Plastic Is Land, 2018
Digital photographs (in the laboratory)
“This machine here is made from mother earth. It has a spirit of its own. This spirit probably hasn’t been recognized, and given the right respect that it should. When we work in a world of automated things, we forget that… everything is sacred, and that includes what we make.” Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony (2008)
Plastic is Land are intimate plastic landscapes encountered during laboratory work. The photos show how plastic pollution, so often portrayed as a foreign invasion of nature, is part of the relations that make up landscapes. Originally from organic material, plastic polymers become part of the environments they interact with, including the inside of animals when plastics are ingested. In fact, one of the hardest and most time-consuming parts of laboratory studies of plastic ingestion is telling plastics apart from non-plastic look-alikes & act-alikes. This isn’t to say that plastics are wonderful friends and we should all get along, but that Land is made of people, events, memories, animals, plants, air, spirits, soil, water, and since they were mass produced after 1945, plastics.
These photos are taken in the laboratory during a plastic ingestion study on eider ducks and arctic char from Labrador, Canada.