Monument to Immortality

Monument to Immortality

Svenja Kratz, Bill Hart and Dietmar Hutmacher

What constitutes identity and the self? How could consciousness be altered if transferred into a machine or alternative technological body?

Monument to Immortality comments on the human desire to control the elements and nature in order to find the secret to eternal life.

At the centre of the monument, a bioreactor showcases scaffolds in the shape of different body parts, seeded with human cells and visible via live video footage. The pyramid at the top of the monument includes a hologram that references the concept of the soul or spirit as a vital force of life. The monument incorporates historical and alchemical symbols such as the Philosopher's Stone and the Transhumanist belief that science and technology will enable humans to evolve beyond their present form.

The work invites the viewer to question their own position towards engineered immortality. Is eternal life possible or are we being sold an impossible dream?  How would you improve your body or cognitive capabilities via technology if you had the choice?

About the contributor(s) 

Svenja Kratz is a new media artist with a background in bioart. She is Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Creative Practice at the School of Creative Arts and Media (CAM) at the University of Tasmania.

Bill Hart originally trained in physics and has worked as a new media artist for the past 30 years. He is Lecturer in Creative Arts and Head of Studio (Time Based Media) at the School of Creative Arts and Media (CAM) at the University of Tasmania.

Dietmar W. Hutmacher is a world leader in the field of regenerative medicine and biofabrication. He currently leads the Australia Research Council Industrial Training and Transformation Centre in Additive Manufacturing and the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Queensland University of Technology.

Monument to Immortality was researched and developed in a creative partnership between the School of Creative Arts and Media at the University of Tasmania and Centre for Regenerative Medicine within the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology. This research was conducted by the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Additive Biomanufacturing (IC160100026) http:// www.additivebiomanufacturing.org and supported by the UTAS Creative Exchange Institute.

Initial project development was made possible with funding from a Creative Sparks grant from the Brisbane City Council. The Creative Sparks Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council to support local arts and culture in Brisbane and by the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Additive Biomanufacturing (IC160100026).