Amalgamated Fragmentation / Technosphere

©2018–2019

On my search of traces of the Anthropocene I have created layered images by means of cyanotype-process.

Vintage lithographic prints of earliest known microorganisms, algae, ferns, lichen and other plants as well as human cells and organs are the carrier for the further procedure. The second layers are images of printed circuit boards, hardware devices and bacteria living on microplastic on transparency.

The mixture of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide cause a photosensitive solution which is applied to the impressions to be exposed to the sun.

 

I chose his process since ferricyanide has cyanidebacteria as a bias of its component which in turn is one of the oldest known bacteria producing oxygen and being toxic at the same time. The transparencies on the other hand are symbolizing the technical imprint on nature. The combination stands for the chemical and technical creation, alteration and destruction of life on earth.

The underlying pervasion of all matters and ages within the subject of the Anthropocene is the focus of my longterm project. This series is a part of it.

Amalgamated Fragmentation / Microbescape

©2018–2019

During my research on new types of organisms living in the Anthropocene on inorganic materials I found old 6x6” negatives in my grandfathers archive. These were exposed to humidity for the last 40 years and transformed the surface of the film into a living space to all kinds of microbes. The latter have altered the initial landscape to a unprecedented one: a microbescape, revealing a possible outcome of climate change.


Especially considering the fact that bacteria and viruses have been preserved for millions of years in permafrost and glaciers and are now released into a whole new environment where the outcome and consequences of these amalgamations are unprecedented and unpredictable.
The pictures are dated with 1963, my very first year on earth and the time being the beginning of massive industrial and agricultural pollution.


While the pictures are beautiful in their appearance they also present an alarming destruction of our world. They both show a by now altered as well a futuristic landscape.
The images are printed on plexiglas to emphasize the inherent artificiality of the subject.

Gilgamesh Revisited
©2017

 

For this work I have reintegrated elements from my previous work 67P to further develop the subject of transiency which accompanies and interest me since a long time. Elements of the Anthropocene, like fragmentation and reinvention of the body are subject as well.

The wish for immortality turns up constantly in human history, from the oldest myths known to all cultures right into today‘s epoch of the Anthropocene.

In his search for immortality Gilgamesh must overcome countless obstacles to reach Utnapishtim who had saved his family and many animal species before the flood and had thus received immortality from the gods. He knew about a plant from the deep ocean which promised the defeat of death. Gilgamesh however, wiser by his journey and encounters, renounces immortality and returnes as a fair and wise king to his people.

A few years ago Sillicon Valley tech moguls founded an enterprise worth 200 Bn with the purpose to overcome death or at least to extend life (programmed death and radical life extension). They call themselves transhumanists or cyborgs trying to annul natural laws with different technologies.

They undertake scientific investigations of immortal plants, animals and micro-organisms (such as the jellyfish urritopsis dohrnii), types of Hydras, different bacterial types, lichens and sponges as well as application of Artificial Intelligence to gain immortality.
Other measures like genetic manipulation, nanotechnology, nanorobotics, cloning, up to Cryonics (freeze of the body) and mind-to-computer upload or brain implants are tested and implemented on human beings.

These endeavors are among others conducive to gaining time for the purpose of colonizing alien planets. For years both governmental institutions and private corporations have been looking for life on mars hoping to provide a new home a to a small elite after the deluge.

Due to actual undertakings of problematic nature (growing data-transfer, artificial intelligence, digital warfare and so on) I'm following these activities in Silicon Valley with concerned interest. Since the heads of these endeavors are like the new gods and the whole setting in the valley is cult-like, the analogy to the epos of Gilgamesh was perfectly obvious to me.

 

The pictures are named after personalities and deities of the Gilgamesh epos.

 

This series of 18 pictures is a digital assemblage of my own digital, found and collected analog and scientific photographs and sketches.

Amalgamated Fragmentation / Plastisphere-

©2018–2019

In my long-term and multi-part project on the Anthropocene I examine fragmentation and how old and new matter merge to an unknown amalgamate through technical and biochemical interventions.

Never-before-seen chemical and physical processes revolutionize our world, modify the molecular structure of earth, air and water, create new molecules, bacteria and micro-organisms that irrevocably change the body and life of human beings. As soon as a demarcation between different materials is no longer possible, elements of animate and inanimate matter increasingly mix.

It is believed that most of these changes are caused by microplastics that meanwhile permeate earth, water and air. As the biosphere describes life on the earth's surface, the floating plastic waste that is by now colonized by organisms and represents a new marine ecosystem is called Plastisphere.

For this part of my project I extended the plastisphere to the earth, plants and the human body, since all life is dependent on water and microplastic has recently been detected both in the spring water of the Alps and in the human intestinal tract. Thus the cycle of infection is closed and a change of the DNA structures of all organic life is foreseeable.

Since everything on earth is infused with microplastics, the pictures show scientific depictions of microbes and bacteria that have settled on plastic waste and can either transmit life-threatening diseases or decompose plastic into even smaller parts.

This body of work consists of digital collages using ancient and contemporary representations of all above mentioned subjects. I either compose settings and photograph them to later assemble them with other images or I use as primary source scanned or reproduced ancient images from the fleamarket or webbased pictures to be completed with digital elaborations.

In my long-term and multi-part project on the Anthropocene, I examine fragmentation and how old and new matter merge to an unknown amalgamate through technical and biochemical interventions.

Never-seen- before chemical and physical processes revolutionize our world, modify the molecular structure

of earth, air and water, create new molecules, bacteria and micro-organisms that irrevocably change both the bodystructure and life of human beings. Elements of animate and inanimate matter mix increasingly as soon as a demarcation between different materials is no longer possible.

It is believed that some of these changes are caused by microplastics that by now permeate earth, water and air and has even been detected both in the spring water of the Alps and in the human intestinal tract.

As the biosphere describes life on the earth's surface, the floating plastic waste that is meanwhile colonized by organisms and represents a new marine ecosystem, is called plastisphere, which for artistic and logical purposes I transferred to earth as a term as well.

As a form of representation for this subject I chose cyanotype-process combined with images of the cultural and natural world taken from an ancient atlas. These bygone landscapes and landmarks are dotted with depictions of microbes and bacteria that have settled on plastic waste.

©2018 Florence Iff

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