GENETICS GYM




































The Genetics Gym is a research-led narrative installation investigating the human perception of genes ‘ genetics’ and memes ‘memetics’ as appeal, attraction or beauty.



The project seeks to stimulate multi-layered conversations on how new media is affecting self-perception by asking the question:



What would you change if you could design your body in any way imaginable?












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GENETICS GYM BEHIND THE SCENES








































GENETICS GYM THE CONVERSATION





















IN MORE DETAIL

The Genetics Gym is an ongoing research project depicting a calculated fiction of modified bodies across five fictional brands, edited with hypothetical new and emerging genetic technologies, allowing in-depth exploration to question how the internet affects human behaviour.

The project, spanning five years (2016-), is built upon the Darwinian construct that what an evolutionary biologist might term perception of genetic strength, we might term appeal, attraction, or ‘sexiness’, now playing out in a vastly complex new media age. The project is built upon Marshall McLuhan’s theories on electric circuitry as an extension of the central nervous system, Norbert Weiner’s cybernetic theories, and evolutionary psychology.

As an ongoing speculation, the project is designed to engage varied audiences and perspectives into a multi-layered conversation on the effects of new media today, with emphasis on marginalised identities and homogenisation, observing the link between cognitive perception of genes and visual appeal playing out within contemporary popular culture.

The initial project outcome was an installation developed whilst under the 2016 Design Residency with the Fashion Space Gallery that went on to be toured, exhibited, and published internationally. The next phase of the project will take place in Oslo, Norway, in August - September 2021, a residency entitled ‘Perfection / Speculation’, Developed with Praksis, Curator Danai Papadimitriou, and held in collaboration with The Vigeland Museum and KarmaKlubb*.



GENETICS GYM SELECTED TRACTION

︎ 2021 GENETICS GYM awarded nomination STARTS Prize, Ars Electronica Linz, Austria
︎ 2020-21 GENETICS GYM forms basis for residency Perfection / Speculation, PRAKSIS Oslo, Norway
︎ 2020 GENETICS GYM published as a chapter within Crafting Anatomies by Bloomsbury
︎ 2019 GENETICS GYM exhibitied at Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland for PERFECTION
︎ 2018 GENETICS GYM exhibitied at Science Gallery Melbourne, Australia for PERFECTION
︎ 2018 GENETICS GYM awarded 2018 Robert Garland Treseder Fellowship at Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Australia
︎ 2018 GENETICS GYM opening keynote speach at Product Innovation Apaprel Milan, Italy
︎ 2018 GENETICS GYM featured by BBC iPlayer in ‘DNA+Beauty’

GENETICS GYM PRESENTATIONS & LECTURES


2021, Lecture, Liverpool John Moores University, BA Fashion, Liverpool, UK, Delivered remotely due to COVID-19.

2020, Lecture, Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts & Design, ‘Global Classroom’, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan, Delivered remotely due to COVID-19.

2020, Presentation, School of International Art (SIA), Future Fashion Direction, Fashion Department, Beijing China, Delivered remotely due to COVID-19.

2019, Lecture, ArtCentre College of Design, Media Design Practices (MDP), Los Angeles, USA.

2019, Lecture, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Lucy McRae Vertical Studio, Los Angeles, USA.

2019, Lecture, Science Gallery Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland.

2019, Lecture, ‘Panda Innovation - Investing in Fashion’, Cocoon Global, London.

2018, Presentation, Melbourne School of Design, Design Curation, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia.

2018, Presentation, Melbourne School of Design, M.Arch, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia.

2018, Lecture, Melbourne School of Design, ‘Treseder Lecture, Perfection / Speculation: The Validation Junky’, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia.

2018, Opening Keynote Lecture, Product Innovation Apparel Milan 'Genetics and AI, what can we now learn about our consumers that will enable more successful and impactful products?’, Milan, Italy.

2018, Presentation, Fashion Clash Festival, ‘The Clash of Values’, Maastricht, Netherlands.

2017, Presentation, Fashion Space Gallery, Arcade East, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, UK.

2016, Lecture, MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals and MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, UK.

2016, Lecture, MSc. Prenatal Genetics and Foetal Medicine, MSc. Reproductive Science and Women’s Health, UCL / UCH Centre for Human Reproduction, University College London, UK.

