The second instance of The Absence of Alice, subtitled Alice Ants and the Armyworm, was exhibited in the Tom Heath Space at the QUT Art Museum in August 2008. The works showcased in this exhibition functioned as an extension of the previous presentation of The Absence of Alice. While, the first exhibition commented largely on the uncanniness and transformative capabilities of Alice’s Saos-2 cells, the creative works developed for this exhibition commented not only on the continual becoming ‘other’ of Alice’s cells, but also linked with the creative process, and the way in which from the original exploration of Alice, the creative works rippled outwards, making new connections, slowly becoming something else. Other works, most notably Untitled Insects link to the experience of co-culturing Saos-2 cells with SF9 insect cells (cells derived from the Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda, the larval stage of the Armyworm moth).
The Absence of Alice: Alice Ants and the Armyworm was developed in a creative partnership between The Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) and The Creative Industries Faculty (CIF) at QUT, Brisbane (Aus).
Completion of works would not be possible without the support from the Tissue Repair and Regeneration (TRR) Group and CIF technical staff. Special thanks to Dr Tony Parker, Dr Derek Van Lonkhuyzen and Jacqui McGovern from IHBI and visual arts technician Michael Riddle. Thank you to Prof. Anthony Clarke for specialist input regarding insects. Many thanks are also extended to the supervisory team: Dr Dan Mafe, Dr Courtney Pedersen and Prof. Zee Upton.