Data Reveal Party

One-day event
Saturday 10 February 2pm

Marian Sandberg

Disclaimer: This one-day event and the artist-curator conversation will touch on topics related to IVF treatment, child loss, medical trauma, and grief.

Marian Sandberg underwent In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatments in 2014. Treatment was expensive and arduous with medical complications. After two egg-retrievals, 55 eggs were fertilised, of which 11 developed and were deemed viable for implantation. Through surrogacy, Sandberg and her partner used four of these. A first transfer failed to result in pregnancy. The second transfer led to the birth of their first child, Hugo, who sadly died four days after birth. The third and fourth transfer were successful and resulted in the birth of the Sandbergs’ second and third child in 2018 and 2021. After this, the fertility clinic still had seven unused straws in cyrostorage containing blastocysts (eggs seven days after fertilisation). Since the Sandbergs had decided they did not want more children, these were considered “excess”. Under the state legislation, there are three options that are presented to clients of fertility clinics: donate the excess blastocysts to medical research, donate them to other another person seeking embryos, or have them discarded. In the third option the straws are taken out of cyrostorage, they thaw and the cell material naturally degrades. The straws are then considered medical waste. After doing research Marian discovered that, rather than the clinic disposing of the straws, she could claim them. It so happened that Marian Sandberg was handed as small cardboard box with the seven straws. Marian had the blastocysts genetically tested which revealed data, most of it unintelligible for the layperson, but some showing recognisable markers like chromosomal sex. In private, Sandberg’s partner baked a seven-layered “gender reveal” cake, showing the chromosomal sex of their once potential children. The “Data Reveal Party” will recreate this cake, for everybody to share and enjoy with tea or coffee. Exhibited in the gallery will be seven “Still Lifes” (2024, edition of 11), framed works Sandberg has made with the seven straws. Eleen Deprez and Marian Sandberg will have a conversation about the seven “Still Lives” that are on display in the gallery and the data we have on them.

Marian Sandberg is an emerging artist living and working on Kaurna land. She seeks to understand what it means to be human in this age of technology. In order to do so, her practice questions what humans gain and lose through interfacing with machines. Through installation, sculpture and textiles, she assembles data structures, algorithms and machines that perform considered shifts to entrenched distributions of agency. Marian holds a Bachelor of Visual Art from the Adelaide Central School of Art and a Master of Information Systems from the University of South Australia. She is Hatched alumni, recipient of the Praxis ARTSPACE Studio Residency, FELTspace Graduate Award, the UnitCare Services Digital Media Award, and 2024 ACE open studio resident.

Allergy information: The cake is gluten-free. The cake is not vegan. Please contact for other dietary restrictions or allergies.

Photography Sam Roberts