Installation #21 - 17 May 2018
Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away, and the traffic lights turn from red to green, and on to a new song. Black soot from the road is deposited on the inside sills of the windows. Bodies in this room, plus the movement of the internal door opening and closing, cause the air to circulate. The black dust is carbon monoxide from diesel engines, but mostly the burnt rubber from a never-ending torrent of car tyres just beyond the window. Dust forms into rivers and streams on the sills, nudged and coerced into these visible collectives by the air. Imperceptibly, nano dust particles roam freely, swirling in circulatory air created not only by the movement of people and doors, but by the resonant heat of bodies as they transfer warmth to the air. They settle on the infrastructure of the space - in wires and sockets - becoming part of the electric current. Burnt rubber and carbon monoxide particles together become part insulator and part conductor - at this scale the standard logic of electric currents need not apply. Nanoparticles also land on the skin of the bodies, and are sucked up through noses and into mouths. Langerhan cells in mucus begin to sort self from foreign particle, whilst those that land on the skin are encountered first by sweat, and then by the skin microbiome. Immune function works with the genetically other living beings of the skin microbiome they (we) attempt to distinguish what should be of this human and what should not be of this human - what will do us harm. Science calls ‘what is of this human’ self - a genetically and molecularly multiple self. Nanoparticles smaller then 40 nanometers pass through the skin. Barely a few get as far as the blood stream or lymphatic system. Those that do encounter a bio-politics - the body inscribed by techno-science playing out against a body becoming.
Rowena Harris is a London based artist and art researcher. Through physical materiality, film work, and writing, her work unfolds at the intersection between the body, matter, and technology. Within this she is engaged with exploring the formation of perception, subjectivity, and sensory understanding, entangled with the everyday technological regime. She is a CHASE funded, practice-based PhD candidate in the Art Department, Goldsmiths College, holds an MFA from the same (2010), a BA Fine Art from Falmouth University (2008). Recent awards and residencies include shortlisted for Tenderfilx artist moving image prize; Sainsbury’s scholarship The British School at Rome; Atelier Salzamt Residency; and was the founding editor of Misery Connoisseur Magazine. She has recent solo exhibitions with Las Palmas, Lisbon; The Gallery Apart, Rome; Object A, Manchester; Coleman Projects, London. And group: ANGL Collective, Copperfield Gallery, Space In Between, Tenderpixel, The Bluecoat, Fondazione Memmo, Bloc Projects, Flat Time House, Artissima, Agnes Varis Centre.