Code Switch #1

All Ages
Starts: 7pm, 28th Sep
Italian Cultural Institute, St George’s Square

CODE SWITCH #1 is a research project combining epigenetics and video & performance art, conceived and carried out by performance and video artist Cristina Ghinassi in collaboration with geneticist and science communicator Dr Edward Duca. They are trying to answer: Can performance art cause epigenetic changes within individuals participating in the art form?

They will talk about the project at 7pm in the Italian Institute of Culture in St George’s Square, Valletta (Istituto Italiano di Cultura – La Valletta).

By combining scientific research – specifically epigenetics – with new media art, the project aimed to demonstrate how our lifestyle and the social environment can impact how our genes work and, consequently, who we are.

A proof-of concept performance and tests was run by measuring the physiological characteristics and DNA methylation – an epigenetic property – in specific parts of the artist’s (Cristina Ghinassi) DNA before and after she repeated a test video-performance along 28 consecutive days.

Before starting the experiment, Cristina Ghinassi in collaboration with Dr Edward Duca and other researchers studied the academic literature on the epigenetics of exercise and social interactions. She also conducted interviews with Maltese scientists and experts (Dr. Joseph Borg, Dr Stephanie Bezzina Wettinger, Dr Christian Cherri) in order to devise and repeat her test video-performance aiming to prove scientifically that performance art can cause epigenetic changes in the involved individuals.

CODE SWITCH is supported by Malta Arts Fund and implemented in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier.

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Science Man