Last quarter, I really enjoyed the natural dye shibori workshop that Amy Taylor brought us to, during which I dyed my lab coat. Professor Victoria also introduced us to a world of origami and paper crane, as long as her Bird Song Diamond project, Since then, I have been fascinated with Japanese culture, especially shibori and origami.(The lab coat I dyed)
My final project evolved from my interest in psychedelics. Inspired by the way narcotics culture influenced the arts during the 60s, I proposed a few ideas on the topic for the midterm review. Eventually, I narrowed my direction of research to Cannabis because its a legal and accessible substance. For the project, I interviewed a personal friend who has practical knowledge of cannabis. We discussed topics around cannabis such as its general influence, its composition, and variations of strains, harvesting, and comparison with other psychedelics.
’something put together’
The Toshio Iwai workshop was very exciting because we got to hear his full thought process when creating these dynamic children’s books. It was also exciting to hear about the self-generated success of his artistry. For example, Iwai spoke of how the children’s books have become his main reliable source of income. This allows him to finance other projects that he’s interested in working on.
My final project was done with Aaron who jumped aboard my idea and offered to help code it. The idea was a speculative expansion of several studies related to gut microbia and our personalities.
In week 8 we learned about indigo, its processes and its properties. I was firstly surprised that most of indigo throughout history comes from a single genus of plant Indigofera and more specifically the Indigofera tinctoria. It’s interesting to me that India, and other Asian countries were the source of indigo dyes for centuries tracing back all the way to the Bronze Age. Unsurprisingly, something like this would remain a luxury commodity for as long as it was localized to Asian countries.
My project was a curiosity cabinet. I used a chest instead, to collect some interesting things I found in the wood (botanical garden). Then, I tried to laser-cut the pattern of mycelium that I observed using microscope. Overall, I try to provide a physical illustration of how mycelium connects all the plants together, embraces them all and maintain them all. Unfortunately, because the kind of wood I bought, I was unable to laser-cut the pattern I intended.
For my final project, I chose to make six different sculptures of my spine. As a girl growing up with scoliosis, I was self-conscious about my spine for many years. Interestingly enough, it was not until I began to experience chronic back and leg pain, that I learned to accept and love these parts of my body. A lot of that acceptance was learned by spending more time thinking and learning about my body.
This quarter has been an incredible period of experimentation, exploration, and scratching the itches of long-time curiosities.
Conclusions of the Class
For my final project, I documented 88 small plants growing in unusual spaces around campus, and attempted to identify what species they were by using a number of weed control sites. Originally, I wanted to attempt to cultivate these plants in agar, but unfortunately my samples got contaminated and many of them did not survive. The concept was based around my childhood experiences with these plants, and the idea that they are not usually acknowledged besides as nuisances. Many of the species I identified are exotic plants originally introduced from elsewhere, alth
In week 6 we talked about how food affects our microbiome. Originally, it was thought that bacteria outnumbered human cells by 10 to 1, though I've seen some articles online say that that's a myth; I've seen numbers that tote 3:1 and even 1:1. Regardless, it’s clear that there’s a symbiosis without our bodies between the microorganisms and our own cells, and we are better for it.
My project with Kevin was a speculative design project designed to consider what life would be like if we could merge microbiomes. In the future, technology will be advanced enough to allow us to entertain such possibilities. In this reality will you merge microbiomes to optimize your health?