22nd Art Division Excellence Award
Media installation / Bio art
IWASAKI Hideo ［Japan］
Bacteria-based work stemming from an observation that biology papers, while associated with objectivity, are in fact filled with subjective expressions like “Surprisingly” and “Interestingly.” Writing a paper on his own research on cyanobacteria, pond-dwelling, photosynthesizing microorganisms, the artist cut all subjective phrasing from it and clipped its diagrams too into organic, abstract kirie paper cuttings. Spots where he had removed subjective descriptions he inoculated with the bacteria researched, which slowly propagated through the empty spaces left in the paper. A unique pattern then came to take shape in the way the elements intertwined: Blocks of text describing bacteria with all subjective observations cut out from them, diagrams reworked to represent scientific figures, kirie in organic forms, the trajectory of the bacteria’s slow spread through the text discussing them. An experiment examining modes of scientific description to trace a new auxiliary line between scientific inquiry and artistic expression.
Reason for Award