Initiation, 2012
Polona Tratnik et al.
Performative installation, mixed media (engineered human heart, tissue engineering and electrical engineering, bell incubator, bioreactor and hood)
Polona Tratnik_web
Polona Tratnik (SI). Initiation, 2012. Mesenchymal stem cells marked with Vimentin (PE). Production: Horizonti, co-production: Biobanka, d. o. o., Educell, d. o. o. 2012 Photo by Marko Strbad

Production: Horizonti, co-production: Biobanka, d. o. o., Educell, d. o. o.

Initiation conducts regeneration of a functional human heart muscle developing the capacity of autonomous pulsation. Regeneration involves implantation of a resorbable organic matrix, i.e. decellularized heart organ, with cardio-myocytes differentiated from human adipose derived stem cells. Initiation accelerates the maturation of the tissue and aims to achieve muscle response – it performs the initiation of the cells into functional i.e. contractive tissue and initiates the pulsation of an “in vitro” engineered organ.

Concept: Polona Tratnik (project leader), tissue engineering: Biobanka, d. o. o., Educell, d. o. o. (Ajda Marič, Miomir Knežević and his team), electrical engineering: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering (Damijan Miklavčič and his team). Support: The Slovenian Ministry of Culture, European Capital of Culture Maribor 2012.

Credits: Tehnooptika Smolnikar d.o.o. and Iskra Pio d.o.o.


Polona Tratnik (b. 1976, Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia) is research associate and docent at University of Primorska, Science and Research Centre & Faculty of Humanities in Slovenia, in 2012 Fulbright Visiting Scholar and Guest Professor at University of California Santa Cruz. She is director of Horizonti institute, president of Slovenian Society of Aesthetics, and was art director of the Break 2.3 festival New Species (2005). Her monographs include: Hacer-vivir más allá del cuerpo y de los medios (2012), In Vitro. The Living Beyond Body and Art (2010), Transart. Culture and Art in Global Conditions (2010), The End of Art. Genealogy of Modern Discourse: from Hegel to Danto (2009), Art: Resistance, Subversion, Madness (ed., 2009). She is a pioneer bio artist working mainly with human living material, showed at: Ars Electronica (Linz, 2008), Bios 4 (Sevilla, 2007), Vitrti (Antwerpen, 2007), In Vivo in Vitro (Athens, 2006), Biennial for Electronic Arts (Perth, 2004), L’Art Biotech (Nantes, 2003).