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Viral Confections (2006-07)

These chocolates illustrate the protein structure of the hepatitis C virus. A model of the virus was printed from a magnified 3D cryoelectron micrograph of the virus from the Protein Data Bank. The chocolates were then cast into this molecular form. The truffles do not carry hepatitis C. Each one was lovingly handmade from 72% Belgian roasted cocoa.

Desire to eat the enticing chocolates is mixed with a repulsion for the infectious virus. It serves as a synecdoche for the body, coming out of the blood and going back in through the stomach, while also serving as an agent of information rather than infection. This unnerving dialectic has proved to be an exciting and approachable way to ignite discussion and facilitate awareness in public environments.

Slide →
Edible chocolates cast into the protein structure of the hepatitis C virus, glass jar, packaging. 11 x 9 x 6”

Exhibitions →
· Gallery 400, Chicago, IL, “Biological Agents,” with Natalie Jeremijenko & Brandon Ballengée, curated by Christa Donner & Andrew Yang (2008)
· Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center for Biotechnology & Bioart, Troy, NY (2007)
· SIGGRAPH, San Diego, CA, Curated Art Gallery
· Visualizing TRANS Conference & Exhibition, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (October 2006)
· Tisch School of the Arts Photography & Imaging Faculty & Staff Show, New York, NY (September 2006)
· “Cabin Comforts” with Saviour Scraps, Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY (May – December 2006)

Thanks →
Richard J. Kuhn in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University, Alex Gibbons and the New York University Arts Technology Group for providing the rapid prototype.


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