Jochem Hendricks

Soft Union I + II, 2017–18
Human cell lines, glass and steel
Vessel I: 7.1 x 2.75 x 2.75 inch
18 x 7 x 7 cm
Vessel II: 9.25 x 7.5 x 7.5 inch
23,5 x 19,2 x 19,2 cm
Vitrines 50 x 50 x 50 cm each

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

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

Cell lines originating from the world’s five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Australia, were acquired and expanded separately to more than 100 million cells over five months before creating the Soft Union forms.
In Soft Union I, the expanded cells were mixed and grown together on large format sterile glass plates, which allowed the individual cell types to experience one another in the same environment. Then they were transferred to the round-bottom vessel and sealed to prevent evaporation and for presentation.
In Soft Union II, different cell types were individually introduced into the flat-bottom vessel via the five Cells were grown together to allow them to grow together naturally until the flat-bottom surface was full of cells. At this point, the cells in the entire vessel were preserved with standard methods, dried and sealed for presentation.