H E L P (2021)

Video instalaltion

Duration: 01:09min

Year: 2021

From several studies about environmental damage, we can unfortunatly say  that we are facing the (sixth) massive extintion – the loss of about three quarters of all species in existence across the entire Earth over a “short” geological period of time. During the last decades we are facing different environmental catastrophes such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, extreme weather conditions in different areas on the planet, where it should not happen under normal circumstances. Due to the situation, mostly the most resistant species and invasive species can only survive, those which can easily adapt to different biodiversity. The consequences of expansion of invasive species can affect the entire ecosystem, and after a period, it can be out of balance and force other species to vanish.

In this project I am putting the human race as an invasive species, incorporating with micro species such as bacteria. The project HELP is based on an experiment with cultivated biomaterial – microbial cellulose. The visual appearance of the material that resembles the human skin, which is also rich in certain types of  bacteria. Due to various external injuries, the wound on the surface of the skin can be treated with Potassium permanganate, which is a purplish-black crystalline salt, that dissolves in water to give intensely pink or purple solutions.  The substance is used for treating a number of skin conditions, which includes  fungal infections, superficial  wounds etc.

The cultivated microbial cellulose is rich with acidic components including yeast and bacteria, which can influence potassium permanganates effect on the surface of the material. For the experiment, four pieces of bacterial cellulose were used, with thin scares made in the shape of letter “H”, “E” “L” and “P”. The substance is “implanted” inside of the scars of the cellulose and documented. In the end, the dark pigmentation of the potassium permanganate vanished and the high pH leveled bacterial cellulose got back its condition from the first stage. Throughout a short video documentation of the experiment, it is metaphorically presented with natural and artificial material, alluding when natures micro life take control.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The project called BIOFABRIKA (BIOFACTORY) includes the expansion of ideas and the application of alternative production in the field of visual art by the young artist Adrienn Újházi. She is the first person in Serbia to present her work on the basis of the cultivation of biological and plant material called SCOBY, an abbreviation for the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

The project would be implemented through four activities. After the preparatory phase of the project, a phase of workshops and open talks would take place, when the SCOBY would be grown over four months, and through open talks the interested audience could get acquainted with the new bio material and the synergy of bio-design and fine arts, which represents a sustainable way of creative creation in the future.

The next activity would be realized at three locations. On the banks of the Danube, a curator from Turkey would present her eco-work as an action, an intervention in space. A full-day workshop / exhibition / panel discussion would be held at the Svilara cultural station, where the SCOBY material’s cultivation and creation would be presented to the public through the workshop, then previously created prototypes of materials would be shown through the exhibition, and at the end the tertiary application of bio art, as well as the placement of this type of material and creativity on the market in Europe and beyond. All project activities would be documented using video and photo recording, so the last project activity involves showing a documentary of all project processes.

The interdisciplinary program of the BIOFABRIKA project includes the Bogdan Šuput High School of Design in Novi Sad, as well as active local and foreign experts such as artists, curators, agents, designers, architects, ecologists and microbiologists. Environmental problems and the importance of pure Danube biodiversity will be presented by guest lecturers and project participants, from the view of the field of their expertise, through educational content, which builds on the mentioned material SCOBY, promoting its environmental and sustainable benefits. The program of this project is intended for anyone who is interested in discovering the world of materials – BIOFABRIKA, and they can take part in the project.

The project was supported by: The European Capital of Culture – Novi Sad 2022

Collaborative exhibition with artist Nemanja Milenković and curator Katarina Kostandinović. Thoughts About Vanishing. Gallery Kazamat – Croatian Association of Artists in Osijek, Croatia.

Photography: Doris Despot