This project was funded by an AHRC Small Grant in the Creative & Performing Arts (2006) and a Wellcome Trust Sciart Grant (2006). Baseman worked with renowned behavioural geneticist Professor Terrie Moffitt to create three films that question the study of twins and how they help our knowledge and understanding of mankind and humanity. This is the first time that an artist has worked within the Institute of Psychiatry and in collaboration with Professor Terrie Moffitt and the Twins Early Development Studies Research Team.
In the work ‘Tape 1 Tape 2’ we hear a mother describe her very difficult relationship with her identical twin children. This film is based on an original recording made by a research worker from the Twin Studies Research Team. In the work ‘Laws of Variation’ we hear Professor Moffitt discuss ideas around importance of variation in human behaviour, while we see a re-edited version of a 16mm medical training film from 1957. ‘Nature’s Great Experiment’ features Lisa Cant, a member of the Twin Studies Research Team, describing her experience conducting interviews with the mothers of twins and the twins themselves, within their homes.
The films have been screened nationally and internationally, including The Wellcome Collection, London (2007), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (2007), the Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle (2007) and the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (2007). The research has been disseminated through conferences and lectures, including a lecture at the Darwin Symposium, Shrewsbury Art Centre, organized by Tom Shakespeare in July 2006, a screening and panel discussion (with Dr. Shakespeare and Professor Moffitt) at The Wellcome Collection in May 2007 and a dedicated website launched in May 2007.