Laboratory Aesthetics

Jennifer Willet from INCUBATOR Lab Documentation, The School of Visual Arts, Windsor Canada, 2010

Laboratory Aesthetics
Jennifer Willet
2009 – Ongoing

INCUBATOR Hybrid Laboratory at the Intersection of Art, Science and Ecology in it’s physical manifestation is a functional laboratory, but also an complex art installation.  INCUBATOR challenges conventional notions of what a lab is, how a lab is constructed, and what it looks like.  In particular, this work will contest our expectations of the laboratory aesthetic.

From my experience, we imagine laboratories as sterile and objective workplaces.  This vision of the lab instills a sense of authority and over-confidence in the methodologies and results that each laboratory produces.  In actuality, successful labs can be very dirty and unruly places.  There is no need for the perfect cleanliness, smooth surfaces, and rigid instrument design that we imagine as essential to scientific practices.  INCUBATOR lab will serve as an alternative laboratory site – where aesthetic choices in the outlay of the facility, the design of the equipment, and lighting will all be interrogated and reimagined towards alternative, democratic, and ecological perpetuations of biotech research.


SSHRC – Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada

The School of Visual Arts – The University of Windsor