Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Distorted Conversations: On and Offline Explorations of Genomic Art

About the project (please read!)

Principal investigator: Holly Longstaff under the supervision of advisor Dr. Michael McDonald at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics through the University of British Columbia (UBC), 227 - 6356 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z2, telephone # 604-822-8625.

Purpose: This art project will provide online participants with an opportunity to anonymously share their hopes and concerns about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) by participating in online conversations contained on a blog website. These online conversations will also spark dialogue and debate amongst observers who view the final installation (described below).

Study procedure: Portions of the online conversations will be converted into minuscule text and adhered to petri dishes that would typically be used during PGD procedures. These dishes will be piled up around a microscope for the second offline installation portion of the piece. Observers of the installation will then be invited to join in this distorted conversation through the aid of the microscope. In this way, the offline conversation mimics actual PGD procedures and every aspect of the online and offline portions of the piece are controlled by and manipulated through PGD-type technology. This piece will build on the work of genomic artists like Paul Vanouse, Eduardo Kac, & others involved in exhibitions like gene(sis).

· All documents produced during this research study will be protected by computer password (in the case of digital data) or by locked drawer/filing cabinet (in the case of hard-copy data).

· Please be aware that if you are contributing to the blog on a public computer or in a public space, others may be able to view your comments over your shoulder. You should use a home computer if you want additional privacy. In addition, there is always a risk that computers can be hacked.

· If you become upset or have second thoughts about sharing your personal thoughts, you may remove your comments at any time by pressing the trashcan icon in the corner and clicking on delete.

· You never have to provide your name or any information about yourself. Selected blog comments for the final installation will be pooled together and will not be linked to any individual. However, strict confidentiality cannot be maintained because you are inserting your views into a blog site that can be viewed by anyone.

· If you have any further questions please contact UBC’s Centre of Applied Ethics at 604-822-8625. If you have any concerns about your rights as a research participant please contact the research subject information line at UBC’s office of research services at 604-822-8598.

Consent: If you participate in this art project, you are agreeing to have selections of your comments included in the art project and papers about the project. Please be aware that your participation is entirely voluntary. You may leave at any time without jeopardizing your class standing, employment, or further access to UBC events or studies.