Scope Collective

Artistic Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Category: Brooklyn Arts FundLocal Arts Support
Grant Year: 2024
Location: Sunset Park

This work emerges from the remarkable microbiome inhabiting the Gowanus Canal’s contaminated sediment. Over many decades of deposited manufacturing waste, these microorganisms have evolved to remediate our toxic trace. The federally subsidized cleanup currently underway is to dredge what toxic sediment can be removed and cap the rest with concrete. This intervention will suddenly disrupt the long evolved metabolisms which led to the microbial remediation.

This piece offers egress from our anthropocentric perspective of contaminated vs. natural environments, a human exercise in channeling microbial life. How might we develop unexpected sensitivities and responsibilities towards the often overlooked actors and agents of our intersecting environments – the microscopic, the nonhuman, the nonliving? Here we construct a space for contemplation of these hard to see but vibrant cohabitants, through slow growth and high-resolution documentation. Multiple channels of media and materials are imagined around, and accompanied by water and living sediment harvested from the tidal system defined by the ebullient Gowanus Canal as it merges with the Bay Ridge Channel. Materials: Photographic inkjet prints, salvaged architectural iron, steel, concrete, glass containers, recycled fabric, time-lapse video, photographic image projection, spatialized audio.