The cybernetic-flora relationship between human and machine manifests itself in the colors and abstract forms absorbed by Suazo’s meticulous collection of paper towels. Suazo runs a digital printing studio that utilizes this technology and has been amassing paper towels since 2014. Paper towels are left overnight under inkjet printheads to prevent the printer from clogging. They are also used to wipe up spills or catch drips from tools and equipment. These acts of maintenance, which are necessary for the printer and its encompassing business to survive, mimic the reproductive relationship between bees and flowers to their greater plants. Like flowers, the colors and forms that emerge are beautiful and captivating to the human eye.
The human-machine relationship is doubly realized in the act of scanning and reprinting the printer’s cybernetic blooms. The flower-like simulacrum of having advanced imaging technology recreate the organic and abstract image it once oozed and bled is both beautiful and perverse. It is a physical imaging feedback loop. It is a digital-physical double flower mutation - the outcome of human, machine, and commercial systems intersecting.
By outfitting his printers to use reactive dye, these prints have a naturally-embedded vibrancy and density. Reactive dye is specifically used in natural fabrics like silk and cotton. Instead of sitting on top of substrates the way pigment inks do, dye penetrates the fibers. When the dye is bonded to the fibers through steaming, the colors spring into life.
"I like to try and imagine the way certain flowers like orchids or dianthus get their color. I’ve yet to see footage of a Sweet William dianthus or a Yellow Speckle orchid get its color, but I imagine it occurs when no one is looking in the middle of the night inside the flower’s private enclosure.”
Justin Suazo, b. 1992, received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2014, lives and works in New York City. Piezo Flora will be on view through October 14th, 2018.
Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday 12-6pm, and also shown by appointment. For any additional information please contact the gallery, email@example.com