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Unseen Worlds, 2021

University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor

Adhesive vinyl on glass

 

With COVID-19, microorganisms dramatically migrated from natural science and medicine onto center stage in politics, history, and civil society. At the invitation of the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History I have installed an adhesive vinyl frieze responding to that world, adhering it to the windows of the Washtenaw Avenue lobby and the stairway leading to the main floor museum atrium.  A natural science museum makes accessible the rare and exotic, but much of its fascination is centered on the transformation of the everyday overlooked. Scientific research has made images of this ubiquitous yet generally unseen domain of our natural world accessible to us, and I have translated those images into architectural ornament for these campus public spaces. On the museum windows, I bring to public attention the fascinating diversity of these life forms, provoking an awareness of their essential and inescapable presence in our lives.