Ayatgali Tuleubek

The Gut is a Second Brain

Installation, dimensions variable

Aluminium, cow intestines, air pump, differential pressure switch, PC cases, modified trolleys, curing sausages, memory foam, singing of Kaua’i ‘ō’ō (Hawaiian bird, extinct in 1987) generated by artificial intelligence (convolutional neural network), UV prints on collagen, mist maker, pamphlets


How does one interact with surrounding infrastructures? This question requires us to query the degrees freedom that technology provides, or inversely, the boundaries it imposes on our daily lives. When we encounter disciplines of knowledge and authority, ranging from genetic engineering to biotech taking root in the body, we are challenged both to search for new modes of engagement and also to develop functional new ethical responses.

The Gut is the Second Brain approaches those instances wherein technology, with the purpose of conserving life and well-being, crawls under the skin and deep into the flesh. It is a matter of the body becoming an arena in which different visions of the future come into play that challenge the definition of the human. It is also a probe into the blurring of both mind-body and technological-biological dualisms.


Installation views at Oslo Kunstforening

Dried cow intestines are distended with an air pump. A differential air switch controls the operation of the air pump, turning it on approximately every two minutes for a duration of ten seconds.

Self-made salami, curing inside computer cases. Curing is one of
the oldest techniques of food conservation. The meat is first salted, then goes through a short fermentation process and then dries for a duration of several months.
PC-cases are factory produced with windows, allowing the user to observe the insides of the computer. The double fan setup of the PC-case, and the all-round grills, paradoxically makes it a suitable container for meat curing

Collagen application
The audience is welcome to apply a sheet of collagen with printed text onto their skin. Collagen is a protein found in the body’s various connective tissues. It is used among other things in several medical applications (cardiac surgery, bone grafting, reconstructive surgical uses, and wound care, for example) but collagen is popularly known as an agent in cosmetic creams and masks to prevent skin aging.

Wet collagen becomes an elastic membrane which sticks tightly onto the skin, and peels of as a dead skin flake after drying. The experience of wearing it was most often described as eerie by the audience.
The printed text suggests connections in between language and skin. It alludes to the lacanian postulate where language is considered as a core upon which the psyche is built and takes as its opponent the psychoanalytic theory of Didier Anzieu who constructed a psychoanalytic system upon skin as a main element of constitutive psychological processes.


A pamphlet carries a short-story with a narrative giving an insight into the views of different thinkers upon the question of technology, infrastructures, human life (biological), and its surrounding ideologies within posthuman theory.

© Ayatgali Tuleubek