Terms and Conditions
Welcome to TONGUES, provided by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (“we”, “us”, “our”). Access to and use of this website (“TONGUES”) is provided by us on the basis of a number of important terms and conditions, which are set out in full below.
You should carefully read these terms and conditions (“terms”). When you use TONGUES, you will be legally bound by these terms, which will take effect from your first use of TONGUES. If you do not agree to be legally bound by these terms, then you should not use TONGUES>.
These terms apply generally to the use of TONGUES. Any facility (“Comment Facility”) that we may make accessible to you through TONGUES, enabling you to post messages, comments, information, material or content (a “Contribution”), may have additional special terms attached. If and when a Comment Facility becomes available, you will need to read and agree to be legally bound by those special terms before you post a Contribution or use those sections. If you do not agree to be legally bound by those special terms then you will not be able to post a Contribution.
TONGUES is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in a country where that distribution or use would be contrary to local laws or regulations.
Changes to Terms
We are continually seeking to update and improve TONGUES. As a result, we may make changes to TONGUES, including these terms, at any time. You will need to review these terms regularly so that you are aware of any changes we have made. You will be legally bound by the updated or amended terms from the first time that you use TONGUES after we post the changes on-line.
The rights in materials, images, information, data, trade marks, trade names and logos and other content included on TONGUES (“TONGUES content”) are are owned by us or the relevant third party content owner. All rights are reserved and acknowledged. As TONGUES content is protected by a variety of third party rights, you may not copy, adapt, re-publish, make available to the public or print off copies of TONGUES content in any way, or use it other than as part of TONGUES and for your personal non-commercial use, without our prior written permission.
Information which we provide through TONGUES is in outline for information or entertainment purposes only. You should not rely on it.
Third party websites
We do not monitor the content of third party websites and any link provided on TONGUES is solely for your convenience. We cannot therefore accept any responsibility for any third party website. You are responsible for checking and complying with the terms and privacy policies applicable to your use of any third party website.
The extent of our responsibility to you has been determined in the context of the following:
access to TONGUES is provided to you free of charge;
it is your responsibility to determine the suitability of any TONGUES content for any particular purpose to which you wish to put it;
TONGUES does not give instructions and you are responsible for any action or decision you take or do not take as a result of TONGUES content;
It is your responsibility to ensure that your equipment is enabled with appropriate up-to-date virus checking software before you access or use TONGUES.
Whilst we will endeavour to ensure that TONGUES is available to you and that content for which we are responsible is accurate, we cannot make any legal commitment or representation to you that TONGUES will be available at any particular time or that it or any TONGUES content will be of any particular quality or fit for any particular purpose. However, we will exercise reasonable skill and care in providing any service to you.
We can accept no liability to you for any of the following types of loss (should you suffer any of them as a result of your use of TONGUES):
loss which was not foreseeable to you and us when you first accessed or registered to use TONGUES (even if that loss results from the our failure to comply with these terms or our negligence);
any business loss you may suffer, including loss of revenue, profits or anticipated savings (whether those losses are the direct or indirect result of our default);
loss which you suffer other than as a result of our failure to comply with these terms or our negligence or breach of statutory duty;
any loss suffered due to the default of any party other than us.
We do not give any commitment that TONGUES or any TONGUES content will be available uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that TONGUES or its supporting systems are free of viruses or bugs.
We can accept no liability to you if we fail, or are interrupted or delayed in the performance of any obligation because of:
the non-availability or failure of any telecommunications or computer services, systems, equipment or software operated or provided by you or any third party;
any other event not reasonably within our control.
We do not give any commitments or accept any liability to you in respect of TONGUES content provided by other users of the website or third parties other than us.
Nothing in these terms will limit our liability for death or personal injury arising from our negligence.
To the extent that we are practically able to do so, we may terminate your access to any part of TONGUES at any time without notice if you breach any of the terms.
If any of these terms are determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable then the remaining terms shall remain in full force and effect.
These terms shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. If you are a consumer, then you may have rights to bring court proceedings in the courts of the country in which you are domiciled. Otherwise, to the fullest extent permitted by law, you and we shall bring all court proceedings in the courts of England and Wales.
© TONGUES — An initiative by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd


