Smitta : FA+
Stockholm 1998
Falk and Aguerre were guest teachers at the Protein Engineering course of the Biological Studio Program at Uppsala University, where they encoraged the students to take new challenges in front of their Master Degree test by using bio-technology to manipulate protein and create new types of virus. Virus to clean money, to repell mosquitoes, to get huge muscles for a weekend and to get a clean mouth without brushing the teeth, all
quite practical things.
Four groups of students from the course put genetic codes together and designed four new useable types of virus. All of them got their Master Degree. The codes printed in a large size were exhibit in the show Just for the Record as works of art. That exhibition made clear the problematic of languages/images and how to read it. In spite of information that was available, the art public and critics saw in the codes "just another" conceptual work, a game with letters like many others, lacking any meaning, while the scientific learned part of the audience could read it perfectly and discuss the type of virus and it's probable/unprobable utilities. The "pictures" were for sale and included the right to develope the virus. The cheapest at a coast of 1 million euros, the most expensive, 120
millon euros.
Just for the Record took place in the IASPIS (International Artist’s Studio Program in Sweden) gallery at Stockholm's Royal Art Academy, FA+ arranged the exhibition in December 1998 for those participants who had been important to the project. Nicola Pellegrini (Italy) with his “confetti-virus” and a new photo serie, Casmo Info with a piece to walk over, Anita Ponton (England) with a new sound-piece and two video-performances, Lennie Lee (England) with his posters from Malmö and a new video work. FA+ showed six new works about dinners and meetings. These works were linked to the exhibition, which was about the process that led to the entire project. An exhibition about a project, the concept was made clear in the title, Just for the record. The artists did a museum exhibition. An important part of that exhibition included the codes for the newly designed viruses.