RootPicker

  • September 17 2021

    RootPicker

    On view in DIFFERENCE MACHINES (Oct 16th 2021 - January 16th 2022 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery of Buffalo NY) and Future Ecologies (Fall 2021 at Vox Populi of Philadelphia PA)

    Rootpicker is a queer nature documentary and video essay combining footage of wild yams thriving in loving multi-species constellations, with animated scientific diagrams, and narration performed by Gabriela Cordoba Vivas. The animated interface is made up of scientific/industrial maps of molecular and enzymatic interactions that produce chemicals found in plants called phytosterols, and their transformation into more familiar molecules like testosterone and estrogen. The work celebrates the queerness of these molecules that are produced in our bodies as well as in people across species divisions: plants, bacteria, birds, fish, mammals etc. The narration flirts with the third person omniscient voice of the nature documentarian, weaving through trans feelings, and unwinding some of the colonial formations that have coalesced around these hormonal molecular gifts.

    In it's manifestation for DIFFERENCE MACHINES at Albright-Knox gallery of Buffalo NY, rootpicker accompanies a bioreactor that incubates fungal microbes fermenting phytosteroids extracted from wild yams, and transforming them into progesterone and other steroid hormones.