HEK 293T: The Transformation of Johni or Oliver

Mixed Media | Installation

HEK 293T: The transformation of Johni or Oliver is a mixed media video work that comments on the uncanny nature of genetically engineered cells.  This project was researched and developed during a residency in 2010 at SymbioticA, the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts in the School of Anatomy & Human Biology at The University of Western Australia.

This work was exhibited as part of the SymbioticA show Semipermeable(+) at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney in 2013.


Mixed media video installation

HEK 293T: The Transformation of Johni or Oliver incorporates genetically modified HEK 293T cells – a highly transfective derivative of the human embryonic kidney (HEK) cell line.  The work comments on the origin of the cell line, transfection process and the potentials and implications of biotechnologies.
COMPLETED: 2010 – 2013
MATERIALS: Clay, Taxidermy, Moss, Bone, Steel Wire, Latex, Tanned Fetal Calf Hide, Wood, MDF, Perspex, Video, Fixed GM HEK 293T Cells, Plastic, Teeth, Human and Synthetic Hair
CLASSIFICATION: Mixed Media Video Installation


Life and death, and the membranes in between
Urszula Dawkins, semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: semipermeable (+), SymbioticA


HEK 293T was researched and developed during a residency at SymbioticA, centre of Excellence in the Biological Arts at UWA in Perth.

Completion of this work would not be possible without the support from SymbioticA and UWA Staff.  Special thanks to Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr, Jane Coakley and Jill Muhling.  Thank you also to QUT Visual Arts and IHBI staff including Michael Riddle for assistance with artwork production and supervisors Dan Mafe, Courtney Pedersen and Zee Upton for ongoing support.

/!\ error getUserIDFromUserName. /!\ error empty username or access token.