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ethics of genetic technologie







Residency 18: Perfection / Speculation proposes a multi-disciplinary investigation of the meanings and ethics of genetic technologies.

This residency is informed by Adam Peacock’s Genetics Gym project, developed while he was Designer-in-Residence at London College of Fashion’s Fashion Space Gallery. Applications are invited from investigators whose focus is on the modifiable human body as a medium of expression, experimentation, research and social interaction. Artists, designers, scientists, writers, psychologists, programmers, film- and video-makers, anthropologists and others based in Oslo, across Norway or internationally, are all welcome to apply. We are looking for talented individuals with distinctive approaches to the residency topic, whatever their specialism. It is intended that the final selection will reflect the scientific as well as the social and cultural dimensions of the area in focus.

Perfection / Speculation will connect with body cultures of the past, present and future. It is supported by a dynamic relationship between its two residency partners: the Vigeland Museum and queer live events co-ordinators Karmaklubb*. The project will revisit the work of Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) to investigate past and future constructions of gender, race, sexuality, age, body politics, and the notion of the ideal human. Building on Karmaklubb*’s agendas, it aims to probe the social and digital cultures arising from discussions and practices around genetics and the body, and to establish a hub within global conversations about future impacts of design technologies on our bodies.

Perfection / Speculation will feature events developed with the residency partners, a multi-faceted approach to research and project development, and the possibility of a concluding public event showcasing diverse residency outcomes. Events will include a very nice post-talk party arranged by Karmaklubb*.

The Genetics Gym project explores the consumer psychology that informs technology-driven contemporary human interactions. In development over seven years, the project presents a hypothetical scenario in which a commercial pharmaceutical company allows consumers to ‘design’ themselves in any way imaginable using genetic technology. Genetics Gym explores the psychological preconditions that drive the desire for bodily modification and transformation. It is part of a wider series of experiments that Peacock has titled ‘The Validation Junky’ – examinations of technology-driven socio-cultural issues, including testing the possibility of programming artificial intelligence to ‘read’ the subjective, qualitative and highly context-specific attributes that make up our “ideal” self-presentations. Genetics Gym is a collaboration between Peacock’s studio, UCL’s Human Genetics and Embryology department and London College of Fashion’s Applied Psychology in Fashion department. Originally exhibited at the Fashion Space Gallery in 2017, Genetics Gym was also shown in Science Gallery Melbourne for PERFECTION (2018) and Science Gallery Dublin for PERFECTION (2019). It also forms a chapter in ‘Crafting Anatomies: The body as site in fashion and textiles research practice’, scheduled for publication by Bloomsbury Academic Publishers in February 2020.

Post-disciplinary artist-designer Adam Peacock is an Associate Lecturer in Design Strategy and Future Related Design at London College of Fashion, and a contributor to LCF’s Fashion Futures MA. He co-runs an experimental fashion-architecture studio for the Master of Architecture degree at the University of Melbourne (2019-). He is the founder of the experimental framework The Validation Junky, whose most recent project, Genetics Gym, was featured in the BBC Radio 1 Stories documentary DNA+: Beauty, and was presented as the opening keynote speech at the 2018 Product Innovation Apparel conference in Milan. Adam has designed for Heatherwick Studio, WilkinsonEyre and Amanda Levete Architects and contributed to strategic-design projects with Stella McCartney, Lyst, Audi and FIAT. He was Artist in Residence at the Visible Futures Lab, School of the Visual Arts, NYC in 2015-16 and 2016 Designer in Residence at the Fashion Space Gallery at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. In 2018, he received the Robert Garland Treseder Fellowship at the the University of Melbourne.

Danai Papadimitriou is a curator based in London and working in the fields of art, architecture and design. Her curatorial practice examines the way these fields interact and shape human behaviours and communities within an urban context. Most recently Danai has been studying yoga practice and philosophy aiming to explore new ways of interaction between people and communities, as well as the role of spirituality in contemporary western society. 

The Vigeland Museum is devoted to Norway's most famous sculptor, Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943). It combines the curating of Vigeland’s heritage with the presentation of contemporary sculpture, installation and video art.

*Karmaklubb* is a nomadic queer club concept and conversational platform, dedicated to ‘thought and pleasure across categories’. Its events bring together diverse individuals and groups, forming hybrid spaces designed to break down boundaries and challenge categorical thinking.


The residency understands that this topic can be approached both as a hard science or as an expressive narrative; and so is looking for talented individuals with a distinctive approach to the topic. The output might be; experimental sounds, manipulated imagery, diagrammatic output, scientific research, cultural research/papers, creative writing, digital human body design, CGI, or a format still to be defined.

Applications are welcomed from artists, as well as practitioners or theorists in other areas whose interests and experience are relevant to the residency’s theme. Selected residents will be part of a temporary community of between five and eight local and international participants. The residency will involve group activities, discussion and creative exchange around the residency theme, as well as time for independent working. Selection is based on applicants’ ability both to gain from, and contribute to, the activities of the month-long residency.

PRAKSIS aims to provide an environment for development and professional growth: applications are welcome from practitioners of differing ages and experience levels.

PRAKSIS residencies are intensive and structured around the interests and needs of their participants. The particular form that each residency takes is developed collectively through discussion once the group comes together. At the start of the residency, group members are encouraged to share their reasons for applying and what they hope to get out of their time with PRAKSIS.

Early in the residency each participant is expected to give a brief introduction to their practice. Self-led activity will be supplemented by collective activity including, but not limited to visits, meals, discussions and a series of public events that aim to further group research and practice while opening dialogues to wider publics.

This residency is free of charge and offers comfortable accommodation for non-Oslo based residents in central Oslo. Local residents will continue to live at their usual address. The residency community will regularly come together at the residency studio space, and at organised events and meals.

International participants receive a stipend of 3000 NOK (approximately 300 euros) towards additional costs.

Weekly meals encourage for discussion, debate and friendship. On weekdays PRAKSIS will provide lunch at the working space. Dinners for all residents with invited guests will be held weekly.

Oslo has a vibrant and adventurous arts landscape. PRAKSIS will provide residents with information and links to the city’s cultural scene, informing them about exhibitions, talks, performances and other events. PRAKSIS seeks wherever possible to connect participants with relevant organisations and individuals in Oslo. PRAKSIS residencies aims to introduce the residency community to Oslo creatives in various spheres including among others: curators, writers, and artists.

Activities and events will be mainly held at PRAKSIS’s space in central Oslo. At the start of the residency, participants are invited to make a presentation, informally introducing themselves and their practice to the rest of the group. Other activities include residency related visits, a tour of Oslo's galleries, networking events, discussions and group critiques – some open to the public. A screening/seminar event will address issues surrounding the residency theme.

Residents are responsible for their own travel and any further costs.

Two places are available for international residents. Places may be offered subject to securing support. Approximately four spaces are available to local residents.

Our team is happy to support applications for external grants wherever possible. 

Residents are welcomed to suggest or lead an action, activity or workshop that will clarify and support their own background, interests or methodologies. Participants are also encouraged to contribute towards a shared resource list in advance of the residency, potentially including readings, podcasts, films or other materials for consideration during the residency.


  • English is the common language at PRAKSIS and residents must be sufficiently fluent to participate in group discussion and activity.
  • Residents are expected to involve themselves fully in the work of the residency: joining meals, participating in events and engaging with the resident community.
  • Accepting a residency involves a commitment to participation for the full residency term.

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