There are Tides in The Body, Goldsmiths University of London
This installation invites people to get involved and to take care of — or potentially be contaminated by — pollutants, pathogens, bacteria or viruses contained in matter and to acknowledge our relationships with toxins. By surfacing their (in)visible entanglement, the sculptures suggest their agential potentials and liven up through the toxic life they carry on. The “sensor” sculptures are contaminated and potentially contaminating bodies, imagining ways to be incorporated into waste or to be waste.
The title refers to urban river systems as well as our own contaminated fluid systems; the sculptures are living matter and as precarious as organisms. They are an attempt to translate the layering of toxic ecologies and horizons of possibilities that occur in our metabolic systems and ethics through a multi-scalar lens.
All soil and water samples were borrowed from public parks, ponds and rivers located nearby or on historic landfill sites in South-East London.
Spray bottles were available to water the sculptures — filled with Ravensbourne river water, Thames river water and Deptford creek water, respectively — to ensure that the sculptures were sufficiently wet and watered each time someone was in the room and to maintain the microorganisms' lives in them.
Photo credit: Ernesto Sartori & Laure Vigna