A Light Without Shadow, No. 5_Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin

“This is a glass globe that I’ve made during my 2019 UrbanGlass fellowship. Inside the glass are homegrown oyster mushrooms that, during the infusion process, became burnt, congealed, disintegrated, and inflated from the molten glass lava. I look at these globes as I imagine the ever-growing, ever-inflating universe.

The WMAP satellite (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), launched in 2001, has provided the most detailed picture of the early universe when it was only 38,000 years old. Reading the radiant heat and the afterglow of the Big Bang, the map shows tiny seeds of quantum fluctuations that have expanded to create the galaxies and galactic clusters we know today. With the inflation theory, it’s very possible that the universe continues to sprout or bud spontaneous parallel universes, a never-ending process of the multiverse.

What’s the thing that binds us all? What are the limits of our intelligibility? How do we connect those webs of unimaginable, unseeable ties of relations – stars, galaxies, single-celled organisms, electricity, microbes, matter, worms – that infuse us all? In the violent will to place human hubris at the epicenter of the galaxy, to dominate the indeterminable and control the uncontrollable, what have we lost?”

“Untitled (Universe 3)”, 2019. Spherical glass globe with infused oyster mushrooms in the center. The infusion has made the oysters blue and gold with bubbles trapped inside.

Cosmic Microwave Background: WMAP satellite (first year)

TJ Shin explores the porousness of bodily boundaries and the ceaseless movement of living processes, like fermentation, echoing the history of colonialism. Shin is interested in entangling the history of conquest and the literal digestion of material – smells, microbes, and food – into a new system of relations that emerge from a complicated history of entanglement.

Portrait Image courtesy of Mary Kand