Browsing articles from "October, 2014"
Oct 20, 2014
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Van Gough’s severed ear regrown with help of 3D Printer!

3D Printed Van Gogh's Ear

The rise of 3D Printing has undoubtedly led to a number of unusual art projects however a recent project by artist Diemut Strebe is perhaps the most unusual to date. A physical manifestation of Theseus’ paradox, wherein the ancient Greek hero was asked if a ship would remain the same if all its individual parts were replaced with new ones. The artist asks if a 3D Printed clone of Van Gogh’s ear could in fact be considered the same as the ear he infamous hacked off two years before his death while in the midst of a psychotic episode.

The artist not content with creating a 3D model of Van Gough’s ear instead combined art and science to produce a living ear formed with van Gogh’s DNA. Strebe found a modern day descendent of van Gogh, the great-great grandson of this brother Theo. The descendent Lieuwe van Gogh shares a Y-chromosome and one sixteenth of Vincent van Gogh’s genome. The mould,  produced in a dis-solvable sugar-polymer scaffolding was then filled with cartilage cells injected with Lieuwes’ DNA and placed inside a bio-reactor for several weeks where the cells grew as the scaffolding dissolved.

Technically alive, the ear is now suspended in a nourishing liquid which is thought will keep the ear alive for a number of years. Visitors to the exhibition at the ZKM| Media Museum in Germany will be able to not only view the ear but also speak to it through a microphone that converts the input sound to simulate nerve impulses in real time.