2016, Lecture, Royal College of Art, MA Fashion Menswear, MA Fashion Womenswear, MA FAME (Footwear Accessories Millinery and Eyewear), London, UK.

GENETICS GYM PRESS & INTERVIEWS




2020, Press, H. Singleton, ’The Health Race: From biohacking and genome sequencing to human-animal chimeras, the health race is well and truly underway’. The question is, where will it end?’, Matters Issue 3.

2019, Press, H. O’Neill, ‘I let an algorithm in a mirror show me a ‘perfect’ version of my face’, Image.ie.

2019, Interview, ‘FASHION MADE: Genetics, Design and Marketing with Adam Peacock’, David Willcox, Product Innovation Apparel, London, UK.

2019, Press, G. Tipton, ‘What does perfection look like and why does it make us miserable? A new exhibition at Dublin’s Science Gallery delves into our fear of flaws’, The Irish Times.

2019, Interview, ‘In Conversation with Adam Peacock’, Inflection Journal Volume 06 - Originals, November 2019, AADR Art Architecture Design Research, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Australia.

2019, Press, ‘In pursuit of PERFECTION’, Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland.

2019, Interview, ‘Would you modify your genes?’, Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland.

2018, Interview, ‘How Emerging Tech Can Change the Fashion Industry in the Next Decade’, Product Innovation Apparel Milan.

2018, Press, J.Shiels, ‘Art and science come together to examine the power and perversions of perfection’, The Conversation.

2018, Interview, ‘Challenges of designing in the future’, Product Innovation Apparel Milan.

2018, Interview, ‘Upcoming Industry Challenges’, Product Innovation Apparel Milan.


2018, Press, M. Tiarney, ‘Should we strive for PERFECTION?’, Art Guide Australia.

2018, Press, ‘London-based designer awarded Robert Garland Treseder Fellowship for 2018’, Melbourne School of Design.
    
2018, Press, A.Stephens, ‘Perfect humans: good or bad? Science and art examine tomorrow’s brave new face. As technology strives to make us better, are we sacrificing the flaws that make us human?’, The Age.

2018, Interview, ‘Could you edit your DNA to look hotter?’, BBC iPlayer, (At 4:37mins).

2017, Press, S. Kamau, ‘ADAM PEACOCK, tackling consumer psychology through genetic design’ CLOT Magazine.





︎GENETICS GYM KEY RESEARCH SOURCES

(Ongoing) Please get in touch if you have any suggested additions or edits



︎ Basar, S, Coupland, D, Ulrich Obrist, H, (2015), The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide To the Extreme Present, Penguin.

︎ Dawkins, R. (1976) ‘The Selfish Gene’, Oxford University Press.

︎ DeBotton, Alain. (2012) ‘How to Think more About Sex’, Macmillan Publishers Limited.

︎ De Botton, A. (2004) Status Anxiety, 2004, Penguin.

︎ Downs, A. (2012) The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World, 2nd edn., Boston, MA: Da Capo Press.

︎ Dunbar, R., Knight, C. & Power, C. (eds) (1999) The Evolution of Culture. Edinburgh University Press.

︎ Dunne, A. and Raby, F. (2014) Speculative Everything. Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

︎ Harari, Y. (2011), Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, London.

︎ Jarzombek, M. (2020) The Data Human: Who Are We? Exploring the Questions of our Identity in the Digital Age.

︎ Jarzombek, M. (2016) Digital Stockholm Syndrome in the Post-Ontological Age. University of Minnesota Press.

︎ Kahneman, D (2010), Thinking Fast and Slow, London.

︎ Manovic, L. (2020), Cultural Analytics, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

︎ Manovic, L. (2014) Selfiexploratory - Selfie City: Investigating the style of self-portraits (selfies) in six cities across the world, available at http://selfiecity.net/selfiexploratory/ (Accessed 10th March 2021)

︎ McRae, L. (2018) Biometric Mirror: What if Artificial Intelligence gets it wrong? available at https://www. lucymcrae.net/biometric-mirror- (Accessed 12th March 2021)

︎ McLuhan, M. (2008) The Medium is the Message. London: Penguin.

