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Phillip Warnell

AUTUMN 2007 UPDATE: Interdisciplinary artist Phillip Warnell has just been granted a Wellcome Trust Arts Award. With this award Phillip will undertake research and development for his project on transplantation, specifically through documentinig a live-donor transplant at University Hospital, Coventry, and related clinical procedures. He will seek suitable modes of representation that touch on the cultural, ethical, medical, biological and philosophical implications of transplantation. Phillip will also develop a prototype tag to be used with organ transporters for the purpose of tracking the movement of donor organs nationwide; this will feed into a later stage of the project, in which he will develop a real-time interface representing transplanation procedures taking place in the UK.

'Transplant' has been developed with the support of the Centre for the History of Medicine and the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies; the Centre and School have been working with Phillip since 2005 to explore the common concerns of the history of medicine and live art performance. Dr Claudia Stein from the Centre and Dr Edward Scheer from Theatre Studies will work closely with Phillip on 'Transplant'.

PHILLIP WARNELL is an inter-disciplinary artist working with live art, sound, video and digitally composited images, publication and photographic work. The work is balanced between perception, event and documentation. Using the body as a sound or source image, it is distinguished by its attention: to detail, to technique, to humour, to scrutiny, and to the complex relationship between live performance and the mediated image.

In June 2005, Phillip performed HOST for the Body States event. For HOST he swallowed a pill-sized camera that photographically auto-documented its journey through his body, taking 65,000 photographs. During its seven and a half hour journey as an ingested agent it travelled the passage where food and fluid are converted into energy and waste material. A 16mm documentary film loop, shot in the clinical context during the journey time, is switched on and off using the trigger of the artists mouth opening and closing.

Phillip Warnell performed/presented new work at Warwick Arts Centre on 29 June 2006 in conjunction with the the Society for the Social History of Medicine's annual conference. O-Unseen Footage/Radiated Image featured a miniaturized film projection falling onto a specially made contact lens, worn by the artist. more information

The Centre for the History of Medicine and the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies will be working with Phillip Warnell in the coming months and years. It is hoped that we will secure funding for Phillip to be an artist-in-residence, working with staff and students in both the Centre and the School, and developing work relating to the history of medicine. In working towards this goal, however, we will be supporting Phillip in a variety of ways, and featuring his work on the Warwick campus and elsewhere in the region.