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They, who sees through Paris, 2021

Dried SCOBY, light balls 

90 cm X 50cm X 50cm

Reductive - not to mention unfashionable - as such comparison is, biology can be likened to art. Biology and art take as their medium the manipulation and development of form; both depend upon the revelation and production of secrets as their modus operandi. Fiddling about in the sticky fascia separating and connecting the familiar and unfamiliar, biology and art share the affinity for tackling what is most uncanny in life. Think of the genesis of species crafted out of nature's own highly stylized and bizarre laws to produce visionary beings no one could predict; species transformations which tax the mind. In this sense, "nature" is just another way to name the sheer madness of biological generation. 

            But where science is hell-bent on denuding and taxonomizing precisely what is most strange and inexplicable in nature, one saving grace of art, I hope, is its desire to trash and journey into the corridors of as yet unperceived realms. So imagine when the artist becomes biologist, unlocking the secrets of DNA sequences of which s/he is the very progenitor. 

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve

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They, who sees through, Paris, 2021

Digital Photography 

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UNTITLED 2, New York, 2019

Installation (3D modeling)

Iri uses SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) in her latest sculptures, a sensitive and sensorial material that she grows, treats and manipulates under different conditions. In these works, the narrative is biology: matter is affected by the artist's experimentations and its interactions with different subjects, but its process of production is always encoded into the biomaterial as it undergoes different physical transformations. 


After learning some technics on the material at the School of Visual Arts' Biolab in New York, she brought her knowledge back to France where she took advantage of successive confinements to grow giant pieces and develop new technics to keep the resulting fabric as souple as skin. Her research on this fabric started with an interest in living materials and a yearning to find alternatives to animal-based fabrics such as leather. SCOBY is the subject of much research in the fashion industry and Iri is collaborating with people of this industry to develop sustainable drying and tinting techniques.  


See more similar sculptures in Cubic Systems

See more on the process:


UNTITLED 1, New York, 2019

Flatiron Gallery 

Dried SCOBY, Copper

200 X 45 X 60 cm


They, who fantasises, Paris, 2021

Dried tainted SCOBY, Urchin Shells

150 X 130 X 150 cm


Buste, Paris, 2021

Dried SCOBY, Urchin Shells

65 X 35 X 15 cm