︎ Miller, G.(2009), Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behaviour, London.

︎ Miller, G. (2009) SPENT: Sex, Evolution and the Secrets of Consumerism. Penguin NYC

︎ Simon, J (2018), Art Breeder, available at https://www.artbreeder.com (accessed 12th March 2021).

︎ Wiener, N. (1948) ‘Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine’, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
IMAGE LIST





1 - Install View, Genetics Gym Projection in the Gallery © Adam Peacock 2017

2 - Character Number One, body edited according to the first brand’s ideology or ‘perception of success’ © Adam Peacock 2017

3 - Brain-Body-Society, Graphic Illustration conceptualising the connection between cognition of visual proportions and mathematics, and appropriation of individual bodies © Adam Peacock 2017

4 - Body Scanning with Facial Tracking © Adam Peacock 2017

5 - Axis of Taste, plotting five different ‘brand ideologies of success’ across two axis - self-centred to community-centred, and visionary to populist © Adam Peacock 2017

6 - Character One according to each brand’s ideology or ‘perfection of success’, in order left to right, ‘self-centred populist’, ‘manifesto-visionaire’, ‘no-substance-visionire’, ‘basic-pleaser’, ‘communo-consumer’ © Adam Peacock 2017

7 - Install View, Arcade East, Fashion Space Gallery © Adam Peacock 2017

8 - Research document showing brand outlines aligning with the five characters to create twenty-five portraits, including the ‘menu’ of genetic components required for the body-morphs situated within gallery installation © Adam Peacock 2017

9 - Research document within gallery context, showing ideological project principles, the historical, current and future contexts of cultural and technological aspects affecting the urgency around observing genetic technology development  © Adam Peacock 2017

10 - Research document, showing ideological project principles, the historical, current and future contexts of cultural and technological aspects affecting the urgency around observing genetic technology development © Adam Peacock 2017

11 - Research document showing five different drivers defining scope for theoretical context study; Genetic Tech Development, Photographic Tech Development, Shift in Media / Human Interaction, Shift in Public Anxiety, Perception of Disability, 1975 - 2045 (detail), © Adam Peacock 2017

12 - Research document showing five different drivers defining scope for theoretical context study; Genetic Tech Development, Photographic Tech Development, Shift in Media / Human Interaction, Shift in Public Anxiety, Perception of Disability, 1975 - 2045 (detail 2) © Adam Peacock 2017

13 - Research document showing five different drivers defining scope for theoretical context study; Genetic Tech Development, Photographic Tech Development, Shift in Media / Human Interaction, Shift in Public Anxiety, Perception of Disability, 1975 - 2045 (detail 3) © Adam Peacock 2017

14 - Gallery visitors observe the characters blinking, breathing, moving and slowly morphing between the five different ‘perceptions of success’. Photograph by Isabela Branca Gygax © Adam Peacock 2017

15 - Detail View, Illustration: Brain-Body-Society, Character no1 © Adam Peacock 2017

16 - Research document showing brand outlines aligning with the five characters to create twenty-five portraits, including the ‘menu’ of genetic components required for the body-morphs situated within gallery installation. Image © Adam Peacock 2017

17 - Research document (detail) © Adam Peacock 2017

18 - Illustration: Brain-Body-Society, Character no1, © Adam Peacock 2017

19 - Illustration: Brain-Body-Society, Character no2, © Adam Peacock 2017

20 - Illustration: Brain-Body-Society, Character no3, © Adam Peacock 2017

21 - Illustration: Brain-Body-Society, Character no5, © Adam Peacock 2017

22 - Illustration: Brain-Body-Society, Character no5 (detail), © Adam Peacock 2017

23 - A menu of 23 genetic ingredients illustrate the genetic changes proposed in the body-forms, with each attribute on a scale of 1 (plausible) to 5 (impossible). © Adam Peacock 2017

24 - Install View, Genetics Gym Illustration Series: Brain-Body-Society, Characters no1 - no5, © Adam Peacock 2017

25 - Illustration: Brain-Body-Society, Character no3 (detail), showing hard-wired cognition 3d axis hard-wired into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs © Adam Peacock 2017

