Migration of Pathogens
From a global perspective, advances in transportation have greatly aided the transmission of deadly pathogens from one corner of the world to another. With no boundaries or barriers, a flight, cruise ship or semi-truck can greatly speed the delivery of invisible viruses and bacteria to distant blood streams or nasal passages. Our world map through the perspective of microbes is a new one. It is random, rearranged, and ambiguous. Points A and Z have merged.
(*See below for how this installation was made)
This exhibition combines art and science, abstraction and realism, light and shadow in an attempt to express how I view the invisible microbe and its migration, greatly aided by mankind. I am indebted to the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of Hamilton, Montana, a level IV facility, for sharing their electron microscopic images of pathogens with me, many of which have inspired this body of work.
(***See below for information about these graphite drawings on ground glass)
**Nearly 100 individuals allowed me to cast one of their feet. The volunteers ranged from 2 months old to 70+, and included both male, female, all occupations, nationalities, and size. I used alginate molds for each foot, and liquistone (plaster and gypsum) was poured into each mold to make the foot casts, which are highly detailed, hyperrealistic representations of the human foot. The feet were displayed on glass which was elevated over a white base, 4 inches above the floor. In this way, the feet appear to float, and also cast interesting shadows which mimic the shapes of pathogens. They were left white to draw attention to the nondiscrimination of pathogens. Regardless of age, race, occupation or religion. We are all equally vulnerable to the invisible microbe.
*** All the drawings in this exhibition were done on a ground glass surface. This surface is obtained by rubbing two pieces of glass together with carborundum and water until they are evenly textured. Several of these drawings are multi-layered, with one to two additional drawings on mylar beneath the glass plate. I did this to create a sense of depth.