Thursday 7 July 2016

24-HOUR SHUFFLE FESTIVAL 2016 – GODS + IDOLS + LIGHT 10AM Saturday 9th July – 10AM Sunday 10th July

Artwork for the Shuffle Festival

Building a giant, semi-living Golem in the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

Deep in the woods of a London forest, in the burial place of 380,000 people, next to a colony of urban beehives, the world’s leading biological artists are collaborating with Shuffle, biochemical and tissue engineers to build a life-size golem, fashioned from mud and clay and studded with living cells grown in London’s scientific laboratories.

Inspired by the folklore of the Golem, the sculpture will be built by artists and scientists as a live performance over the course of a day, and marry old and new techniques of caring for and controlling life to look at the festival’s theme of Gods and Idols, and the seduction and dangers of artificial human-made life.

The torso of the Golem will house a 3,000-year-old technology: a compost of rotting material and rich burial soil, generating heat and turning the six-foot-tall statue into a rudimentary incubator. This inanimate body will then be used to keep alive the product of a very modern technology: miniature 3D printed golem-shaped biomaterials, seeded with living cells at the laboratories of biochemists and tissue engineering scientists, and then transferred and embedded in the head of the sculpture in the cemetery. 

The Golem will then stand all night, lit and heated and powered as the 24-hour Shuffle Festival continues around it. In the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, a place of continuum between life and death, the six-foot tall Golem becomes a semi-living being. 

Come and help build the Golem, have a drink at the special Hiver bar - serving craft beer fermented with urban honey - and take part in one of the free workshops or listen to one of the related storytelling sessions:
 • 0930 - 1030 Bee workshop & honey collecting
 • 1230 - 1330 Storytelling: The Prague Golem & Prometheus
 • 1400 - 1500 Sleeping Beauty: workshop on deconstructing fairy tales and myths with anthropologist Chris Knight
 • 1500 - 1600 Moon Time: talk on the moon and culture with anthropologist Camilla Power
 • 1600 - 1700 Kids' Storytelling: The Prague Golem
 • 1700 - 1800 Storytelling: The Tissue Culture King, by Julian Huxley and The Jurassic Park Effect, a talk on synthetic biology with Deborah Scott
. • 2000 – 2030 FINALE Come and observe the tiny living golems, and speak to the biological artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr about their work around the world, using life as their material.
 • 0200 - 0300 Two hundred years after Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, join others back at the Golem at for a night science fiction reading
 • 0930 – 1000 The Killing of the Golem
 • 1000 – 1100 Free group feast with Shuffle Festival

In the story of The Prague Golem, the most famous of the golem stories, the creature is a powerful technology, brought alive to protect humanity. Its power careers out of control, and so the people that brought it alive then kill it.

At 0930 on the 10th July, the Golem will be ceremoniously killed. Join others to reflect on the modern relationship between the creator and the created, and the control we retain over even our most powerful technologies.

The Golem is a joint project between
 • Oron Catts and Dr. Ionat Zurr, SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia, and the Royal College of Art
• Science Department, Shuffle Festival 
• Abi Aspen Glencross, Tissue Engineering and Biophotonics Department, Kings College London
• Dr. Michael Sulu and Dr. Brenda Parker, Department of Biochemical Engineering at UCL

With special thanks to
Professor Lucy di Silvio and Dr. Trevor Coward and of Kings College London Dental Institute; anthropologist Adam Kenny; Jackson Poretta of designEARTH lab, Srishti School of Art and Design and Technology; Chris Knight; Camilla Power; Deborah Scott; Saulo Jamariqueli; Rob Curry and all the volunteers who will help build.

Shuffle Festival is free to enter, but a single 24-hour ticket gives access to the entire programme of art, film, science, music, live scores and much more, and supports ongoing regeneration work in the east end.

Full programme details

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