Jochem Hendricks

Hot Union 1–5, 2017–21
Human cell lines, glass and steel
Glass sculptures app. 58 x 47 x 45 each
Plinths 110 x 50 x 50 cm each

A collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz

Scientific Leadership: Prof. Dr. Mischa Bonn
Laboratory Management: Sabine Pütz
Technical Support: Marc-Jan van Zadel
Glass Blowing: René Schmuck

Cell lines from humans originating from all 5 continents were fused in a complex process to 1 cell culture. A kind of global homunculus was created. For this purpose, cell lines were acquired in advance from international cell banks in Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia. In order to produce enough biological material for the project, each cell line was expanded over months from ~ 1 million cells to several 100 million cells.

Following the laboratory work, Hot Union resulted in five glass sculptures. These mouth blown glass bodies each consist of a central sphere, to which five satellite spheres with the individual cell lines are permeably docked on them. After completion of the cell growth, each glass sculpture filled with the five cell lines was hermetically sealed and heated again. In this way, all the cells evaporated, mixed and distributed within the sculpture and became invisible. 

Kindly supported by Hessische Kulturstiftung

Hot Union 1

Hot Union 2

Hot Union 3

Hot Union 4

Hot Union 5