Marina Zurkow, Immortal Plastics / Petroleum Manga
“Immortal Plastics” is part performance, part practical assessment of petrochemicals and hydrocarbons and the role they play in our lives. Hydrocarbons transform into infinitely scalable and long-lived plastics, preservatives, and inputs, becoming inextricably entangled in everyday life in both prominent and invisible ways.
Leading with the question “What do hydrocarbons want?” participants will be engaged in conversation and self-reflection, testing the hypothesis that hydrocarbons want immortality. “Assessment services” will be offered to determine the depth of participants’ relations with hydrocarbons. A trained Hydrocarbon Assessor will be on-site at the booth to offer a thorough examination of a participant’s personal belongings and the petrochemicals with which he/she is entangled. Through a process both humorous and sobering, participants will be required to examine all the tags on their clothing, as well as the contents of their purses and pockets. They will leave with a hydrocarbon inventory and a printed Tyvek (petrochemical) souvenir of the project.
The process will require fifteen minutes per participant. This project does not moralize; rather, it makes vibrant our relations with tiny, long-dead creatures and gives voice to the elements with which we intimately interact. “Immortal Plastics” is a facet of “Necrocracy,” an ongoing project about hydrocarbons, petrochemicals, and the relationship between human time and geological time.