The word “holon” signifies a collection of nested systems. Based on the writings of Michael Pollan and Arthur Koestler, Holon A. reflects the holons of American industrial agriculture through an interactive miniaturization. Five integrated modules invite the visitor to ask questions about the efficiency of our industrialized ecosystems. Diorama-style modules cover such topics as E. coli contamination during fabrication of beef, the varying public uses of the term “chicken,” traditional fiber arts, and the government’s role in the American corn economy. Holon A. utilizes a wide variety of industrial and hand-made materials from electronic components and wood to hand-silkscreened plush steak.
Holon A. at the Chelsea Art Museum, 2007
The radiation level required to combat E. coli contamination of livestock varies with the amount of corn in the cattle’s diet, as it is not its natural food source.
Corn Currency asks about the US government’s role in the market value of corn, and when the corn economy is good, livestock eat more of it. The visitor is left with plastic waste.
The cornstalks’ adjustable light source self regulates the light output and also influences glowing of the beef module.
The fiber module consists of a knitted viewer with sound to encircle the face, giving the feeling of a private space. The conforming body of the knitted object reflects our once traditional fiber practices being industrialized under our noses.
Live Internet-scraped images can be seen as the somewhat “public” opinion of chicken today. The visitor has control over the playback of these images.
The modular, rough-cut construction fits with the conceptual framework of industrialization of nature.