The Judas Lamp: blood betrays (2017). Media: Hydrogen Peroxide, Luminol, and Human Blood.

 

This work grew from a project that I ran at Birmingham Open Media (BOM) in April 2017 which was based on the chemistry that occurs between blood and the compound luminol. This chemical exhibits chemiluminescence and emits a blue glow, when mixed with an appropriate catalyst and oxidizing agent. In the system I ran at BOM, luminol was mixed with hydrogen peroxide and the catalyst was blood from donor sheep. In a dark room participants gradually pipetted drops of blood into the luminol solution and the lamp was immediately brought to light, illuminating the room with ephemeral blue glow.

A video of the Hema Lamp, with Sheep’s blood and luminol in the dark revealing the blood powered chemiluminescence (below). 

 

 

This current work explores the blood test, that many of us now have during routine medical check-ups, and the fact that whatever we tell the General Practitioner (GP) about our lifestyle, this blood test reveals the truth. For example, this test, can reveal how much fat or sugar we consume, how much alcohol we drink, whether we smoke,  and markers of diseases that we don’t know then that we now have. In the Judas Lamp then, my own blood drips (image above) into the primed luminol solution, and its biochemistries, and my future health, are revealed in the complex and ephemeral blue chemiluminescent patterns that emerge.

Videos of the Judas Lamp (below). As my own blood drips into the primed luminol solution, its biochemistries, and my future health, are revealed in the complex and ephemeral blue chemiluminescent patterns that emerge.

 

In a sense, the act becomes a biochemically enlightened version of scrying, with the flask becoming a modern orbuculum (or crystal ball), and lens through which my future health is revealed.

 

 

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