Artifist: Skin Bridge
Among their projects as Artifist, Caroline and Gaetan Cottereau-Meurée kept to a six-day-per-week diet of Perganum Harmala for a year, during which Caroline tattooed Gaetan’s back using neuromediators such as pinoline and ayahuasca under the pigments. The work includes a temple floor plan, a fierce bird, and a twisting serpentine form, covered with language and symbolic forms. They discovered that each neuromediator has a specific signature of fluorescence under black light.
Brain Skin Medium
in their words…
- The skin and nervous system come from the same embryonic sheet, remaining linked through common neuromediators.
- Changes in the brain (e.g. a nervous breakdown) lead to modifications of the skin (e.g. inflammation).
- The work of Gaite Artifist follows the opposite process: in applying neuromediators on/in the skin, they consider the skin as an interface, to the brain.
- Neurotransmitters, such as spinoline, adrenaline, dopamine, or serotonin applied to the skin, result in them being absorbed through their respective skin cell receptors and then causing modification in brain states.1
Body painting when using neuromediators as pigments (each neuromediator having a particular fluorescent marking), enables one to play on consciousness/brain informational transformations.
For the subject to see the reaction of the fluorescent marking to ultra-violet exposure amplifies these changing states, with a sudden awareness of the transformation.
The use of “ultraviolet light” to reveal body paintings done with neuromediators, is common in spectrophotometry and in images by fluorescence “histofluorescence” which enables one to determine the presence of these same neuromediators, concerning specific receptors in specific analysis.2
Caroline and Gaetan Cottereau-Meurée. Clips from a Skype interview, November 2011.
In making this body communication visible, Gaite Artifist amplify the conscious integration of the biochemical phenomenon, and spread the informational network to the brain of the spectator, which is itself of a chemical nature.