How to make an ocean?

KASIA MOLGA, since 2019

To quote a curator Lars Rummel: “The installation creates a space that allows a profoundly human experience without the need to fear the consequences: crying. It reaches out to all who mourn regardless of the reason – to make a connection, create awareness, and have a space to grieve: where no tear is shed in vain. Life and joy can grow out of sorrow – be it energetically, spiritually, or emotionally, it always leads to growth and transformations.”

From Winter of 2019 until recently Kasia Molga has been collecting her tears – first when she cried after losing 3 loved ones in the Autumn 2019. Then with the start of COVID-19 she “trained herself” to cry in order to relieve her anxiety. And then to explore the chemical composition of human tears to see how they could make a healthy tiny marine ecosystem. To use her own tears to host a sea life became a form of catharsis and a constructive way to deal with personal and also then environmental loss. In addition to that Kasia started investigating how her mental health (and level of the aforementioned anxiety) is affected by the narrative of her “online life” – news & info feeds which were curated by algorithms. She started to wonder whether she could use this to cry and thus feed her mini-oceans.

The result: an experience, set in a 4 parts.

There are 30 to 50 tiny bottles – each contains my tears and a North Sea algae. Each has a date, a reason for crying and the name of hosted algae. There is a log of Kasia’s diet from the period of the research, accompanied by a log of presence of chemical elements (N, P, K) important for healthy growth of algae. These elements can be regulated by a diet. Artist wanted to know how she could use her bodily waste to care for the environment, which we have destroyed? The main question she posed here was: “Can I look after my physical and mental health in order to be of ‘use’ to other life forms? Or can environmental health be an indicator of our own health.”

A space for a visitor to relax, reflect and to maybe shed some tears. There is a comfortable chair, the set of Tools for Tears Assesment on the table next to the chair and in front there awaits an AI Moirologist.
More about it on Moirologist Bot page here.

When ready to harvest tears – or to donate them – one needs tools to catch them, store them, asses their chemical composition (and nutritional value) to match them with the right type of algae, then to mix them with a drop of sea water and algae and place them under some light for a while before closing the tiny bottle.
More about Tools for Tears’ Assesment & The Mini-Ocean Lab here.

It is a form of a guided mediation for a group of 10 to 15, led by Kasia in collaboration with the Moirologist Bot, using queues and prompts which I have learnt about while researching what makes us cry. More about the Workshop-Performance here.

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