Blood At Science Gallery

Calling all artists, scientists, and designers: hot-blooded, blue-blooded, or just bloody interested in BLOOD.

Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin requests proposals for works to be included in a new exhibition entitled BLOOD. From the subcutaneous to the cultural, BLOOD seeks to investigate to blood across diverse realms of human and post-human endeavour. From cutting edge research in immunology and genetics, to bioart works that use the medium of blood, to mythical stories of vampires, we will explore the materiality of BLOOD through science, medicine, body and bioart, kinship and religious beliefs and its many symbolic and cultural meanings.

We are interested in everything from the internal dynamics of blood cells and their diseases, to themes such as racism, eugenics, bio-politics, popular cultural tropes such as vampires, gender, performance, ritual and religion.

Why do we love vampires but fear needles? Why do we ‘see red’ when our blood ‘boils’? What are the positives and negatives of our fascination with this crimson, coagulating oxygen carrier? Coursing in our veins, blood connects, sustains and fuels life, yet it also harbours disease and infection. It fascinates and it is feared, floating between transcendence and abjection.

We kindly invite you to contribute to this exciting project and let different disciplines bleed into one another. We are out for blood!


  • on blood, i.e. exploring blood via conceptual, polemic and textual inquiry.
  • made with/from blood, i.e. exploring blood via artworks employing blood as a medium, such as paintings, performance and body art.
  • on blood on film: i.e. exploring representations of blood in film.
  • made in/of blood, i.e. bio-artistic manipulations of blood at the discrete level.
  • exploring the Health/Physiology/Disease of blood – its properties, diseases, circulation. We are especially interested in serology, haematology and pathology; blood count, transfusions, blood types and blood vessels; logistics of storing and donating blood.
  • exploring blood as a source of genetic material.
  • foregrounding the Baroque celebration of blood and the Gothic ominous blood; Baroque rapture and Gothic rupture.
  • on bloody hell!, i.e. foregrounding various psychological and psychosomatic effects of blood: catharsis, uncanniness, abjection.
  • investigating the tension between blood as a biological substance and a cultural entity.
  • investigating the often contradictory cultural meanings of blood.
  • on life-blood, i.e. exploring blood as a life-giving substance, marker of individuality, a basic life force, token of the sacred. We are interested in both forensics and religious doctrines on blood.
  • on one blood, i.e. exploring blood as the common denominator, token of communal bonds and social solidarity. We seek to explore blood as a ritual, seen through the lens of anthropology and ethnography. Last but not least, we would like to draw attention to the altruistic premise behind blood banks and blood donations.
  • on bad blood, mixed blood, blue blood, i.e. exploring blood as a token of difference, boundary, otherness – associated with gender, race, religion, nationalism and social class. We welcome proposals which foreground blood-based nationalism as a source of conflict and displacement. We would also like to hear proposals exploring the prejudice behind blood libel accusations in Eastern Europe.
  • investigating the bio-political aspect of blood as an exploitable commodity embodying social and political tensions whereby the very integrity of the human body is at stake and subject to state power. We are interested in submissions harnessing the captivating power of pop cultural tropes such as vampires.
  • on future blood, i.e. looking towards the future of the human body; investigating the role of blood in new posthuman landscapes of the future; producing self-mutating assemblages of the organic, the inanimate and the technological.
  • on non-human blood e.g vertebrates vs invertebrates, unusual blood such as horseshoe crabs


Jens Hauser – Art curator, writer and video maker
Professor Luke O Neill – was appointed to the Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin in 2008, where he leads the Inflammation Research Group. He is also Academic Director of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.
Professor Shaun McCann – Professor of Academic Medicine, School Of Medicine, TCD
Professor Clemens Ruthner – Professor of Germanic Studies, TCD Co-ordinator of European Studies Option: Cultures of Memory and Identity in Central Europe
Lynn Scarff – Director, Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin


    • May 28th, 5pm: Deadline for proposals
    • October 23rd, 9am-12pm: Media preview
    • October 23rd, 6-8pm: Launch party/ member and supporter preview
    • October 24th: Exhibition opens to the public
    • January 25th: Exhibition finishes
    • We are looking for up to 30 works for the BLOOD exhibition. Two outstanding projects may be funded up to the amount of €10000 and the others may be funded up to the amount of €4000. Please note that these are maximum amounts, not targets. We are happy to write letters of support for applicants seeking funding from elsewhere.
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