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Micro-Sushi -- MicroInjection Caviar


Art and Biolab







To create a new and exotic caviar/sushi delicacy through the application of flavoured microinjections into food grade fish eggs.

Methods: The Tobiko, Wasabi and Cream Cheese were puchased from a grocery store. Under a sterile hood, autoclaved solutions of Cream Cheese and Wasabi were filtered into seperate pre-autoclaved bottles with a Gelman 0.2 micrometer sterile acrodisk water filter. These sterile solutions were then pipeted into microinjection needles. The tobiko were lined up and microinjected.



4 Flying Fish Eggs (Tobiko
2 Microinjected with sterile solution
of Gelman filtered Philadephia Cream Cheese
2 Microinjected with sterile solution
of Gelman filtered Wasabi (HorseRadish Paste)
2 Microinjection Capillary Needles with sub-micron tip diameter.
1 Bottle of autoclaved 1g/L solution of Philadephia Cream Cheese
1 Bottle of autoclaved 1g/L solution of Wasabi (HorseRadish Paste)
1 Bottle of Gelman 0.2 micrometer sterile acrodisk water filtered sterile 1g/L solution of Philadephia Cream Cheese
1 Bottle of Gelman 0.2 micrometer sterile acrodisk water filtered sterile 1g/L solution of Wasabi (HorseRadish Paste)
1 Gelman 0.2 micrometer sterile acrodisk water filter with Hypo
1 20 µL Pipette with disposable tip
1 Biohazard ‘Do Not Eat’ Labeled plastic container
of previously Food Grade Flying Fish Eggs


Micrograph of the actual micro injection

MIT 2001

I have to give thanks to my Microinjection Teacher and Collaborator Florin Albeanu and for the Microinjection equipment (microscope, micromanipulators, pressure device and microinjection Capillaries (needles)) lent by Paul Garrity, Primary Investigator, Garrity Lab.


We have here the creation of a new specialty food item. I have displayed two new and exotic caviar/sushi delicacies. Through the application of mustard and cheese flavoured microinjections into food-grade fish eggs, more novelty excess than ever before is now available for the discerning palette. Unfortunately, the microinjector which I creatively misused for the egg injection was not zoned for food preparation. It was a biohazardous laboratory instrument with a containment level of two. This means that my new food eggs are not a food at all. They have been altered by their contact with the lab. As food passes through the doorway into a lab that follows proper containment procedures, it is transmuted into a biological sample for research purposes only. So, I have created a new and ceremonially impure specialty food item. This should be even more attractive for the real connoseur.


I describe my exhibition of microinjection arts, predominantly, as a display of the erotism of Gourmet Food Science. Gourmet food preparation is not that different from scientific method. Consider the creativity inherent in the odd prehistoric cooks who brought us pickling or cheese production technologies. Both include unusual practices that involve specialized, diverse, eclectic, ritualistic and even sub-cultural acts. They both start with the protocol or recipe and evolve during constant experimental elaboration. Each has its aesthetic preparation of items to be mixed together to create something larger than its parts. They even share the deep and sensual analysis of results, although through different methodologies.

You may wonder how microinjection is used outside of the gourmet food science context? These gadgets are used to introduce all sorts of concoctions into the nucleii of single cells. In fact, this is one of the more popular techniques for the production of transgenic animals. The machine I used is usually reserved for molecular tagging of particular Drossophila (fly) neurons at a very early embryonic stage. These embryos are microinjected with infectious plasmids or just naked DNA in order to alter the metabolic fate of the entire organism (and its kin.) Other uses for microinjectors include: nuclear transfer for cloning purposes and second molar body removal for the prenatal screening of human embryos after In Vitro Fertilisation and before implantation.

My relation to microinjection as an artist, amateur embryologist and cook is essentially masterbatory. When I look through a microscope, everything I see is erotic and taboo. It excites me. All the luscious cells are there for my hedonistic joy. I am a hot, wet, sweaty exploratory investigator. The distance of voyeurism gives me overhead control. I am a domineering spectator. The hardcore zoom and focus of the viewing instrument spreads open the explicitness of life. Stereoscopic optics leave me hungry for more.


It is no wonder that for myself and for many active participants in the lifeworld, it is not enough to just look. A curious researcher may feel the need to caress/molest the object of desire. This is the micromanipulator’s drug. Seen in this openly megalomaniacal and sexualized context, microinjection is an almost a predictable advancement in a programatic technology of lust. (As are many of our more ornate cooking technologies.) This $100,000.00 machine is an apparatus for experimental ejaculation into research nucleii.

I am of the opinion that the metaphor of ejaculation is not a metaphor at all. Particularly when the microinjection machinery is used for the integration of novel genes into the hereditary cascade of a research organism. In biology, the definition of sex has been defined as the transfer of DNA from one or more organisms to their progeny. Within this definition, human injection of transgenes is sex. This means that the process of insertational mutagenesis implies, not just ejaculation, but a type of parentage. What is engineered is also partly your child. In the case of transgenes microinjected into viable embryos, I think its fair to impart paternity to either gender upon engaging the instrument. In its obvious phallic mimicry, the practice of microinjection as a way to stably insert new sequences into model organisms, makes all female and male practitioners the sexually active co-fathers of these organisms.

If it is not quite obvious by now, I fetishize the taboo act of experimental Micro-Erotic Paternalistic Embryonic Ejaculation for food production, hereditary alteration or artistic process. Because of my sexual transparency, my non-utilitarian approach and my insistence on gourmet niche-market driven aesthetics, I believe I offer a novel vision of how perverse pure Research and Development is while being a proponent of it.
So I will end this with some recollective poesy
of personal erotic microinjectile experience:
When my solutions were finally prepared,
And I was on the machine,
Twisting dials

Until the egg was pierced,

By a needle of the smallest bore…

I pressed a pedal with my foot

And out cum the tiny squirt of white cheese.

Pressurised in the cappilary.

Released over and over,

In spurts of sterile solution,
Flowing like fumes into the penetrated caviar.

So delicate and obscure
Daddy squirting wasabi into the eggs
Daddy squirting cheese into the eggs
Into the source, the mystery sauce.