Opening Logo - Genetics Gym Company Logo, referencing ‘Made in California, USA’ found on Apple products © 2017

Background image - Install View, Genetics Gym Projection in the Gallery © 2017









GENETICS GYM CREDITS

Commissioned by the Fashion Space Gallery

Creative & Strategic Direction - Adam PeacockThe Validation Junky
Project Management - Fashion Space Gallery Team

Research 
Research Lead - Adam Peacock
Applied Psychology Consultant - Prof. Carolyn Mair (London College of Fashion)
Genetic Technology Consultant - Dr. Helen C. O’Neill (UCL) 
Genetic Technology Research - Ashley Campbell, Liane Stein (UCL)
Research Assistants - Dian-Jen Lin, Isabela Branca Gygax, Lara Gill (London College of Fashion) 
Research Workshop Attendees, Design - Dian-Jen Lin, Hew Wang, Jo Cope, Siyang Meng, Voranida Rujekitnara, Yuqing Lai (London College of Fashion), Anderson Dalle Laste (London College of Communication)
Research Workshop Attendees, Psychology - Prof. Roberta Degnore (Fashion Institute of Technology NYC), David Adams, James Boag (London College of Fashion)
Research Workshp Attendees, Genetic Technology - Dr. Helen C. O’Neill, Ashley Campbell, Liane Stein, Rachel Ho (UCL)
Research Workshop Photography - Celia Tang (London College of Fashion) 
Research Symposium Chairs - Adam Peacock & Lynne Murray (Digital Anthropology Lab)
Research Symposium, on Social Policy & Mental Health - Duncan Stephenson (Royal Society for Public Health)
Research Symposium, on Genetic Technology - Prof. Joyce Harper (UCL), Dr. Helen C. O’Neill (UCL)
Research Symposium, on Synthetic Biology & Speculative Bodies - Agatha Haines (Cognovo Research Lab)
Research Symposium, on Plastic Surgery - Dr. Barry M. Jones (Royal College of Surgeons)
Research Symposium, on Computer Science - Henrique Mathias (Feeld)

Production
Videography, Post-Production, Styling - Adam Peacock
Sound Artist - Timothy Wang aka TWANG
Makeup Artist - Tamara Dickson-Jones (London College of Fashion)
Production Assistants - Celia Tang, Dian-Jen Lin, Isabela Branca Gygax, Lara Gill (London College of Fashion)
Technical Equipment - Adam Grice, Alex Burgess, Dimitrios Coumados, James Montgomery, Kate Allen
Model Casting - Adam Peacock
Model Number One - Wing Yue Leung
Model Number Two - Hermione Fallow Callow
Model Number Three - Brendan Howley
Model Number Four - Thomas Wade Nichols
Model Number Five - John Kamau
Graphic Illustrations Drawings - Adam Peacock
Graphic Illustrations Printing - theprintspace
Research Document Production - Adam Peacock

Dissemination
Exhibition Design - Adam Peacock
Technical Install - Fergus O’Connor, Manoj Mistry, Steven Legget
Exhibition & Behind-The-Scenes Photography & Videography - Adam Peacock, Dian-Jen Lin, Isabela Branca Gygax, James Sanders, John Duff
Exhibition & Behind-The-Scenes Photography & Videography Edit - Adam Peacock, Isabela Branca Gygax
Website Design - Adam Peacock

With ongoing support by Praksis Oslo, Arts Council Norway, City of Oslo, Science Gallery Dublin, Science Gallery Melbourne, Reproductive Science and Women's Health MSc, University College London, Digital Anthropology Lab, University of the Arts London

The project would have not been possible without the generosity of conversation, critique, ideas, wisdom, energy, and patience from Adrien Weinert, Alex McIntosh, Charalambos Demetriou, Charlotte Baker, Dai Rees, Eelko Moorer, Frances McGarry, Janne Baetsen, Lara Sanjar, Mouhannad Al-Sayegh, Neil Hubbard, Nigel Luck, Nilgin Yusuf, Peter Hill, Susan Postlethwaite, Ted Hunt, Yener Bayramoglu, Zowie Broach







CONTACT

Keep the conversation going ~
︎All Enquries -
studio@adampeacock.co.uk








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