a universal fuel of life, which all cells, especially brain cells, feed from, becomes the artistic material for PANCREAS (Gr. pánkreas, pán = “all”, kréas = “flesh”).