Vincent Van Gogh's severed ear regrown using 3D printer and artist's genetic material

It is widely known that 3D printers can be used to manufacture guns and other products cheaply, but they can now be used to ‘regrow’ genetic material. A German artist has used a printer to ‘regrow’ the famous left ear that Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh famously severed from his head over a hundred years ago.

The artist who created the piece is Diemut Strebe and it is on display at the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. According to the Associated Press, the museum claims that it was created using cells from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Theo Van Gogh, Van Gogh’s brother and art dealer.

"I use science basically like a type of brush, like Vincent used paint,” Strebe told the AP. She added that Lieuwe van Gogh was a willing participant and “loved” the idea.

As the Huffington Post points out, the ear is protected in a liquid case, but the museum claims that it can “hear” visitors who talk to it. The ear is connected to a computer with special software that turns a person’s voice into nerve impulses. “The speaker remains in soliloquy. The crackling sound that is produced is used to outline absence instead of presence,” the museum states.

Strebe is hoping to find a female Van Gogh relative willing to give her a DNA sample for future installations. She also hopes to take the macabre tribute to New York. Perhaps the Museum of Modern Art might display it right next to The Starry Night.

image via Twitter from Tech News

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