Bloodstock

Bloodstock considers the anonymous blood donor, standing invisibly at the threshold of life and death, as a participant in a symbolic act that crosses biological boundaries and psychological borders. Highly emotive, blood has developed a magical and mythical quality across cultures and over millennia. Bloodlines have enabled the constructed establishment of power and the enactment of conflicts and borders fabricated upon discrimination and based on difference. Yet our bloodstock or bloodline is not always blood-kin – we do not necessarily have the same blood type as both our parents, the allusion is symbolic. Our blood-type is a greater fundamental coding that we share beyond our familial DNA connecting us to a much broader community beyond our own gender, class, culture and race.

 

The original use of the word border was for an edging, often decorative and around a material thing – a piece of fabric, a rug, a garden or an architectural feature. The decorative borders on the pillow and sheet in Bloodstock speak to this etymology, while the embroidered words trouble the contemporary associations with the word ‘border’. Borders have a fluidity that is not set in time and can change. The clear material used to construct the installation echoes this sentiment. Its transparency offers a way to see through to another side while calling into question invisible borders. Similarly, it is a boundary membrane sealing the biological material, or blood of my body. A bedside table, chair and headphones are an invitation for the visitor to step inside the curtained room. In one sense a border must be crossed. Once inside and seated the visitor is implicated within the art work and their bedside presence asks only that they attend and listen. The audio intersperses a list with short experiential moments. What accumulates is a collective summary of human traits, qualities, and vocations slipping across the blood types.

 

Finally, Bloodstock seeks to highlight the stocks of blood that must be maintained daily, drawing attention to the active donor and their invisible kinship network. In this sense the work points to questions around how we understand and comprehend the interrelated circumstances of human and by extension non-human networks, with whom we share this world.

 

 

Object Design and construction Julie Vulcan

Materials Cotton fabric, PVC, embroidery thread, artist’s blood, Bloodwood resin, aluminium.

Text and voice Julie Vulcan

Music and Sound design Ashley Scott

 

Dedication

Bloodstock is dedicated to my father

 

Bloodstock was developed for Deathfest 2.0: A Duel with Death Metro Arts Brisbane AU 2018. A special big thank you to Jo Thomas at Metro Arts for supporting the project and for her ongoing belief in the work I create. Thank you to Barbara Masser at the University of Queensland and Liam Richardson from the Australian Blood Cross Service. A big thank you to all family and friends who have shared stories.