In the piece Semina Aeternitatis, Margherita Pevere poetically relates to the human longing for eternity and the desire to permanently preserve memories and information. The project consists of three tiers, and the artist invites the audience to participate in the first tier during the Article biennial.
During the opening days of the Biennial the artist will be present, collecting memories that the visitors would like to keep forever. The shared memories will be written down by the artist in a hand-bound Book of Memories – and later on transcoded into a DNA sequence. This DNA sequence will be encoded onto the DNA of Gluconacetobacter xylinus – a bacteria that produces microbial cellulose, a biomaterial with a strong resemblance with skin and other body tissues. Thus, the artist preserves the memories of people visiting the Article biennial in a memory archive of organic materials.
In the final phase of the project, Pevere will transform the microbial cellulose through creating a series of 5 artworks made from cellulose contaminated with human memories.
The Latin title of the project evokes religious terminology from the Christian Catholic tradition. It means “Seeds of eternity” as well as “People of eternity”. The project builds upon recent scientific studies that have started to investigate long-lasting storage of digital data on DNA. Because DNA is an extremely compact and uniquely resilient material, information stored on DNA could be readable in centuries from now – and potentially much longer under ideal conditions. Which memory would you choose for eternal preservation?
Margherita Pevere is an artist and independent researcher. Her work addresses two interrelated phenomena regarding human legacy: the erosive process of time and the human attempt to oppose the transience of life by controlling nature. Her practice embraces audiovisual works, collections of organic relics, works on paper, bacterial cultures and genetic engineering.
Her artistic work has been exhibited at Schillerpalais (Berlin, D), transmediale Vorspiel (Berlin, D), In/Visible Cities (Gorizia, I), Film Academy Skopje (Skopje, MK), Indian Embassy in Berlin (Berlin, D), Centro Candiani (Venice, I). Her work as an independent researcher has been presented at the EPARM – European Platform for Artistic Research in Music Conference in Belgrade and the DRHA Conference – Digital Research for the Humanities and the Arts in London. She was awarded a Meisterschüler by the Berlin University of the Arts and a MFA by the School of Music and New Technologies of the Conservatory “Tartini” in Trieste, Italy.