An artwork exploring the question of life gains an unexpected facet when it must be killed
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has had to kill one of the works currently on display in its recent Design and the Elastic mind show. Literally. The piece is called Victimless Leather. It's an incubator built from a series of flasks which provides nutrients to feed a miniature living coat. The tiny coat was comprised of a biodegradable polymer matrix in the shape of a doll's jacket covered in a layer of living tissue made up of mouse stem cells. When the cells began growing to quickly, the curators of the show had to cut off the nutrients—effectively killing the cells.