Fermentation Time: 14 days
In collaboration with SCOBY
#BioTech #BioDesign #Kombucha #Fermentation
Our identity is a chimera, encompassing our own experience, those who have influenced us, and the natural world around us.
Trillions of bacteria have lived in and on our bodies as coevolutionary partners since the start of human existence in a symbiotic relationship in which both human and microorganism mutually benefit; we could not be us without the survival and help of bacteria.
Each mask is fermented using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). The bacteria, normally too small for humans to see, create cellulose networks that connect and bind the microbes together during fermentation. Every mask is a visual of a two-week fermented relationship, cut short by dehydration.
Our bodies are an entire ecosystem of microbes. We have about the same amount of bacterial DNA as we do human DNA, stacked at a 1:1 ratio. So what and who are we? What part of us is human if not a vast array of interconnections and networks?
SCOBYs wear their heart on their shoulder… or mask in this case. You can see exactly how the microbes interacted based on what the mask looks like. Each brown bit (like the dot on the forehead) is a large conglomerate of yeast that was trapped in the cellulose by the bacteria. There are areas that are thinner, a more fragile connection, while the thicker areas of the mask are stronger and more durable.
When we shine a light and reflect on our identity, we find that we’re not just one person. We’re a culmination of our connections to the world–a system of many organisms living as one.