Future Fossils > Business as Usual

Business as Usual
Business as Usual
Banker’s desk, sand dollars, glass aquarium, New York Harbor water, brass figurines, calcium carbonate, light, wires, power supply, glass vials, feathers, gum arabic, activated carbon, soil, moss, brain coral, chair, and ink on ledger
42 x 36 x 36 inches

Business as Usual engages with research on urban runoff and the chemistry of our surrounding New York Harbor through electrolysis. In this chemically active installation, I was interested in referencing extractive economies, the process of calcification, and boring dystopias. A calcified brain coral waits at a banker’s table with a curious set of objects: Sand dollars stacked like coins and a ledger full of markings lit by an aquarium. Within, submerged in a water sample of the New York Harbor, symbolic representations of the city (Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, and Empire State Building) function as the cathodes and anodes for electrolysis. As these symbols gradually calcify due to the chemical reaction, the water precipitates various ions like a sepia snow globe, making visible the complex chemistry of our Bay. These precipitates are collected in vials as pigments and turned into ink. Tucked within a bottom drawer is a secret escape into a tiny, lush landscape of mosses collected in the Hudson Valley.