Collateral Effects

This urgent new Arts Council England supported project will artistically explore the “Collateral Effects” of the pandemic on science and society through the creation of a new body of art works stemming from in-depth collaborations with researchers from leading scientific organisations across England.

The immediate impacts of the pandemic are clear but there will be many unforeseen collateral effects on science as well as on the arts. By working directly with scientists the project will reveal the hidden impacts of the pandemic on biomedical science, such as increases in antibiotic resistance due to increased prophylactic use of antibiotics in COVID-19 patients or in dental patients whilst surgeries were closed.

Additionally the project will consider the sudden halting of almost all ongoing research in microbiology, as huge numbers of labs were turned over to work on COVID-19 testing. The project will also reflect on the impact of the pandemic on BioArt, an area which Dumitriu is deeply engaged, which involves working with living systems, bacteria and synthetic biology at its core.

Dumitriu will work with her collaborators in their labs with researchers to uncover the impacts on other globally significant diseases such as tuberculosis, once known as the ‘romantic disease’ due to its historic links to poetry and art, and cholera which is an everyday risk in conflict settings and refugee camps.

The project will be developed in collaboration with curatorial partner FutureEverything and science partners researchers from major organisations including the National Collection of Type Cultures at the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England), The CRyPTIC project at The University of Oxford, Birmingham Dental Hospital, The University of Leeds and the Wellcome Sanger Institute.