The Arts Catalyst presents in cooperation with The White Building – a new performance work by Martin O’Brien.
18 Apr 2015

Sat 18 Apr 2015, 3-8:30pm

Venue: The White Building, Unit 7 Queen's Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN

Tickets £5: Buy tickets here.


This event is part of the ongoing European project – 'Trust me, I'm an Artist: towards an ethics of art/science collaboration.'

'Trust me, I'm an Artist' is a European initiative exploring ethical issues in art that engage with biotechnology and medicine, such as medical self-experimentation, extreme body art, and art practices using living materials and scientific processes.

Martin O’Brien’s live art practice uses physical endurance, disgust and pain-based practices to explore the meaning of being born with a life threatening disease (cystic fibrosis) by confronting others’ responses to illness.

In this new durational performance commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and hosted by SPACE c/o The White Building - O’Brien turns his attention to the theme of contagion extending to the fear of contamination associated with both the sick body, and our virtual online (projected) identity. In doing so, he highlights recent acute public anxiety around the risk of infection and invasion, both IRL and online as he references the surge in depictions of the zombie in popular culture.

The traditional sci-fi figure of contagion - the zombie often reflects environmental, political, or societal concerns, all of which are referenced in O’Brien’s new piece.

The O’Brien’s performance will be followed by a discussion with a specially convened ethics committee of Dr Karen Lowton (Department of Sociology, University of Sussex), Dr Gianna Bouchard (Department of Music and Performing Arts, Anglia Ruskin University), and Lois Keiden (Director, Live Art Development Agency), chaired by Professor Bobbie Farsides (Brighton and Sussex Medical School)


3-6pm Performance by Martin O’Brien

6-7pm Break

7-8.30pm Panel discussion and Q&A


This event is commissioned and produced by The Arts Catalyst in cooperation with SPACE c/o The White Building.

The project 'Trust Me I’m an Artist: Towards an Ethics of Art/Science Collaboration' is led by artist Anna Dumitriu in collaboration with Professor Bobbie Farsides in collaboration with the Waag Society.