Shai Langen just graduated from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, The Netherlands.
“Chimera is a project , depicting a contestable future where the human body is grown and cultivated. A material based entity whose boundaries continually undergo construction and reconstruction. Moving away from a solid to a liquid form.
Here it has become an amalgam of the synthetic and the organic. Its skin infested by fungi like textures, feeding of its host. Synthetic cellular structures constricting its carnality, growing in stasis, waiting to unveil its newly formed function.This new malleable body, has become a place where plastic parasitic substances emulate the immaterial, intuitively revealing its architect.
The collection consists of different pieces of liquid latex, that emerge through the emulsifying reaction of latex with calcium nitrate. Calcium nitrate is used in the balloon, latex gloves and condom industry to create a uniform film of latex around a mold. The molds are first dipped in a bath of water and calcium nitrate before being dipped into liquid latex. I’ve been experimenting with the shapes that form through dripping latex into the emulsion of water and calcium nitrate. By changing the viscosity of both the latex and the emulsion I was able to create different outcomes.
Each piece of the collection asks for a different thickness of the latex as well for a different technique of dripping. A lot of experimentation was needed to find the right method, since the material is very perceptible to numerous components, such as water surface tension, ratio calcium nitrate and water, drying process, etc.
With the different techniques I created a collection that resembles cellular structures, slime molds and fungi-like textures, that are created and formed like living and growing organisms. These textures are both organic and synthetic. Exploring the boundary between living matter and non living matter.
Chimera plays with the concept where the organic is overgrown with the synthetic. Where natural processes mutate the skin into fungi like textures. Like living organisms feeding off its host. And where the synthetic is governed by the organic. A place where plastic parasitic substances emulate and imitate the immaterial. Intuitively revealing its architect.”