Rotifera”, 2019
Rotifers, hand-blown glass, vintage glass, vintage wood, phytoplankton
8 x 8 x 12 inches

Purifying bacteria, such as rotifers and protozoa, are organisms involved in public water purification systems. Rotifers eat organic detritus, notably human fecal matter, and they contribute to nutrient recycling; they're an essential component of sewage treatment processes. They are also are found in our tap water. By culturing these invisible bacteria that tend to evoke disgust, Shin seeks to explore how bacteria, in fact, perform tireless labor to allow "human" existence possible. The "infrahumanist" labor of these microbes that eat human waste — fecal matter, products we've washed down the drain, food, etc — goes completely unnoticed, evoking the fantasy of an automated, devalued, racialized worker and echoing the history of the colonialized laborers who process U.S waste systems today. For Shin, bacteria are key to exploring the infrastructure of public health, human consumption, and the political economy of garbage.

Facility Magazine Launch
Knockdown Center
November 2, 2019, 6 - 9 PM