Lucy and I met over 10 years ago when a mutual friend said, "you guys need to meet!"
Be at Cavalieros at 4pm Friday.
So we met.
We were there for hours.
That day a conversation started that hasn't stopped. A continuous back and forth.
I have had many fun adventures with Lucy like recently seeing Dorian Grey or popping down to MONA for 24hrs and watching the James Turrell at 5am but my favourite times with Lucy are when we just sit and chat ...... conversations that shift something.
I heart Lucy.
Lucy McRae is a multi-disciplinary artist spanning across an array of mediums. Her practice tackles the questions of how science will affect our everyday lives in the near future from human intimacy, reproduction, spirituality, biology and wellness culture. Her most recent project ‘Futurekin’ was a short film exploring the idea of women seeking autonomy over their bodies, by creating the ability to bear children outside of the body. I caught up with Lucy to find out a little more about the inspiring projects she is working on.
We have followed and admired you for years… It would seem you have created a practice that is very unique combining body architecture, sci-fi writing, performance, film, science and technology. What comes to mind as the most challenging thing when you are making a new pathway?
It’s called 'Bush bash' in Australia; to beat thick bush, perhaps with a stick, off the marked track. New paths don’t have templates. Pioneering takes grit, and some say it can be lonely. I’ve discovered intuition, trusting the unknown, to diversify, say you can regardless of what you’ve done before, and to use doubt as energy to carry me across the floods of challenge. This is what I teach at SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture): to pour frustration, self-doubt and uncertainty into the tank and use it to move forward.
You are an expert in CRISPR technology… Can you explain what that is in simple terms?
In VERY simple terms, imagine a pair of molecular scissors that cuts into DNA, to remove, edit and replace information. I build worlds via film and installation that present impossible scenarios like, what happens when CRISPR technology allows us to bypass the womb, and grow kids in vats of embryonic fluid in a lab? Would we grow them for 9 months, or 9 years? The pandora’s box of ethical conundrums. Dialled in designer babies –– intelligent, perfect, disease-free… Even if we have the tech to do it, should we?
Existential questions get me going
If women are “unburdened” from pregnancy will we reach true gender equality –– as Donna J. Haraway posits in essay Cyborg Manifesto.
When is the soul “born”?
Would we grow babies from DNA of 9 “parents”?
Touch is the first sense developed in the womb. Would this change? Could technologies such as CRISPR, change human hard wiring?
Can you give us a little clue to a future project or something you are excited about?
Very excited about my first US solo show at Honor Fraser Gallery, Future Sensitive opens October 1st – Dec 14th, 2022.
Gene Sherman, founder of the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas is presenting the Fashion and Architecture Hub programme at London Design Museum, Oct 29th – Nov 6th, 2022. I’m thrilled to be opening the six-day event with a personal keynote about my practice.
Are rituals part of your life? Care to share?
Yoga, meditate, tongue scrape, eat Ayurveda 80% of the time, bed early. I’m really fun, promise! :)
I'm sure you have many but is there a pinch yourself moment that springs to mind?
I was invited into the writers room on an all-time science fiction film, that’s being made into a TV show, as a consultant. A Dingley girl in the room with Hollywood's upper echelon.