In my research, I envision biological colonization that exploits humans as revenge for plant subjugation in our current agricultural systems. In this world, household mold infects and controls humans. I explore creating living products— wearables out of found seaweed and typography made out of mold.
I respond to existing science fiction post-anthropocene worlds to explore disarming potentialities that comment on human-supremacist power dynamics. By augmenting communication loops between nature and humans, I question the Westernized notion of the human world and natural world as separated by the influx of modern technology.
Materials of Defense
I decided that the citizens in my cosmology would defend themselves against the killer mold using wearables made out of natural fungicides, such as kelp. I collected kelp and blended it with cellulose and silver powder to strengthen the polymers for it to be used as a face mask/respirator. This would effectively filter air from mold spores entering the respiratory system.
Type Made Out of Mold
In the fictional cosmology I created, mold is vengeful against humans. It begins spreading sinister sci-fi-inspired messages to lure humans in order to infect them. The rotting food you left in your fridge for too long would start spelling out things, like "PLAY", a nudge to open up your Tupperware so the mold could come "play" with you, to infect your brain with the virus.
I created living typography reading "PLAY" out of laser cut molds and rotting food collected from my peers (rice, beans, and peaches).
Final Silicone Mask
I settled on molding silicone because it seemed dependable and durable for our short time-frame. Pictured in the background is an entire failed silicone mold stuck to my baking tray forever. In the foreground is the final prototype.
I chose to make a poster as another final deliverable as well, to depict systems of capitalism still existing amongst apocalypse. I hoped this would demonstrate both authenticity and the failure of systems of capitalism to cohabitate with danger and protect the lives of their constituents.
I hope to continue to work with kelp as a textile medium, specifically within flyknit kelp shoe-making.
Mentor: Tyler Fox, PhD Human Centered Design Engineering
Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities
Mary Gates Endowment for Students Scholarship Program
Time Frame: 1 month