Organum parasitus / Scalptomorpha

A body interface to hack the anatomical system

(temporary title)


by Marie Lynn Speckert








In this research project I will utilize a portable art tool that the visitor “wears” during an exhibition in order to receive notable feedback from his/her internal body signals. It might be considered a parasite or an extension of a body part or organ, even as a tool of medical aid with the goal of manipulating the ‘organism’ (the participants body).


Parabiosis (also called Karpose) is the term for two organisms from different species that mutually profit from their symbiotic interrelation each for its own. This phenomena is typical in the animal kingdom, which I would like to address and to which I intend to compare. The parasite usually settles in organs, feeds and lives in it as a habitat. This can have a symbiotic positive effect on the host, or a negative harmful one. In either case, the host will be manipulated. 


In case of the deep-sea grogfishes, males and females fuse with one another to the extent that the skin and bloodstream of the partners grow together - this is calles sexual parasitism, but has more to do with transplantation. The male fuses with the tissue on the female and from then on it is unable to feed himself, but is nourished by the female's bloodstream, similar to embryos in the mammalian uterus. Interestingly, this kind of transplantation shows no defensive reactions.


The connection to transplantation – attaching of an organ – is another example. An artificially created tool could function as an additional organ that can be fitted to an existing ‘organism’. It should behave as a “guest” or prosthetic for a sculptural body, allowing for communications and feedback to run within a closed system. 


The interaction between this tool (the guest or the parasite) - will the body accept it or reject it? This will be the focus of my research.


This tool should influence the observing habits of the host and therefore the perception. 

It will adjust to the form of the body and will be fastened onto where the body can show an intended reaction order. The information that the tool receives are parameters from internal body mechanisms, like pulse or fascia signals. The interface will be part of my work, to develop something that translates those signals to feedback.