Elvis reincarnated as a mouse in the name of art

All That I Am is an art piece which involves a transgenic mouse imbued with the essence of Elvis Presley in an effort to model the late great's behaviour.

Koby says:

A combination of three online services make this project possible. Hair samples of Elvis Presley, bought on ebay were sent to a gene sequencing lab to identify different behavioural traits (varied from sociability, athletic performance to obesity and addiction).

Using this information, transgenic mice clones with parallel traits were produced.

The genetically cloned models of Elvis are tested in a collection of various contemporary scientific mouse model environments, simulating some of the significant biographical circumstances of his life - making his choices.

Sound mad? Certainly.  Scientifically implausible? Absolutely.  But to judge the project on its technical accuracy would be fairly stupid.  This is art, at the end of the day.  But it's art I like, because it raises questions that are worth considering.  Koby asks "Is it possible to quantify our life through a series of conditions and events? Can mouse models of ourselves help us prepare for possible futures?"  As yesterday's news confirmed, we're not above spending billions of dollars on a machine that helps build better models with which to understand how the universe works.   Lately I've been thinking about what happens when we turn those machines in on ourselves.  We have vast supercomputers working round the clock to agglomerate the millions of different factors that influence our climate, and these models form the basis of policy decisions that have an impact on us as a population.  Might we also demand personal models that weigh up the various influences in our own lives, in order to help us make better decisions?  Will I be happy in this job? Should I go back to college?  Should I have a child now? I think the ability to model our own lives accurately, to see how things would turn out if we were to take this path or the other, is the crystal ball that we've been wanting all along.  This is Dicken's third ghost, that can show us the consequences of our decisions while we're still able to change our ways.  I certainly think it's something for science to strive for.

Visit the All That I Am homepage.


More like this

ZombiePal, thanks to Ataraxia Theatre Scene: Harpo Studios, Chicago, IL, under heavy guard Dramatis personae: Oprah Winfrey, talk show host; Jenny McCarthy, famous person; Erica Turner, un-dead North Sider Oprah: Jenny, you have been such a maverick. It takes a brave person, one with great…
A friend of mine who volunteered at a shelter in New York City told me this story over Thanksgiving.  The shelter she worked in responded to the range of people affected by the crisis.  Many of them, as always in a crisis, were those who were already struggling and marginalized - illegal immigrants…
No, it's not a new concept car from Detroit.  It is a website that is designed to collect suggestions for the next edition of the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual (DSM-V).  It occurred to me to mention it here, after reading a recent article in Seed magazine. href="http://www.seedmagazine.com/…
"...It never was our guise  To slight the poor, or aught humane despise:  For Jove unfold our hospitable door,  'Tis Jove that sends the stranger and the poor..." ---Homer: The Odyssey, Translation by Alexander Pope A few weeks ago, Drugmonkey wrote a piece about perceptions of drug users.  …

Elvis the mouse. o3o

By Derpfish The Third (not verified) on 05 Jul 2012 #permalink

"I think the ability to model our own lives accurately, to see how things would turn out if we were to take this path or the other, is the crystal ball that we’ve been wanting all along."

Given that two out of the last three financial crises have been caused by "perfect" models of options pricing and risk respectively, I'm not waiting for it.....

By Ian Kemmish (not verified) on 06 Jul 2012 #permalink