Pacitti Company’s own artistic use of the Think Tank is as a site of action research. It operates the space for artistic and cultural investigation through research, and also as a gathering place, where artists, students, researchers, archivists and policy makers from a wide range of disciplines and from all walks of life, can meet, share and learn, together and from one another. There are currently three Think Tank Associates undertaking shared research investigations with Robert Pacitti: archaeologist and landscape historian Lucy Walker, bio-archaeologist and Head of Archaeology and Anthropology at University of Cambridge Professor Martin Jones, and multi-disciplinary 'artivist' Shabnam Shabazi. Read on to find out about our current shared research.
SPILL BODY LAB
Having spent over two decades creating diverse process-led projects, Pacitti Company has established the SPILL BODY LAB as a clearly delineated research-driven strand of its core work. This houses a series of targeted experiments within two current overarching territories - The Art + Science of Living + Dying, and The Chemical Senses. The output from these research experiments will be applied to shape a range of new art projects, artistic and academic publishing, new creative exercises, content which is screen based or made for other digital formats, and experiments in live performance, installation and participatory public projects.
THE ART + SCIENCE OF LIVING + DYING
The Art + Science of Living + Dying explores how we live and how we die. Targeted research areas span how we die both in cellular and somatic ways, where we die, end of life care, euthanasia and human rights, body disposal, burial traditions, ceremonies and rites around the world, issues of remembrance and legacy, plus the role played by new technologies in relation to all of the above. One project strand considers genetic inheritance, exploring the kinds of genetic characteristics we inherit and the types of characteristics that have been influenced by physical and social environments. This information is being considered alongside DNA samples from Anglo-Saxon remains, in order to explore comparators between the ancient and the contemporary. This data will underpin future works around living, dying, language, place and memory. Think Tank Associate Lucy Walker is working with Robert Pacitti on this research.
THE CHEMICAL SENSES
Our initial Chemical Senses research investigations explore taste. Sense of taste is often confused with perceptions of flavour - a combination of smell, texture and temperature, as well as taste. Current scientific understandings of taste work within a clear span of saltiness, sweetness, bitterness, sourness and umami. We are interested in what happens when we link various combinations of these with memory. A series of research questions explore the extent to which recall or recognition is linked to certain times or events in our lives, in order to then explore subsequent links to place in as much detail as possible. We are also interested in taste in relation to the process of inheritance, the extent to which heritage and place play a role in our own individual subjective experiences of what we taste, what we like to eat, and what we don’t. Think Tank Associate Professor Martin Jones is working with Robert Pacitti on this research.