Another visit to IST
In the „96 well-plates“ comonly used in micro-biology there is a text pipeted. In normal light the text says „Prof.“ which stands for the ultimate goal of each scientist, and when the light changes to UV the text says „TAXI“ which should represent the fear and the statistical probability that most of the researchers would end up as overqualified and un-employable persons.
Project was part of Art & Science course form die Angewandte with cooperation partners from IST Austria
Exhibited at the Essence 2012, Künstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria
Text in installation
Another visit to IST Austria
I took the IST shuttle bus from Heiligenstadt. I was a bit worried if I should pay for it or not but the driver just smiled on my effort and said „Yes IST“. I came to Maria Gugging and walked to the house. It is super cleaned and peaceful place (besides the Nazi history). In front of the house is a pond with a tree in the middle and above the pond there is a terrace where the scientists are eating their lunch. As a PhD. student Marta from Bratislava noted the other day: „…totally utopian place…“. In this area that is obviously well funded where the people are precisely chosen for the prestigious jobs I felt a bit strange of course.
I was hosted in Calin Guets team by a postdoc Tobi, who seem really into the science and he was really concentrated on his work. So passionate about the thing that he might be thinking about becoming a professor one day.
I kept asking questions to him in his lab and he was trying to explain me what he was doing, but I gave up because of the strong biological lingo that made me not understand much of what he said. So I was asking questions about his career and about life of scientist. He was preparing his genetically modified bacteria e-coli for further tests. These had the green fluorescent protein – GFP in it, but just in the membrane. We went to the basement of the building to do some microscopy. It was a totally psychoanalytical staging of the whole situation because what he was going to tell me might have been sort of from his unconscious. He was getting blurry images from which it was hard to guess if the protein is just in the membrane (what was purpose of his days work).
So I asked: „What happens than when you are getting the blurry images all the time?“
and he replied: „Well I need to go on with my project. I have just two years contract here.“
„Yeah, so what happens with the scientists who don`t manage to finish their projects?“
„Well, they might end up as a taxi driver“