Boo Chapple

Further information

Country of origin




Boo Chapple is a practising artist and researcher who exhibits and presents regularly at Australian and international events.


Chapple creates work across various media, from a history in sound art and performance, through video and photographic documentation, to art/science projects.

Her work has been exhibited at Ars Electronica, the Beijing Biennale of Architecture, and in an exhibition of Australian sound art at the SF MoMA.

She holds a Masters of Design by research from RMIT University and has undertaken several prestigious residencies. Her writing has been published in two recent books, Art of the Biotech Era (Milentie Pandilovski ed.) and Plastic Green (Pia Ednie-Brown ed.).

Research projects

A Rat’s Tale

A Rat’s Tale is an installation comprising a panel and a back projected video.

The panel is constructed out of 204 laboratory weighing trays, in which are framed sheets of rat’s tail collagen film embedded with rat hair, clear vinyl gloves and scalpel blades. The weighing trays are arranged in the shape of the first maze used in rat research at the turn of last century. The trays with inserts trace the path through the maze to the centre where the video projection depicts the process of extracting the collagen from the rat tails.

The maze at once references the history of scientific research using rats and the network of practices through which rats have become abstracted from their animal being and reconstituted as a research tool. The process of extracting the collagen and making the collagen film operates as an exploration of this abstraction and fragmentation of living processes and materials that routinely occurs in laboratory practice.

The tails used in making this work were scavenged from other researchers once they had finished with their rats and in this sense, A Rat’s Tale can also be seen as an investigation of waste and use-value, both with relation to living bodies and to the production of art. The fragile beauty of the panel functions to highlight the ephemeral nature of life in the face of constant, and often brutal, transformation.
The research for this work and the bulk of the rat tail collagen extraction was carried out at Symbiotica over the period of Chapple’s residency in 2006. The installation has been exhibited at Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 2007) and The Lab (San Francisco, USA, 2010)


Australia Council for the Arts


Maria Grade Godhino

Period of research

Jan - Dec 2006


Transjuicer is a sculptural installation designed around piezoelectric cow bone audio speakers that I constructed and recorded vibrating at the nano scale using a laser interferometer at the OBEL laboratory.

At the purely material level these speakers transduce electromagnetic waveforms – in this case of dairy sounds, bone songs, cow songs, milk songs – into nano-sonic vibrations. These can be listened to on headphones provided as part of the installation. At another level again, the speaker transduces between macro social context and micro technical interventions, between the cow and the gallery, between the dead and the living, between science and representation.

The recordings themselves are indistinct and full of static, part artifact of a piece of bone moving and part noise from the process of attempting to record something so small. They are like the far away voices of ghosts that inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell once thought were communicated via the ‘occult force’ of electricity and in this respect, the speakers capture something of the mysticism that often surrounds representations of the ‘nano-world’ in contemporary culture. They sit like antennas atop a totem of transformation – part science, part belief, part cow, part device, part art, part life.

Two different iterations of Transjuicer have been exhibited at the John Curtin Gallery (Perth, Australia, 2010) and The Factory Art Centre (Toulouse, France, 2010)


Australia Council for the Arts


William Wong and the OBEL Lab, UWA

Period of research:

Jan - Dec 2006