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D.I.Y. SCIENTIST (2006-2007)

D.I.Y. SCIENTIST: The Home Scientist Gets to Know Herself explores issues of self-discovery and the impact of science on how we define ourselves. Using my body as source material for performative role playing and scientific experiment, I document through video the process in which I take back control of my own body. By performing these over-the-counter medical tests on myself, I am in the loop of information and data and am thus able to make decisions that directly affect my health, my history and my identity.

As a woman, science becomes so inextricably linked with how I perceive my body. this work is an attempt to document the experience I have in performing these tests on myself. Done in an antiseptic style - I myself now wear the uniform of the doctor - the tests belie the anxiety, the fear and the humanness of my reactions. Even done in a sterile way, this video documents the very real sputum, blood and urine of my bodily processes.

By taking over these tests, I hope to remove the feeling that I am a faceless number to lab techs in the hospital. Within the video performances, I have tried to capture some of the emotional impact of these tests. In Swab the repetitive motions of the cheek swab are slowed down and shown in close up in order to contrast the sensuality of their movements with the coldness of the circumstances. In Positive, I tried to convey the intense feeling of receiving notification of a positive pregnancy test and the sense of responsibility that comes with that knowledge. In Levels I attempt to convey a sense of mortality - one wherein we find ourselves faced with our own blood and the narratives and fate found within.

Click here to see this video