Friday, May 6, 2011
Laboratory Tape Collage
I started off in the lab's dish room, collecting dirty glass ware and waste from the labs, washing, and redistributing various flasks, graduated cylinders, and beakers back into the labs. In addition, a majority of my time was spent processing the stacks upon stacks of dirty 10mL test tubes and 150mL bottles used in experiments.
The last time I took a chemistry class was back in high school, and so some of the terminology written on these tubes and used throughout the laboratory was kind of interesting when taken out of context. I found phrases like, "Dying and advancing cultures" , "Too acid?", and anything involving "media" interesting as a Communications major.
So I began waiting until the end of my shifts to begin "de-stickering" old test tubes, and instead of throwing it away I would make little tape collages. I decided to post some pictures of the first collages I did in which I only used the tape from old test tubes. When I was finished with a particular design I would laminate the entire piece with clear packing tape. The result would be an interesting collage of colors and scrambled up bits of words, symbols, and numbers. I wanted to treat what ever was written on the tape as just another texture or material, and create a more abstract rendering of the tireless work the scientists were putting in on a daily basis.
Often the scientists would come into the dish room while I was making these collages and talk to me about what each label meant in the context of their experiments. But since I was not very science-minded, their words came out sounding a lot like what my collages looked like: