[About/ Sur le projet]

Our principal investigator examines culture specimens at the Pelling Lab for Biophysical Manipulation, University of Ottawa, Canada, 2013.

The Ossificatorium is both a Level 1 Biosafety research-creation laboratory in Montréal, Québec, Canada and a multiphase biological and social research-creation project facilitated by a team of seven Canadian academic and independent researchers in the Life Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Applied Mathematics, Digital Microscopy and Electronics/IT.

Forensic aesthetics and osteobiographical narrative construction (the visual/structural and textual building of bone and its account of historical events), as well as biology as “new media” in terms of the relationship of the microscopic body to digital technologies through concepts around communication systems and haptic intelligence (IT), are some of the core considerations of this work. Also, the role of mapping myth/culture formation through psychogeographies[1] (affective spaces that include body and landscape), including cyber-psychogeography through online mapping, is a complementary investigation and one end result of the project. In addition to enhancing and supporting an institutional cross-disciplinary research trend, implications of these research-creation results have possible future applications such as digitally-mediated aesthetic or therapeutic osteogenesis or regeneration.


The Ossificatorium project includes:

  • Phase I: A biomimetic material inquiry into the transhuman potential of the intersection between tissue engineering and haptic intelligence/communication. This means engagement with biophysical manipulation of tissue, as authorized in a Type 1 Biosafety Lab, in order to complete preliminary research on the structural integrity and feasibility of textile methods in the process of laboratory-engineered osteogenesis (e. g. “weaving” an intracellular tissue matrix). Studying and theorizing RL medical conditions via extraordinary human examples (e. g. saints) provides a framework for understanding (re)generative relationships between microbiology, geography and culture. [COMPLETED]
  • Phase II: Precise mathematical calculation, rendering and construction of polyhedron forms that serve as 1) referential of geometric chemical and mineral (crystalline) biological components; 2) hermetically sealed reliquary/incubator containers for specimens. [COMPLETED]
  • Phase III: Metacultural analysis through global positioning system technology and web-based applications. Data collection on the movement of these representational objects through psychogeographical architecture and terrain forms an integral part of the project in developing a correlative narrative around the polysemic nature of human ‘culture’ and cell ‘culture’. Detailed comparisons may be achieved in Phase IV. Geo-tracking data dissemination and mutated narrative form the body of the Ossificatorium website, as well as related algorithmic info-aesthetic[2] components. Visual data upload via Google Earth builds and reinforces cyber/psychogeographical authenticity.  [ONGOING]
  • Phase IV: International Type 2 Biosafety Lab osteo-tissue engineering and exchange, including the incorporation of quantum mechanical (geographically distant) psychoenergetic influence on new cell culture groups at SymbioticA International Centre for Excellence in Biological Arts. [UPCOMING]




Specifics on the lab:

Biosafety Level 1 classification: Biosafety Level 1 labs work with well-characterized agents that are not known for causing disease in healthy adult humans and are of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personal and the environment.

Level 1 standard practices: Restricted lab access, at the lab director’s discretion, during experiments with specimens. Hands must be washed after handling specimens and before leaving the lab. Eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, applying cosmetics and food storage for humans is not permitted in demarcated work areas. Work surfaces must be decontaminated once a day with 1/10 bleach solution or after any spill.

Level 1 primary barriers/safety equipment: Biological safety cabinets are generally not used at this level. Employees are encouraged to wear lab coats to prevent contamination of street clothes. Gloves should be worn if skin is broken or a rash is present. Eyewear should be worn for procedures where splash of microorganisms or hazardous materials is anticipated.

Level 1 secondary barriers/laboratory facilities: Labs should have doors to limit access. Each lab needs a sink for handwashing. Design of the lab should facilitate easy cleaning, without rugs or carpets. Benchtops need to be impervious to water and be heat- and chemical-resistant. Information containing laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all chemicals and biomaterials used must be visibly displayed and easily accessible.

For more information on the project or related inquiries, please contact us directly using the email form below.