Adam Zaretsky

Further information

Country of origin

United States of America


Adam Zaretsky was the first international resident in SymbioticA. His six month residency involved intensive research and development.


In 2002 I spent six months as an Honorary Visiting Researcher at SymbioticA, the School of Anatomy and Human Biology’s Art and Science Collaborative Lab in The University of Western Australia, Perth.

During that time I made four major artworks, GLACK, MMMM…, The Pineal Extendor and the Brainus/Analolly Complex. I also co-taught VivoArts, Art and Biology Studio with Oron Catts.

Research projects

The Pineal Extendor

The Pineal Extendor was aimed at growing primary pineal cells in culture and proliferate them on 3-D biopolymers in the shape of a brainplug. Potentially, this design could be grafted to a living pineal as a brain extension device, heightening pineal perception.

“The Pineal Extendor is a prosthesis for enlightenment. The head toy is designed as an extension of the little pinecone shaped 'penis’ at the top of your spine. I have added a sort of butt plug for easy attachment. After a little minor trepanation, the plan is that the plug would just need some sterile lube, some yet to be perfected glial grafting cream and a light shove.

Most important is the actual contact and reneuralisation between the plug and the gland. It is for future brain grafting researchers to assess whether prolonged contact between the intact pineal and the farmed extension will insure an active interface allowing improved reception by the long buried antenna to the cosmos. The Pineal Extendor is proof of concept alone. We are able to grow pineal cells in culture and proliferate them on 3-D biopolymers in the shape of a head plug towards a prosthesis for enlightenment.”

Period of research


The Brainus Analolly Complex 

The Brainus is an anus made of biopolymers, which was then seeded with brain tissue. The Analolly is a lollypop made of biopolymers, which was then seeded with anal tissues. The primary tissues used for these sculptures were taken from a dying eel. The eel was killed for food and the primary brain and anal tissues were isolated from the waste of culinary excess. The public is invited to vote: Which would you rather lick? Brainus or Analolly and Why?

Period of research



“GLACK is a wet and fleshbound tour through the underside of your meatness. The soft and gooey tunnels and alien landscapes are simply to measure your GLACK response. Many people seem to have a nauseating interest in the GLACK effect. This is the non–verbal GLACK Attraction and GLACK Repulsion we humans feel when seeing what is in under the skin. Shot with a long rubber endoscope, GLACK reminds us all that we are fleshy body pods. We are the GLACKY stuff we eat.

Although it may be repugnant to deniers of this visceral GLACK–stuffed world, “As Below, So Above.” GLACK accepts the human primate as mortal and finite. Meatbags of tiny, hungry, corporeal blips, we GLACK together in a space of universal diversity and polymorphous perversity. Sickness, Sexuality and Secretions cum together as universal GLACK, a part of everybody’s life. This video is born of primal excrement, unnamable yet disgustingly real... GLACK!”

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“In MMMM…(Macro/Micro Music Massage), we, the public, are invited to join in the process of sonic performance for cells in culture. Please engage your living unfamiliar relatives. Here is your chance to massage various living tissues or organisms without getting your hands dirty. We, as fleshy flasks of living culture, are also invited to become part of the experiment by vocally vibrating each other’s rear ends at the same time.  

Two ButtVibe lounge recliners are placed facing each other on opposite sides of a room. The chairs massage according to sound output miked from the vocalizations of the person in the opposite chair. This can include voice and instruments/noisemakers. The same signals are sent to neighboring vibrating plate speakers applied to various lifeforms. The organisms will bounce, splash, stretch, bear down and/or jump to attention in response to the audio source. Please feel free to sit down and talk to the living specimens!  

Video of reclining volunteers and their life-world mirrors dancing on biopolymers is projected above and behind the volunteers. This functions as a closed circuit and very local vibro-videophone for talking to various kinds of strangers. We have here a real time, multimedia, multi-species erotic continuum of sonic jostling. We also have the ability to record a certifiable non-repeatable effect through bioassay of public play.”

Period of research


VivoArts: Art and Biology Studio

VivoArts is a course co-taught by Oron Catts and Adam Zaretsky.  

VivoArts encourages students to redefine and experimentally express their relationships with the varied aspects of everyday living systems.  The class begins by redefining where and how we interface with Food, Nature, The Laboratory, Our Bodies and Pets. Readings and discussions are directed towards cultural issues such as gene patenting, population diversity, new reproductive technologies, nature/culture boundaries. In particular, the ethics of living art production are debated.

Period of research