Two-channel installation with moving image of Chicago’s Bubbly Creek suspended in thin layers of ­rendered cattle remains spread over the surface of 100 meters of flexible polyester film ­passing through a 16mm film projector on a looping platter; HD video projection (21 minutes 42 seconds)
An Industry and Its Irreplaceable Medium

Installation view at the Ob/Scene Festival, Seoul 2022

What lies hidden at the origin of the moving image is the body of a dead animal. Photographic film is held together by gelatin, derived from the bodies of slaughtered cows. So whenever we look at film, we are effectively looking at an animal we are structurally exempt from seeing, since it constitutes the very medium in which the images themselves are suspended. By directing our attention to this blind spot, An Industry and Its Irreplaceable Medium simultaneously directs our attention to the blind spot of the meat industry, and finally capitalism at large, a system that persistently hides the industrial products and processes that remain at its base. If animal remains are found at the origin of film, they are equally there at the beginning of capitalist mass production: the very same slaughterhouses where cows were disassembled to become the bonding material of film, inspired Henry Ford to invent the automobile assembly line.

Leigh Claire La Berge, Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky and Zachary Formwalt discuss An Industry and Its Irreplaceable Medium

This work was realized with the generous support of The University of Chicago's Richard, Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and was co-commissioned by the IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture, Utrecht (NL) and the Ob/Scene Festival, Seoul (KR) with additional support from the Mondriaan Fund and Stichting Niemeijer Fonds.