Adopting the form of a video game trailer, Immunecraft is an animation developed in collaboration with immunologist Dr Megan MacLeod.
The piece presents a fictional game which gives users agency over a real life cell culture to compete against opponent players, and explores the parallels between popular gameplay mechanics and some of the most important principles of the human immune system, including cell memory and autoimmunity.
Immunecraft should be understood as an instance of design futures, commenting on the principles of multiplayer online gaming in the age of DNA building blocks, printable organic electronics and biohacking, raising questions about bioethics.
Eric Schockmel is a London based moving image artist and director from Luxembourg. His work spans a personal practice and commissions, as well as freelancing in the creative industries. He creates expressive artworks for digital and physical environments, including installations, screenings, projections, prints, desktop, mobile and TV screens, exploring themes at the intersection of art, science and technology. At the moment he is directing an animated documentary about the origins of science fiction. He holds an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.
Dr Megan MacLeod graduated at University of Glasgow in 2001 with a first class honour in Immunology and received her PhD from University of Edinburgh in 2005. Her research took her to Denver, USA where she worked with Philippa Marrack and John Kappler, two of the world’s leading immunologists. She is currently working at the University of Glasgow, funded by Arthritis Research UK to examine the immune cells that are central regulators in autoimmune disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Her research aims to improve our understanding of how the immune cells, CD4 T cells, regulate immune responses in infection and autoimmunity.