A white 3D model of the artists holds an enormous fish to its chest
© Jean-Sébastien Gauthier, Sample and Hold : self-portrait with model organism, 2017
Digital render from x-ray micro-tomography scans of adult zebrafish and the artist, a collaboration with Dr. Brian Eames. Variable dimensions

Jean-Sébastien Gauthier is a Saskatoon-based Fransaskois sculptor and new media artist. He adopts diverse forms of inquiry and experimentation to create his time-based works. To this end, he deploys an interdisciplinary mix of technical and conceptual approaches, ranging from traditional sculpture practice, interactive video production, performance art, 3D rendering and, most recently, cutting-edge scientific imaging technologies. His work in this exhibition was created in collaboration with Dr. Brian Eames.

In Sample and Hold, Gauthier questions his identity and his physiology in relation to the natural world. The artist’s research for this artwork, carried out with Dr. Brian Eames, involved analyzing both genetic studies of the zebrafish and the power of 3D synchrotron radiation imaging techniques. Zebrafish are tiny and robust model organisms used in genetic medical research because they have evolutionary traits that are homologous to humans. The artist’s body and a zebrafish are shown together in Sample and Hold to suggest a balance between empathy and our lineage in the natural world. Gauthier seems to ask: Who am I in this world, and how can science and emotion root my understanding of this space?