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dossier Rethinking Anthropocene

A story by Garrett Szmyd, who asks: How do humans perceive life and the environment?

Part of Living Matters non-exhibition

24 June 2020

Garrett was curious how to make bioplastic, and while experimenting with recipes in his home kitchen in US, measuring the variables of its drying and melting, what struck him the most is the visual strategies of making us notice ecological problems, and how we can make ourselves care about the environment. As he explains:

“I started the experiment while searching for ground in the broad topic of living images. I simply wanted to try working with a bioproduct, manipulate its conditions, and produce images from the results. During the experimentation I asked myself: why test these bioplastics for temperature? My immediate answer was that a bioplastic that is adapted to withstand a large range of temperatures would be an ideal candidate for packaging. Then I questioned the very urgency of using bioplastic for packaging. These lines of thought led me finally to a series of ‘why’ questions about concepts of industrialization, economy, and capitalism, revealing the relationship between humans, perception, behaviour, and commodification.”