Privacy & Cookies Policy
The tongues.cc website is operated by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (‘TONGUES’).
This privacy policy applies to TONGUES.
We want you to enjoy our website and services secure in the knowledge that we have implemented fair information practices to protect your privacy. By visiting our website, you are accepting the practices described in our privacy policy, including our use of cookies and similar online tracking technologies. If you do not agree to the terms of this privacy policy, please do not use the website.
TONGUES may change this policy from time to time by updating this page and you should regularly check to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy was last updated on 11 February 2020.
The policy outlines:
1. General principle
2. How we collect information
3. Types of information we may collect
4. How we use your information
5. How we protect the information we collect
6. Access to your personal information
7. How to contact us
1. General principle
There are two types of information we may collect from you when you use the website: non-personally identifiable information and personally identifiable information. Non-personally identifiable information does not individually identify you, but it may include tracking and usage information about your general location, demographics, use of the website and the internet. Personally identifiable information is information that you voluntarily provide when you set up a user account, subscribe to a newsletter, or query that can individually identify you and may include your name and email address etc.
We do not link non-personally identifiable information to your personally identifiable information.
We do not share either type of information unless required to run the website and services (see third-party services below). We will never sell either type of information.
This privacy policy does not apply to any information collected outside of the website, including offline or through other means (for example, via telephone or through email), unless otherwise stated below or at the time of collection.
2. How we collect information
We collect information when you:
— Ask to be placed on an email newsletter list
Make an enquiry about our services
— Answer a reader survey
— Provide information to us
Links to other websites, social media platforms
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our website, you should note that we do not have any control over the information that is collected and shared about you. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
You may interact with content on our website through social media platforms we use such as Facebook by using their social features. Examples of social features include ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ our content. We encourage you to review their policies before using their tools, which can be found at their respective websites. If you’d prefer that these social media platforms do not collect information about the content you share and use, we suggest that you don’t use their tools.
3. Types of information we may collect
The types of information we may collect includes:
— Account information (email address)
— Information you provide through a TONGUES reader survey which might include age range, education level etc
TONGUES is not responsible for any information you have provided in public areas of our website or on our social media platforms, which may then be viewed by other users.
4. How we use your information
The information we collect may be used to help us:
— Provide services you voluntarily subscribed to such as email newsletters
— Improve the quality of our website
— Promote services to you including advising you of updates or changes to our website and services
— Improve the website through reader surveys and feedback
Disclosure to third-party services
As part of providing our website and services to you we use a limited number of third-party services that perform functions on our behalf, including but not limited to website hosting, server monitoring, tracking user behaviour, marketing automation services, and customer service.
We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of these third-party services and encourage you to read the policies of the services we use below:
TONGUES uses the MailerLite marketing automation service to issue newsletters. Find out more about MailerLite’s Privacy Policy and Terms.
When you subscribe to our email newsletters
By clicking ‘Subscribe’ you agree to the following: 
We will use the email address you provide to send you a weekly or monthly email. We also send occasional updates and, no more than once a year, reader surveys. 
The email address/es you provide will be transferred to our external marketing automation service ‘MailerLite’ for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms. We use MailerLite to issue our newsletters. We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of MailerLite
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe link’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected]. If you want to review and correct the personal information we have about you, you can click on ‘update preferences’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected].
5. How we protect the information we collect
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We have taken reasonable measures to protect information about you from loss, theft, misuse or unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. No physical or electronic security system is impenetrable however and you should take your own precautions to protect the security of any personally identifiable information you transmit. We cannot guarantee that the personal information you supply will not be intercepted while transmitted to us or third-party service providers. 
Sharing your personal information
We will not disclose your personal information except; (1) as described by this Privacy Policy (2) after obtaining your permission to a specific use or disclosure or (3) if we are required do so by a valid legal process or government request (such as a court order, a search warrant, a subpoena, a civil discovery request, or a statutory requirement). We will retain your information for as long as needed in light of the purposes for which it was obtained or to comply with our legal obligations and enforce our agreements. 
Data transfer
This website is published in the United Kingdom. If you are located in a country outside of these countries and voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us, you should be aware that information about you will be transferred to this countries. We attempt to comply with local data protection laws to the extent that they may apply to TONGUES. 
Age of consent
Our website is not directed at children under the age of 18 and we do not knowingly collect or maintain information from those we know are younger than 18. If you are younger than 18, you should not submit or post any personally identifiable information to our website. By using the Service, you represent that you are at least 18 years of age.
6. Access to your personal information
You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by submitting a written request to [email protected]. We may only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address you use to send us the request. We will try and respond to your request as soon as reasonably practical. When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. 
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the information held is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. 
7. Contact us
If you have any questions about our privacy policy or our use of your information, please contact us at [email protected].

Anna Dumitriu

March 19 / 2020


Anna Dumitriu is an artist whose work is defined by a multifaceted curiosity. She engages with various media — from textiles, sculpture, biology, to interactive installations — and often collaborates with scientists in pioneering laboratories.

Dumitriu’s hybrid approach creates new overlaps between science and art. She challenges traditional boundaries, questioning how we deal with infectious diseases, bacteria, robotics and synthetic biology. Whilst pushing for innovative thinking around emerging technologies, she is also very focused on ethical considerations, how new narratives can help people relate and understand microbiology, and how we can explore potential new futures.


