Victimless Leather

Ionat Zurr (Artist), Oron Catts (Artist)

Research output: Non-traditional research outputExhibitionpeer-review


Victimless Leather is a prototype for stitchless leather jacket grown inside a ‘technoscientific body’.

Grown from immortalised cell lines on a biodegradable polymer matrix in the form of a miniature stitch-less ‘jacket’, Victimless Leather explores the future of lab-grown ‘leather’. This leather is cultured inside a custom-made perfusion chamber, inspired by the organ perfusion pump originally designed by Alexis Carrel and Charles Lindbergh. The chamber has an automated system which drips into the polymers and feeds the cells with a nutrient media.

While the humble act of adorning one’s body with cloth began as a means of protection from the external environment, clothes transformed into evocative objects that convey complex social rituals. Today, clothes express ideas about identity, class, politics and they can be seen as manifestations of global systems of production. Additionally, the use of animal hides for cloth can be seen as an expression of our attitudes toward the animal Other.

By presenting a prototype of a lab-grown jacket, Victimless Leather explores the future consequences and potentials of using tissue engineering to develop consumer products. Considering all of the material waste involved, Victimless Leather problematises the idea that lab-grown materials can ever lad to a truly ‘victimless utopia’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMuseum of Modern Art, NY USA
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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