DJCAD Reflective Research Journal – 3rd Year – Week Nine

Almost managed to finish everything in the studio this week, but not quite. Still need to photograph my sketchbooks and print and stick up the title of the installation which is all done. Everything that needs to be glued, is glued and I added some extra collaged elements to the wall paintings and the wall. I added some colourful shit, with a little gold, falling from the bum of one of the biomorphic figures in the paintings and one fallen to the floor, which gold slugs have happily found ready to spread the nutrients all around. This is also a reference to fecal transplants, which are a way of getting healthy gut bacteria into the stomachs of immune compromised people. I added some worms and a rat too; other contributers to the mulching, composting, breaking down, rotting, delights of the soil. I would like to have more insects and figures becoming even more plant like in paintings for next semester if I carry on with this project, which I plan to. Mark, suggested going forward with the paintings, I could maybe paint on the collaged elements to look like collage which I quite like. Loads of patience required for that too…but the combination of loose and tight painting could look good. 

I worked more on the video, getting to grips with the green screen footage and having fun with it. I have a slowed down section now, which has my giant green face painted head, with smaller versions of me in my wool underwear costume, running back and forth in front of my large head. It looks at points, like the small me’s are running over the large me’s tongue and like the big me is licking the smaller me’s. I have added slurping sounds, and some made up words, like psychomulchinate, microbiotamorpic and compostological, which I worked on earlier in the week. Feel kind happier with it now and need to just leave it I think and finish up the other things that need done. Lots more I would like to try with all this next semester.  

Spent too long trying to decide on a title today. I thought I had made up the perfect word to describe my work which could be the title: Psychobiombe, but it turned out it has already been made up by someone else, quite recently I think, but for precisely the meaning I wanted it for; How healthy gut bacteria affects the mind. But I elaborated on it and have decided on this I think; Psychobiomulchinate for the overall name and then  Psychobiomorphic Agents of Connection, Paintings, collage and installation. Quantum Disco Protest, Video, performance.

Ended up reading several really interesting articles on research into the psychobiombe and psychobiotics, which is basically using the good gut bacteria from people with healthy biomes to treat depression and anxiety. If only someone would work out that this might be a player with helping with resistance to Covid and other Coronaviruses too and, but I am in danger of being accused of being an armchair or pseudo scientist now and getting carried away with more research when I should be putting together my digital portfolio! But I did start reading some scientific papers looking at immune reactions to vaccines…before, forcing myself to stop. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7422826/?fbclid=IwAR1cwU7jZpDmWktn2uGF3SkYi15ALDV9qLFQ6WTyQ2Lu3XtCTGRKZFic5bc

And it seems good gut health is important for vaccines to create a strong immune response too. Basically, it seems to be the key to pretty much all disease resistance, but I have written this probably several times now!

I want to include some interesting info that I gleaned from a YouTube lecture from Dr Zach Bush MD. A healthy gut is like a jungle. We need biodiversity inside and out. By destroying biodiversity in our environments, we are destroying ourselves.  Most people only have 10% of the gut biodiversity they should have. 50% of the human genome is viruses. 10% is made of retro viruses like HIV. Huge amounts of the population have small amounts of HIV and Hepatitis, for example, in our genome. We are built from the machinery of the virome. So viruses are not the enemy. Biology that is under stress expresses new genomic information. Destroying biodiversity is the enemy.

If I am thinking of this project going forward and becoming my degree show and if I decide to actually make a club/disco for my final work, then I could bring in other elements…like I keep wondering about my fermented probiotics and how I could include things like that without turning my work in into to a hipster deli sort of deal, but Laurie suggested handing out little bottles of my wild fermented soda, like one I recently gave her. I could have tiny little shot sized bottles and make labels, to hand out in my club. Maybe I could also have plants growing hydroponically in diluted pee (which I’ve vaguely tried before, not completely unsuccessfully) around the club…but am getting carried away…and there’s still next semester…scared to use up all the good ideas in 3rd year though!

Some more last minute but continuing artists research is Serpentine Galleries The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish online series of talks Curated by Lucia Pietroiusti, Filipa Ramos (who wrote Animals which I am currently reading) and I also Watched Donna Haraway – Story Telling for Earthly Survival which I loved.

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