The Analysis of Billy Apple®

The Analysis of Billy Apple®

Tonight Starkwhite presents the latest development in a ground-breaking project that challenges definitions of life and highlights cultural issues arising from the use and ownership of body tissue and genetic information. 

The Analysis of Billy Apple® is a further development of The Immortalisation of Billy Apple®, a project by artist Billy Apple and artist/scientist Craig Hilton where art is in the service of science and science serves the artist to enhance and protect the artist’s brand by immortalising his biological tissue in perpetuity. The immortalisation transaction ensures that the brand (and the artist) can theoretically last forever, unconstrained by death as his virally transformed cells can now grow indefinitely in cell culture medium.

More recently the artist has been immortalized in a different way – digitally by sequencing his entire genome.

The Analysis of Billy Apple® presents the data in Billy Apple’s genomic sequence that identifies differences, which correlate with known published studies associating these genetic differences with health predictions. Here the artist confronts his possible future mirroring the situation that we face as individualized genomic data as it becomes cheaper and more accessible.
Image: section of the Circos diagram showing a part of Billy Apple's genomic sequence. presented in The Analysis of Billy Apple®, supported by Creative New Zealand