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Initiation, 2012 (first presented at Soft Control, Art, Science and the Technological Unconscious, European Capital of Culture)
Production: Horizonti, co-production: Biobanka d.o.o., University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering
Polona Tratnik, author. Concept and vizualization: Polona Tratnik (project leader), tissue engineering: Biobanka d. o. o. (Miomir Knežević, Marko Strbad, Ajda Marič, Petra Konenčnik, Janja Dobravc et al.), electrical engineering: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering (Damijan Miklavčič et al.), biomedicial technics, phisiology of muscules: Univeristy of Primorska, Science and Research Center, Institute for Kinesiology (Rado Pišot, Boštjan Šimunič et al.) video: Snaut (Marko Cafnik et al.), photocredits: Damjan Švarc, graphic design: Miha Turšič.
Project support: The Slovenian Ministry of Culture, The European Capital of Culture Maribor 2012.

The heart is a vital organ in complex organisms, its pulsation means life. The cell is a living organism; however the multitude of cells connected in a tissue, performing the function of organ, the beating of heart, evolves the concept of life. The cell’s function of proliferation introduces the idea of regenerative body, yet with its potentiality to become a particular cell, stem cell shifts the notion of regeneration to another level.
Initiation conducts regeneration of functional human heart muscle developing the capacity of autonomous pulsation. Cardiac tissue engineering comprises stem cell research in order to reconstitute an engineered human heart. Regeneration involves the implantation of a resorbable organic matrix – decellularized heart organ – with cardio-myocytes differentiated from human adipose derived stem cells. The pulsative flow enhances the seeded cell attachment and alignment of the cells within the matrix. The technology of implantation and dynamic conditioning enable the engineering of the proliferated cells into a strong fibrin-based tissue stimulated to develop the functional ability of the heart muscle cells, which is to perform the muscle contraction. Initiation accelerates the maturation of the tissue and aims to gain its muscle response – it performs the initiation of the cells into functional i.e. contractive tissue and initiates the pulsation of in vitro engineered organ. The degree of tissue formation and cardiac myocyte differentiation in vitro, contractile function, and electrophysiological properties are the factors upon which the suitability of such tissue for both in vitro and in vivo application will depend on.
Initiation confronts the public with the power of biotechnology. The performative installation with tissue-engineered human heart creates an affection, making one realize that biotechnology is a political technology, which is investing in the body, improving its qualities, prolonging youth, taking care of health and reproduction. Regenerative medicine in particular is the knowledge-technology that opens a new horizon for biopower.

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beating video

Iniciacija, 2012
Performativna instalacija, mešani mediji (konstruirano človeško srce, tkivni inženiring in električni inženiring, inkubator, bioreaktor in laminar)
Produkcija: Horizonti, ko-produkcija: Biobanka d. o. o., Educell d. o. o.

Iniciacija izvaja regeneracijo funkcionalne mišice človeškega srca z razvijanjem sposobnosti samostojnega pulziranja. Regeneracija vključuje poselitev vpojne organske matrice, t.j. decelulariziranega srčnega organa, s kardiomiociti, diferenciranimi iz matičnih celic, pridobljenih iz človeškega maščobnega tkiva. Iniciacija pospeši zorenje tkiva ter stremi k dosegu mišičnega odziva – izvaja iniciacijo celic v funkcionalno, t.j. krčljivo tkivo ter iniciira pulziranje in vitro konstruiranega organa.