An Unending Meal
An Unending Meal
video installation, simulated 3D animation, participatory performance, meals
Exploring our bodies through a microscopic lens reveals an ecosystem of trans-species entanglement. I am fascinated by the fact that 90% of the human body is composed of non-human microbial cells. Microorganisms constantly enter into the body through food ingestion or contact with others. Sometimes microbes floating in the air penetrate through the skin. They are then let out again in the air or other ecosystems through excretion or contact.
Looking closely at the diaspora of this microscopic world, it seems as if we are having an unending meal. At every moment, the body consumes and discharges small microbes that are invisible to the bare eye. These minuscule fragments that make up the body were once part of me, whichleft me and went adrift somewhere. Body as a singular, wholesome entity does not exist. Through the unending banquet, the body as a fluctuating domain where fragmented entities coexist becomes heterogeneous and transitional.
The worries that are conventionally associated with eating — who do you eat with? Is it okay to double dip with someone with an illness? What generational, cultural norms do you follow on a dinner table? — is extended to the following questions: With whom can you share the surface of the body? What is this surface that we share with others? The shared bodies blur the boundaries of private realm. The constant migration of microorganisms may bring us together or separate us.
I collect and document these unending meals, and construct a digital ecosystem at the exhibition space. Microorganisms collected from myself, others, or somewhere in-between evolve into magnified images and 3D animations. Reinterpreted in the form of interactive videos and experimental games, the memories and conversations about shared experience of the tactility create new narratives. Body, relationship, culture, and intimacy intersect in the physiology of the virtual ecosystem.