Q >Tell us about your most unconventional project. 

A >Although it seems very normal to me, I suppose others would say it is my “Plague Dress”. It is a 1665-style dress made from raw silk and hand-dyed with walnut husks in reference to the famous herbalist of the era, Nicholas Culpeper, who recommended walnuts as a treatment for Plague.

The dress is appliqued with original period embroideries which I impregnated with the DNA of Yesinia pestis bacteria (Plague), which I extracted from killed bacteria in the laboratory of the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) at Public Health England where I am artist in residence. The NCTC is the oldest and most historical collection of pathogenic bacteria in the world.

The dress stuffed and surrounded by bunches of lavender which were historically carried under people’s noses during the Great Plague of London to cover the stench of infection, and prevent the disease, which was believed to be caused by “bad air” or “miasmas”. The roll, a piece of padding typically worn under the skirt to puff it out, contains a pungent mixture of herbs and spices that would have been stuffed into beak-like masks of Plague doctors.

Q > Which areas of study do you think are breaking new ground?

A >Microbiology and biotechnology are having a golden age, which is why I am so excited to work with them. And also because they are so important to the future, from preventing disease to improving food security, especially as climates change.

Robotics and AI are also fascinating — there is an increasing momentum in this area and we are closer than ever to living and working alongside robots. This is why it’s such a significant area for artistic exploration.

Q > Surprising contradictions — tell us about things that conflict you and inspire you at the same time.

A >I’m happy dealing with contradictions and things that don’t fully make sense.

Q > Tell us about lessons you refuse to learn and values you hold on to.

A >Well I don’t know if it’s about refusing to learn — I’m constantly learning. But I always make sure I put the artistic perspective first when I’m giving talks, and I always ask questions (in any setting) when I don’t understand something. I don’t just nod when people assume I know something if I don’t — that’s how you learn, but it takes some courage to admit you don’t know something, I guess.

Q > Which things do you think the people in your community, city or country often take for granted?

A >This would have to be antibiotics. Nowadays, bacteria are increasingly developing antibiotic resistance driven by inappropriate use of these key medicines. People can help with this by not demanding antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary — for instance they don’t work on the common. Fewer antibiotics have been developed in recent years too but new biotechnologies such as CRISPR DNA modification techniques or whole genome sequencing will help with this.

The future is not entirely bleak but action is needed now and many health experts have said that this is as big an issue for humanity as climate change. And of course climate change and antibiotic resistance can’t be viewed as separate problems as global disease demographics change with the climate. I worked a lot with these themes in projects like Make Do and Mend and The Romantic Disease.

Q > Challenging conversations, introspective moments, inspirational triggers, political views, social shifts: which topics do you find yourself debating these days?

A >Antibiotic resistance and synthetic biology are topics I focus on a lot. These are important societal issues. Similarly I’m also currently exploring what our future co-existence with intelligent embodied robots might be, based on a deep investigation of human and robot interaction and movement, focusing on proximity, touch, body language and interactivity with socially-aware robots. This is part of an EU-funded STARTS residency in Switzerland with Schindler — Cyberspecies Proximity.

Q > The most pivotal moment you’ve had?

A >Your question assumes some lucky break or opportunity but I think it’s rather about focusing deeply and working, researching, making and learning constantly — art is a process. I’m a great advocate for what I call “unnecessary research”. In fact, I founded an art/science group called The Institute of Unnecessary Research.

Q > Opening conversations around taboos — where would you start?

A >I think we need a deeper discussion about genetically modified (GM) foods and to consider cisgenic modification — where the genes are moved around in the same species in a form that could occur, albeit more slowly, in traditional plant breeding. There are a lot of misunderstandings and people are not informed about its significant benefits. I’m exploring this in a new project called “Biotechnology from the Blue Flower” in collaboration with Alex May and the EU-funded CHIC project.


Dumitriu was the 2018 President of the Science and the Arts Section of the British Science Association. She holds research fellowships in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, and Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She is co-author of Trust Me, I’m an Artist, a book and major Creative Europe-funded project exploring the ethical implications of artists in bioscientific laboratories. She has created work using synthetic biology and CRISPR gene editing to explore issues around infectious diseases in many international labs including Technion in Haifa and the University of California Irvine.

Plague Dress credit — Anna Dumitriu

ArchaeaBot — Anna Dumitriu and Alex May, in collaboration with scientist Amanda Wilson (Imperial College). Photo by Vanessa Graf / Ars Electronica, 2018

HARR1 — Anna Dumitriu and Alex May

Pneumothorax Machine — Anna Dumitriu

Biotechnology From the Blue Flower — Anna Dumitriu and Alex May