The Quest for Drosophila Titanus

Andy Gracie, Drosophila Titanus, 2011

A 2011 installation associated with the exhibition, Laboratory Life (2011) at Lighthouse in Brighton, and toured at Microwave Festival in Hong Kong later that year.


Led by artist, Andy Gracie, and collaborating with Kuai Shen Auson, Janine Fenton and Meredith Walsh, the group of artists and scientists exhibited their work-in-progress aimed at developing a new species derived from various phenotypes of Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) adaptable to environmental conditions found on the moon, Titan, via exposure to various simulated environmental conditions of this moon.

The apparatuses associated with this astrobiological experiment included the experimental chamber, video documentation of the experiments, a printed manual describing the experimental process, the breeding colony (formed by selecting the most vigorous flies from each experiment), and the memorial to failed individuals.

Laboratory Life, the result of nine days in a collaborative open laboratory, was an exhibition of five bioscience-themed projects created by twenty one international artists, scientists and doctors conceived and led by Andy Gracie (based upon Medialab Prado's model), and organised by The Arts Catalyst and Lighthouse Arts, Brighton.