In times of heightened security, fear and infringed civil liberties ... What do we gain with military technologies? What ethical issues and dilemmas arise if they become cultural standards? SAVE YOUR OWN SKIN interrogates the cultural impact of military innovations. Are our cultural ethical frameworks forced to adapt to advances in military technology or is that what we call progress? 

SAVE YOUR OWN SKIN is a site-specific, intra-disciplinary project fusing the genres of public discussion forum, exhibition, movement, text, performance- & video art, photography as well as live music.

The PERFORMANCE is driven by questions arising from a prototype of a human 'bullet proof skin', which was developed in 2011 by Dutch bio-artist Jalila Essaïdi in response to the U.S. military's endeavor to invent bulletproof vests made out of mass-produced spider silk. The performance grapples with being vulnerable and the various ways we attempt to shield ourselves. It is a movement dialogue with excursions into Peter Sloterdijk’s poetic philosophy on the justification of the artificial, colonialism, globalization, cybernetics, Claudia Benthien’s critical, cultural analysis of the perception of the skin, bio-art, bio- and military technology.
The THOUGHT EXHIBITION is an installation displaying the history of prominent examples of assimilated military technology, such as canned food, computers, methamphetamine, the internet, GPS, mass-produced spider silk, and artificial skin. It also includes a video interview with Dutch Bio-artist Jalila Essaïdi, the creator of the 'bullet-proof skin'.
The exhibition aims to show that assimilated military technologies often have long term consequences that are hard to predict when they first come upon the scene.
The PUBLIC DISCUSSION FORUM is organized together with a local cultural entity and brings together artists and scientists of soft and hard disciplines to discuss the cultural impact of military technology together with the public.

The Salt Lake City PUBLIC DISCUSSION FORUM was hosted by the Science and Art Museum THE LEONARDO, co-organized by Katia Racine (Science Talk Coordinator), Liberty Blake (Artist in Residency Coordinator) and myself and featured:
Ian Shelledy, Director of Innovation, THE LEONARDO - moderator
Teneille Ruth Brown - Ph.D. Law and Biotechnology - University of Utah
Gregory A. Clark - Ph.D. Neural Engineering & Interfaces / Bionic Arm - University of Utah
Justin A. Jones - Ph.D. Biology, Assistant to Dr. Randy Lewis, Artificial Spider Silk Development - Utah State University
Margaret Bowman - Ph.D. Ethics - University of Utah
Tanja London - MA Choreography & Screendance

choreography, research &
quote clash collage

research & dramaturgy assistance
composition and live music
video art


fiscal sponsor

performed at


Tanja London

Carloss Chamberlin
Nick Foster & Jason Rabb also known as the electric guitar chamber/garage duo ‘It Foot it Ears’
Ami Hanna / luma box designs
Lars Gottfried
Peter Sloterdijk, Claudia Benthien, Jalila Essaïdi, DARPA, CNN Newsroom, Randy Lewis, Jörg Auf dem Havel, Bridget Heos, Nadine Boke, Oron Catts, Chemical Heritage Foundation, William Safire, Thomas X. Hammes, Erica R. Valdes, Abdoel El Ghalbzouri, Joel Lindsey, Joost Ramaer, Suzanne Sleenhoff, Tony Tether
Salt Lake City Arts Council, Utah Division of Arts and Museums & private donors
Aaron London, Carloss Chamberlin, Dr. Katherine Mezur
60 minutes
2017   ø   Annex Store to the Salt Lake City Main Library, Salt Lake City UT

press review
press feature

>> 2016
>> 2012
>> 2011 

photos by Aaron & Tanja London
featuring 2 photos of 'Libische' ('limbic') series by Lars Gottfried