s k i n ²
Nov 2021 (ongoing)
Second skin (medical-grade transparent adhesive), salt, water, salt crystals
In ‘skin²’, salt crystals are incubated on a cobweb-like assemblage made out of second skin that is used in aftercare procedures in tattooing and body modification. The skin is acknowledged as a space of crossing, incubation, and encroachment, the border space between the self and the other, the site where interfacial exchanges among nonhuman agents occur. The form and condition of the skin in some way define the self’s relation with the other, whether it be porous and permeable, making the inside and outside a continuous möbius strip, or encasing a closed body through rigid boundaries.
The stretched form of the ‘disembodied’ second skin mimics the form of a cobweb. As a cobweb is spun out to catch its prey, it explores how power dynamics is inherent within the site of the skin where numerous exchanges and processes of different spatio-temporal scales transpire. This also makes it a space of limbo, a liminal space between the self and the other, the inside and outside, life and death, the predator and the prey, etc.
As salt and water are the living sustenance of many organisms, salt has been used for preservation of the body throughout history, and salt mixed with water would form crystals under certain ambient conditions. Salt and water hence make the assemblage and reflect the skin as a site that is contingent, potentialised, incubating, and continually evolving. Second skin is incorporated for its synthetic quality, its manufactured resemblance to biological skin, its function as an epithelial object to aid skin healing after tattooing and other bodily procedures.
In the exploration of cyborgisation and making non-carbon-based matter generative through the work, the piece aims to subvert the biological-synthetic duality via the encroachment of the distinction between the two, connecting it further to the encroachment and transgression of boundaries and categorisations.
© Vyvyan y. L. | 2022