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32 °C | 2022

Nature is the result of billions of years of cycles of collapse and regeneration. All life has emerged from great explosions that have repeatedly collapsed and reestablished themselves. Today, however, collapse is occurring as a result of human actions. Humans have degraded habitats, destroyed and abused idyllic natural sites in pursuit of technological and biological advancements. Yet, nature has shown remarkable resilience in the face of these pressures.


Take Gruinard Island, for example. This testing site, once rendered uninhabitable by anthrax contamination, has seen a resurgence of life, with various species adapting to and thriving under new conditions. But how long can nature withstand the persistent collapse brought on by human activities?


In the 32°C, Shona Kitchen and Felipe Shibuya explore this narrative by creating a communication system between bacteria and humans. This system is based on the colors pigmented by species collected from Prudence Island, Rhode Island, an island previously used as a storage site for U.S. Army weaponry. By combining these natural colors with Morse code — a system historically used for military communication — Shona and Felipe have crafted a phrase that appears at the end of the installation's video.


The message is not deciphered within the video itself, and viewers must translate it using the system proposed by the artists. This visualizes the resilience of nature, demonstrating how collapses in nature can be part of an alternative narrative, showing how microorganisms adapt and flourish, even amidst human-induced pressures.

Collaborative work with Shona Kitchen (Rhode Island School of Design).


2022 · Collapse

           Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, United States

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