2019 - ongoing


Bio-issues, alterity, ecosphere, ecofeminism, subject positions, cosmologies, multi-species ontologies, practice as research.

"Incu-Bichu" is a series of DIY bio forms that I cultivate in an incubator and whose evolution I document via digital photography. The project involves food. It was born in my fridge during the Pandemic which sterilized and constrained human touch. Like in an alchemist’s kitchen where substances continually act with one another to shape new things, a bio-based symbiotic interaction unfolds as growth and decay, life and death, overlap in the space and volume of contaminated foods creating entities that defy categorization. The unfolding phenomenon enables me to study natural processes and the effect of human touch on natural and human ecosystems. Interrelations between several actors are at play: disintegrating vegetable matter (the bio sculpture's material), thriving recycled matter (bacteria, mold and fungi), and an ecological facilitator/documentarian (me). "Incu-Bichu" underscores mutual dependence and the need to maintain healthy connections between different organisms and species. It reinterprets subjectivities and positions about who/what have the right to touch and affect the other. The work reflects my desire to reimagine the role of communication, expanding it to contain a dimension of 'touch' interconnecting all living things.
click on image for larger version
Digital print 17” x 136” (43.18 cms x 350.52 cms)
"Incu-Bichu" considers the convergence of ecological and social justice concerns as matters of analysis, prompting reflection on sensing, touching, and feeling. The COVID pandemic has amplified social isolation, racial injustice, economic disparity, gender rights, and our environmental predicament. These ecological dysfunctions instigate questions pertaining to communication and contact: "What does connecting really mean? Where are the connective threads? How do we reconnect and heal?". An ecosystem is a group of living organisms (including humans) that live and communicate with each other in a specific milieu. An ecosystem feels human touch and, if connections become unbalanced, the likelihood of system collapse increases. Energy and matter flow through an ecosystem nourishing it and - for survival of networks - populations need to interact in balance with each other. Disruption to one element of the ecosystem produces waves and ripples that touch every member of the system. The first step toward placing less disruptive pressure on sustenance systems is to understand how they work and what they need to remain healthy. "Incu-Bichu" highlights the need for a more enlightened and sustainable existential mindset. We need to operate with the knowledge that everything we touch is interconnected.
Incu-Bichu / All media and texts © Pat Badani, 2021