Current Projects

Two projects that I’ll update on this page are

  • PLUME an investigation of the Human Plume in collaboration with Richard Newcomb, molecular biologist
  • ReSense, a collaboration with Canadian electronics artist Diana Burgoyne.

 

ReSense

11th September 2011:    ReSense Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, NZ. Installation Documentation

Our collaboration began in New Plymouth at SCANZ 2006 where we discovered a mutual interest in integrating cross-sensory experience into artwork. Our initial inquiry centred around whether we could consider the landscape as a map of smell and sound?

 

FLAP

Our second work shown at MiC Auckland NZ 2010 began with the  investigation of extraction of smell from our socks including GC-MS analysis of odours. We stand on the earth in our own spaces, we each carry the smell of place.

More:  collaborative projects with Canadian electronics artist Diana Burgoyne

In September 2010 Diana Burgoyne recently traveled to New Zealand so we could work together for our exhibition at MiC; her trip was supported by CoLab

Click here to go to the initial blog about the ReSense collaboration between Raewyn Turner( New Zealand) and Diana Burgoyne ( Canada)

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  • PLUME : a collaboration with Richard Newcomb, molecular biologist. We’re exploring the power of olfaction.

 

My extracted DNA

Plume

We began our collaboration with  Crossing Wires Lab Not only would we perform the process of extracting human smell from clothing, and learn each other’s languages through a process of drawing and dialogue, but we made the laboratory a performance space, through incorporating interactive video and sound and actively engaging with our audience and invited guests.

I’m exploring unsensed human olfactory cues, and the smell of civilisation. I’m particularly interested in the olfactory imprints of emotional and physical states of people and their local environment. Drawing from his skills in molecular genetics and biochemistry, Richard is the project leader of the ‘Cybernose’ research  programme which aims to develop an artificial nose using biological odorant receptors from insects. The Cybernose is a technology that is being designed to support human smell sensing. Recent scientific evidence has shown that as humans, we are losing our sense of smell.  Although humans are increasingly ‘anosmic’ (the term for a lack of sense of smell) to most of the fragrances of our time, odours are being transmitted, received, translated and associated by all living beings in nature.

Since November 2009 I’ve become embedded within the Molecular Sensing team at Plant and Food Research, doing hands-on science, interacting with scientists, and practising art in a science setting. Jeremy McRae at Plant and Food Research has assisted me to reflect on the size and possible malleability of DNA material by guiding me through the process of extracting DNA,  We took blood samples from our arms and extracted the DNA from the samples. Jeremy has subsequently advised and directed me through several processes of hands-on cell assay and transfection with the purpose of working towards assessing ligands of biological olfactory receptors from humans.

I collected my own odour by wearing specially prepared socks and had the smell extracted and analysed by Robert Winz at Plant and Food Research, using HS-SPME-GC-MS (headspace-solid phase micro extraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry), a method which was developed to determine the profiles of volatile substances.

Our art + science project research involves finding out which compounds in human odour, both above and below threshold that human receptors can detect. We’re interested in investigating unconscious olfactory sensing; a very important part of that would be in finding out what it is in human body smell that human receptors can detect–or not….. so watch this space!!