Chemigram Microbes is an ongoing project for the Microbestiary. The goal of the Microbestiary is to show that microfauna are just as interesting and as complex as megafauna. To show this, they have combined both art and science to create interesting responses to different microbes in an attempt to draw interest and attraction. For these pieces, I designed different microbes in Adobe Illustrator as vectors and then, laser cut each different type out of chipboard. From there, I dipped them into the different chemicals of the Chemigram process to create this collection of work.
We as humans look for the familiar, whether it be with people, animals, or even our surroundings. When we drive, we tend to find things we recognize, a way to determine where we are and how long we have traveled, how long we have left to go. Sometimes the things we recognize take the form of actual mile markers alongside the road, or signs that tell you how many miles are left in your journey. However, there are other things that you notice along the way that become imprinted in your mind. Perhaps you once mistook a gnarled tree for an animal while driving back in the middle of the night, realizing the next day that it wasn't what it seemed and so you look for it each time you drive. It could be that old abandoned car that someone owns on that land over there that they never got rid of for some reason. You've always been curious as to how it got so beat up and why they still keep it. There are many other examples and each one is different for each person. It could be the way the hills break into open plains, or the way mountains turn to cliffs on the ocean. Whatever it is, there is now a connection. This connection, between people and using the landscape as a ritual of timekeeping, the bond they feel with the sentinels of the lands they travel, is what this project focuses on.
In this project, my personal mile markers are the wind turbines along Interstate 80 between Laramie, Wyoming and Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had never truly taken notice of them before, until I had to start commuting from Cheyenne to Laramie everyday for classes. It was my husband who first pointed them out to me. He had told me one day while driving that we were twelve minutes home and he could tell because the wind turbines were just to our left. I was interested in this because he didn't pay attention to the actual mile markers, he paid attention to the landmarks surrounding them. He was so familiar with this road that he knew, just by seeing them, how close he was to home. After commuting I began to take notice of them too, and I realized that almost everyone I talked to had a story that was similar. Not with the same objects, but the same connection to the landscape or the elements of the landscape. It's a human tendency to see something that may have been there for years before them and connect with it a feeling of relief:
They are only so far from home.