Grow your own skin class this Sunday in LA


Chris Spurgeon says:

Following up on your post about the book bound in human skin about to go on the auction block in England, what if you want human skin for YOUR next art project, but don't want to be involved with murder, illegal sale of human remains, desecration of corpses and the like? The LA-based gallery/workshop Machine Project may have the answer!

This weekend they're hosting a lecture and workshop by members of the bio-art group SymbioticA . On Saturday night SymbioticA will be talking about some of their past projects, such as growing humane leather from individual skin cells and using a rotating micro-gravity bioreactor to create an actual human ear. Even better, on Sunday they're running a workshop at Machine Project on the basic principals of animal tissue culture and tissue engineering, aimed at would-be bio-artists and other interested parties. The workshop has a $55 fee and space is limited, so sign up early.



  1. I am now imagining the CSI episode where incriminating dna at a crime scene turns out to be part of a skin art installation.

  2. This reminds me of one of my favorite art installations of 1738 – Jacques de Vaucanson’s life-size Automatonic flute-player, which was constructed out of wood, with bellows for lungs, and possessed a metal tongue and gear and lever controlled fingers which he covered in human skin in order to give the right tone to the playing. Where the skin came from is not altogether clear…

  3. If anyone is going to this can they video it for me please? Computer hacking HA! that’s so Passe. I want to be a Bio-Hacker.

    Seriously though, if anyone can video it or point me in the right direction for a tutorial online, I’d be grateful. If ‘Make’ do a how-to-do article I’d subscribe.

  4. I’ve grown my own skin: a cautionary tale.

    I once stepped on a wire coat hanger from the cleaners. The tip of the hook went fairly deep. It seem to heal fine, until six months later I developed an abscess that made it difficult to even walk. They put me on heavy duty antibiotics for 24 hours, and then a specialist came, cut open the abscess (fluid spattered on the wall behind him six feet away), and stuck a large Q-tip inside my foot and dug about. This was quite painful as analgesics have little effect on abscesses. Once he finished, I got up and fainted from the pain, knocking the instrument tray over. Tests came back negative for any infection. No further treatment was given, except I was to soak my foot in epsom salts each night.

    The abscess recurred within a few weeks after the incision closed. I decided it was better to be a gimp than to go through the same painful procedures again. Then one day, the abscess ruptured though the incision. While cleaning the wound, I noticed something sticking out. It was sort of nightmarish, the feeling I got when tugging on little flap of something, then slowly pulling it out to reveal a perfectly formed circle of skin about the size of a fifty-cent piece. It even had print ridges.

    The moral of the story is if you have a puncture wound that abscesses, it isn’t always a sign of infection. There could be a little part of yourself growing inside. Your physician might never consider this possibility.

  5. @ #10 – #8 was pointing out a sp. mistake in the original post – using “principal” as in headmaster, rather than the correct “principle.”

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